You may have heard the term: “Never change a running system (or machine).” If you are German or have lived in Germany for quite some time I would be quite surprised if you have never come across it. This term is in fact a German pseudo-Anglicism. It comes from the expression: “Never change a winning team.” That has a different relevance after all.

You might remember the quotes I mentioned about Zetschke, Darwin and that managing partner from a large consulting firm in Part 2 of this series blog: Change is an integral part of our lives and it is needed to stay competitive. It is needed to survive.

Let us think a little bit about the changes experienced in the last 20 years. Let’s go as far back as 1995. Mississippi became the last US state to ratify the 13th Amendment, officially outlawing slavery in America.

Yes, that happened in 1995! Actually, they voted for it in 1995 but failed to notify US archivist. In other words, the law only became official in 2013. How about that?

Ebay, Amazon, Wikipedia, and Yahoo launched their services in 1995. Yahoo launched in January 1994 but got incorporated in 1995. What would we do without these companies today? How many of you have a smart phone? Or better yet, how many do not have a smart phone? Who hasn’t used Amazon yet or received goods or services online?

We had an interesting discussion with an Ebay executive a few months ago. He was telling us about a start-up company that intended to sell clothes online. Investors laughed when they heard about that idea. They did not think it was possible to sell clothes online. People could only use one of their five senses to select the right clothes and that was thought to be impossible. The customer would not accept that. You can virtually even buy custom made clothes nowadays. The biggest retailer for clothes in Europe is Zalando, with USD 3 billion in revenues in 2015. They were founded only 7 years ago!

With every generation, people change. Take your kids, for those of you who have them. Six year olds use iPads as though they had always used them. They absorb new tech and ideas easily. That includes tactics and strategies to utilize technology better to make their daily lives easier and more efficient.

Think about these children today – they would rather send a message to their friends via SMS or WhatsApp, before picking up the phone to schedule a play date – my how things have changed, but, this is the world we live in…

Up to this point we haven’t mentioned one interesting expectation: by 2020, nearly 60 percent of the world’s population will be online, increasing the global connectivity manifold.

Why do we mention all this to you? We want to point out that the way we are going to do business in the future will be different.

For example, the first thing we do when we identify a new company to do business with is to look at their website. There is a good chance that we do not bother to continue if they do not have one. Fair enough if everybody else has a rubbish web presence and they have a product we really need, there is no choice. Step 2 is usually to find out a little bit more. Mostly, we look at the about us section and if we have the choice, we tend to go for the ones that look nicer and that have the information processed in such a way that is clearer and easier to understand. You may be thinking that B2B is different than B2C. Let’s make it very clear: “Yes” and a resounding “No”.

Stay tuned for Part 5, where we look at the benefits of adopting new technologies.

#DIGITALIZATION IN THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

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