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Chemicals

Transformations & Impact Partnerships

Unlocking your full potential

Many chemical companies are seeing untapped opportunities and themes such as sustainability opening up new growth vectors. At the same time, major trends — such as reductions in certain areas of global trade/investments, declining demand for some products, market volatility, and increased actions to address climate change — create challenges for the industry.

Chemical companies need to transform to keep up with a changing world, rise to capital market expectations, prepare for sustainability requirements, and stay ahead of the competition.

We set the organization up for success by aligning leadership and teams, and focusing on the skills and motivation needed to execute the transformation. We mirror our client’s organization with our expertise, combining functional, transformational, and sustainability expertise with deep chemicals experience to ensure our recommendations and plans make sense for their business. Additionally, we invest heavily in capability building as a core element for enabling lasting change beyond the transformation.

McKinsey’s transformation recipe has helped hundreds of organizations across the globe quickly make step change improvements to their performance, which is why chemical clients can hit the ground running, confident that they are working with a recipe proven to deliver sustainable impact.

>50

chemical-industry clients in large-scale transformational programs

up to 15

percentage points of potential improvement in EBITDA

>12,500

employees trained in transformation engagements to date

Examples of our work

Comprehensive transformation of chemicals company

A chemicals company was facing substantial debt and legacy liabilities amid strong business headwinds, leading to criticism from the market and media. The client approached McKinsey to undergo a full transformation, starting with an Independent Diligence exercise to identify the full potential across the entire business, then creating a robust implementation plan to deliver this value and building their capabilities. Within 12 months of implementation, organizational health improved dramatically, 90% of employees graduated from McKinsey’s capability-building program, 80% of run-rate value was executed, costs decreased, and hundreds of millions of dollars hit the company’s bottom-line.

Helping to right the ship for a specialty chemicals company

A specialty chemicals company was in danger of running out of cash. By pairing internal insight with external expertise, McKinsey helped turn the company around. We worked with the organization on a suite of initiatives, including cash generation, re-organization, decomplexing, top-down cost cutting, and network optimization. In addition, the team established a central Transformation Office, institutionalized capability building, and set-up of a highly mandated holistic business excellence organization (resourced with top talent) to be a continuous source of impact. As a result of a 2+ year impact partnership, McKinsey helped the client achieve 5bn in value creation and a 10pp EBITDA improvement.

Featured experts

Daniel Aminetzah
Senior Partner, New York
Advises global agricultural and specialty chemicals companies—along with investors in the sector—on corporate strategy, M&A, and...
Ryan Davies
Senior Partner, Washington DC
Helps clients execute large-scale transformations to create substantial and enduring improvements in organizational performance...
Michael Glaschke
Senior Partner, Munich
Advises clients on corporate- and business-function transformations in a broad range of industries and guides energy, chemical,...
John Warner
Senior Partner, Cleveland
Coleads the firm’s Global Energy and Materials Practice.
Anna Littmann
Partner, Frankfurt
Designs and implements company-wide performance transformations with a focus on the chemical, agricultural, and healthcare industries
Dr. Christoph Schmitz
Senior Partner, Frankfurt
Leads global capital excellence work by helping clients optimize portfolios, design projects, and improve execution. He supports...
Alexander Klei
Partner, Zurich
Leads our industrial sector in Switzerland and helps companies develop winning strategies, effectively manage and integrate M&A,...
Georg Winkler
Senior Partner, Berlin
Advises companies in business-to-business industries, particularly the chemicals sector, as they set new strategies and boost...
Ulrich Weihe
Senior Partner, Frankfurt
Provides guidance on Strategy, M&A, Restructuring and Transformation, R&D and Merger Management for chemical, biotech and process...
Jakob Ruden
Partner, Cologne
Brings distinct expertise in finance and operations to support clients in executing and sustaining at-scale transformations
Tom Kolaja
Partner, London
Coleads our activist response work in Europe and leads global clients undergoing transformation, managing through distress, or...

Featured capabilities

Wave

Tracking transformation performance remotely and securely to the bottom-line with a proven program-management platform

OrgSolutions

Providing a data-driven view into organizational health with quantitative diagnostics and benchmarking

Ability to Execute

Building capabilities to sustain transformational change through scalable learning programs

Related practices

McKinsey Transformation

Changing trajectories through holistic interventions in performance, capabilities, and health

Organization

Learn how our consultants combine analytical rigor and deep experience to help organizations strengthen both short-term performance and long-term health.

Connect with our Chemicals Practice