Integration of BASF Industrial Coatings into AkzoNobel Metal Coatings

In late 2015/early 2016, AkzoNobel announced its intention to acquire BASF Industrial Coatings. This BASF business unit comprises five segments: Coil Coatings, Foil Coatings, Wind (Energy) Coatings, General Industries and Commercial Transport. The takeover related to the (largely) worldwide distribution of the BASF Industrial Coatings products as well as to two manufacturing facilities plus a contract manufacturing agreement for the production of the range of BASF industrial coatings in plants in Germany, Argentina, Spain and Japan for a three-year period.

Concrete preparations for the takeover and integration began in April 2016 and the actual go-live for the integrated distribution activities was on 15 December 2016. For the duration of that phase all activities were still subject to approval by various authorities, such as the EU. In such a transitional period, until the acquisition has been officially approved, both the acquiring company and the company to be acquired have limited access to the input of their own employees, since members of the project team could have gathered a disproportionate amount of information from the other party. This situation is normally resolved by forming so-called ‘clean teams’ and by bringing in employees from both sides who are not immediately involved in the direct business. Another alternative is to enlist the help of external partners.

In the context of the latter option, Involvation was asked to manage the supply chain-related activities in this process by providing a work stream lead and any additional resources as necessary. Involvation responded to this request by deploying one of its employees who had long-standing experience within AkzoNobel. He was responsible for the day-to-day planning of all the necessary activities such as distribution network analysis & design, contracting logistics service providers, managing the IT-related supply chain activities and process design.

Following the go-live, Involvation supported AkzoNobel by moving from a work strem lead role to an interim supply chain manager role supplemented by additional resources in support of the distribution and planning activities.

The initial activities relating to the transfer of production from AkzoNobel to BASF are now under way. These changes have a direct impact on the supply chain of AkzoNobel Industrial Coatings. Involvation is helping AkzoNobel to design and implement the new supply chain setup and organisation during the production transfer as well as the ultimate situation in which the BASF Industrial Coatings business will be fully integrated into the various AkzoNobel Performance Coatings business units.

It is far better to be approximately right, than precisely wrong
Carveth Read