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About this practice

Learn how we help clients build capabilities and capture new opportunities while addressing powerful forces reshaping the chemicals industry.

Powerful forces are reshaping the chemicals industry, and as a result, the formula for success in its markets. In response to the global economic slowdown, volatile energy prices, and a general economic shift toward the east, new chemicals players must build capabilities and incumbents must sharpen their value propositions—and players across the industry must expand into new products and geographies. Our industry experience and global reach make us uniquely positioned to help our clients address these evolving challenges—and capture new opportunities.

Who we are

McKinsey's Chemicals Practice is a global network of chemical experts and practitioners. At any point in time, approximately 250 consultants are involved in chemicals-related client projects. In the past five years alone, our Chemicals Practice has supported clients across the world on more than 1,000 tactical and strategic projects.

What we do

We have served the majority of global leaders in the chemicals industry, as well as midsized organizations, start-ups, and leading private equity companies. We have a global perspective on the chemicals industry's challenges and opportunities—and how they differ in emerging and mature markets. We offer strategic advice on topics across the value chain, including corporate and business-unit strategy, organization, post-merger management, growth, innovation, performance management, and all aspects of operational improvement.

We combine our experience in functional topics with our expertise in the following materials:

  • basic inorganic chemicals such as olefins, aromatics, and chlor-alkali
  • polymers, including thermoplastics, elastomers, and synthetic fibers
  • specialty and formulated chemicals, including pharmaceutical and food ingredients, electronic chemicals, water-treatment chemicals, and adhesives and sealants
  • advanced materials such as composites and ceramics
  • agricultural inputs such as crop protection, fertilizers, and seeds; as well as products along the entire agriculture value-chain
  • cement

Research and insights

Our global team of knowledge professionals has access to a variety of resources, ranging from high-level market forecasts to detailed information about specific chemical products. We also invest heavily in developing state-of-the-art tools that help our clients get the insights they need to operate more successfully. For example:

  • part of our suite of proprietary benchmarking tools, Innomatics helps clients compare their innovation performance against their peers, while M&S Matics benchmarks their marketing and sales function
  • Periscope, one of the many tools we use to help clients increase their profitability, works to create better pricing
  • our proprietary segment databases contain up-to-date product and market information on a wide range of chemical segments, from bio-based chemicals to micro-markets in the cement industry

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