Our Winning together: 15 by 20 ambition
We’re global experts in the proud craft of making paints and coatings, setting the standard in color and protection since 1792. Our passion for paint means our world class portfolio of established brands is trusted by customers around the globe.
By investing in innovation, sustainable solutions, organic growth and bolt-on acquisitions, we intend to create long-term value for all our stakeholders and become the reference in paints and coatings.
We’re building our future on solid foundations – our long and proud heritage, our core principles and our values. Our success will be driven by our passion for paint, precise processes, powerful performance and proud people.
We have adopted a laser sharp focus towards delivering on our Winning together: 15 by 20 ambition as we continue our transformation into a focused paints and coatings company.
Our commercial teams are organized into business units, reporting to the Chief Operating Officer. Each business unit has a clear mandate to deliver on our 15 by 20 ambition.
The integration of all supply chain activities (including manufacturing and distribution) into a single, global Integrated Supply Chain (ISC) organization, has been a major transformation. We’re leveraging our scale and functional expertise more effectively, as well as accelerating continuous improvement through our AkzoNobel Leading Performance System (known as ALPS).
Putting precise processes in place
To ensure people across our organization can efficiently collaborate, we continue to invest in standardizing processes and aligned systems. Integrated Business Planning (IBP), a monthly decision-making process, results in a single operating plan and financial forecast for the company.
During 2019, we also put more focus on our key end-to-end processes, using reliable, real-time information for decision-making and hardwiring cost consciousness. This will enable us to drive further efficiencies, improve transparency and lower the cost of getting products to our customers.
The deployment of one common ERP (enterprise resource planning) system across all businesses is progressing well, enabling further cost savings and better management of operations and performance.
In addition, we continue to deliver significant cost savings by streamlining our support functions – for example by transferring activities to Global Business Services (GBS). Our Transformation Office is continuing to track all initiatives to ensure accountability of different teams for delivering cost savings and implementing new ways of working across the organization.
Building on our passion for paint
Our strategy is to build on our existing foundation by focusing on our strong brands, leading market positions, customer intimacy and innovation capabilities. We’re targeting acquisitions to boost our presence in key markets, generate synergies and give us access to new technologies.
In 2019, we strengthened our global position in aerospace coatings – notably in the structural and cabin coatings sub-segments – with the acquisition of Mapaero. We also announced the intended acquisition of Mauvilac Industries, a leading paints and coatings company in Mauritius. We continue to actively manage a pipeline of acquisition targets to proactively pursue potential opportunities that offer a strong strategic fit with our portfolio.
Proud people pushing the boundaries of innovation
Innovation is fundamental to our success. Our innovation group is led by our Chief Technology Officer and brings together the combined know-how of global experts who work on one, unified innovation road map. For us, innovation means going beyond conventional expectations, going beyond the imagination of our customers and going beyond generations.
A recent example of this is our Awlgrip HDT (high definition technology) topcoat, which combines protection, high performance and a stunning, long-lasting finish, all without sacrificing convenience during application.
Digital innovation is a key component. A great example of this was the two digital color innovations we introduced to the industrial and professional paint markets during 2019. Handy and compact, both the new Color Sensor and ColorFinder interact with a mobile phone to enable painters to find a precise color match for their clients in just seconds.
We’re also leading the paints and coatings industry through our Paint the Future innovation ecosystem. We began by launching an industry-first global startup challenge, which proved to be a big success. This was followed towards the end of the year by an open collaboration event with a wide range of selected suppliers. Encouraged by this success, we are now taking Paint the Future to the next level by staging a regional startup challenge in Brazil in early 2020.
Sustainability driving business success
Sustainability is a core principle and shapes what happens at AkzoNobel every day. Our new holistic approach to sustainability is called “People. Planet. Paint.” It’s designed to demonstrate the positive benefits of our products and services and how we can reduce the environmental impact of our own operations, along with those of our suppliers, customers and society in general. We continue to focus on actions aligned with the most relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We aim to remain the sustainability leader in the paints and coatings industry, offering the most sustainable and best performing portfolio of products to our customers. For more details, see the Sustainability statements.
Focused on powerful performance
In 2019, we again showed that we’re delivering on our promises. We demonstrated an impressive improvement in financial performance on the previous year, despite a soft macro-economic environment.
We completed the promised €2.5 billion share buyback plan and announced a new share buyback of €500 million, to be completed in the first half of 2020. Our cost discipline has delivered significant savings, while pricing initiatives also compensated for higher raw material costs.
AkzoNobel Leading Performance System.
Global Business Services, which covers functional support activities such as Human Resources, Finance and Information Management, as well as non-product related Procurement.