Customers are central to Arkema's strategy and its innovation. We are committed to establishing a close relationship with our customers, in particular through a program of commercial excellence and strategic partnerships.
Our business excellence program to better serve our customers
Meeting customer expectations and promoting the Group's variety of solutions are the two main challenges of Arkema's commercial excellence program launched in 2018. This priority cross-functional initiative, supported by all our business units, aims to position Arkema among the best in the industry in this area. The program involves the company's business and sales community, made up of 1,200 men and women who are in direct contact with our customers every day,
With a view to better listening to the customer and better ability to manage the stages of progression of new business opportunities, this project has enabled the deployment of commercial processes and digital tools to facilitate collaboration between the Group's different activities. Arkema has also set up an inter-business unit key account management system and developed marketing content for its sales force, highlighting Arkema's entire product offering by market to help them respond to customers as effectively as possible.
The impact of this sales excellence initiative was assessed in 2020 through a customer satisfaction survey of all Arkema customers, which will be renewed over time.
Focus: Feeling the Pulse of our Customers
A recent global customer satisfaction survey allows us to understand how our customers feel about us and how they prioritize our values. It also arms us with critical intelligence that empowers us to make improvements and to grow our business.
Arkema completed a digital global customer satisfaction survey between February 19th and March 4th 2020, addressing 100% of its B-to-B customers in all three regions. The customer list was extracted from our Salesforce database and the survey was deployed using our Marketo marketing automation tool and the Qualtrics “voice of customer” tool.
The goal of the survey was to enable us to understand our customers’ real priorities and expectations, together with their relative satisfaction with our performance – particularly in comparison with our direct competitors. Further, the extreme attention given to the Voice of the Customers through this questionnaire, is fully in line with the CSR policy and ambitions of Arkema on a global basis
Over 37,000 contacts were surveyed, and 2,700 actively responded.
Overall, the respondents awarded Arkema a CSAT (customer satisfaction score) of 84/100. This corresponded to 84% saying they are “satisfied” with a rating between 7 and 10..
Customers were further questioned, and provided insights on four major dimensions:
- Products & Service
This data can now be analyzed on a more granular level – by BU, region, market, key account etc. Additionally, a significant amount of open comments (freeform text) have been collected and analyzed, leading to several action plans across our business units aiming at improving the customer experience in order to protect and grow our business.
The survey will be repeated on a regular basis in the future in order to monitor our evolution and to drive continuous improvement. Arkema remains committed to best in class customer centricity. Listening to the voice of our customer is paramount to our commercial excellence ambition.
To strengthen its customer relationships over the long term, Arkema forges strategic
partnerships with key customers that are leaders in their markets or areas of expertise.
Some relate to industrial developments, such as the partnership with Daikin in refrigerants or with CJ CheilJedang and Novus in Thiochemicals. Others are innovationoriented, like the partnerships signed in 2018 and 2019 with Hexcel in thermoplastic composites and Carbon® in 3D printing.
Two examples of close collaborations with clients in the composites sector
After forming a strategic alliance in 2018 to develop thermoplastic composite solutions for the aerospace industry, Arkema and Hexcel opened a joint research and development laboratory in 2019, combining the expertise of Hexcel in carbon fiber and that of Arkema in PEKK. The companies’ objective at this new lab is to develop carbon fi ber-reinforced thermoplastic pre-preg tapes to enable lightweight parts to be produced for future generations of aircraft. The goal is to offer cost-effective solutions to meet the need for lightweight parts and faster production speeds in the aerospace and defense sectors.
In 2020, Arkema was a co-founder of the ZEBRA (Zero wastE Blade ReseArch) project driven by the French Technological Research Institute -Jules Verne, which brings together leading players and technical centres around an ambitious project addressing the design and production of the first 100% recyclable wind turbine blade. Arkema is actively taking part in this project with its liquide thermoplastic Elium® resin, and strenghtening its position as a key player in thermoplastic composite market. This resin is perfectly in line with the circular economy approach that the Group has initiated for both its operations and its products. Arkema is at the heart of this consortium alongside Canoe, Engie, LM Wind Power, Owens Corning and Suez, and contribute to the development of environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions for wind power with its expertise in high performance materials.
The relations with stakeholders