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04/07/09
State of Chemical Industry. LinkedIn Responses
Filed under: Recent Posts
Posted by: site admin @ 5:10 am

Responses in a LinkedIn forum to a query about the
causes of the current status of the chemical
business
in the US where, as one respondent put it,
there is a decline in some of the big names in
American
business, include:

- OFF-SHORING: shift in the business model to
focus on cost of operations
which does not include
the social costs of unemployment and dislocation. 
The low “cost of operations” countries
   dissolves the America’’s manufacturing
infrastructure,
   demotivates science and engineering professionals
and students from innovating and producing valued
goods and
    tips the scale of trade making the service economy
a debtor economy.

- CHEMICAL FEEDSTOCKS continuing use of
suboptimal designs which floods pollutants into
unregulated areas.  This points out the uneven
regulatory control of processes and the lack of
strategic R&D to evolve and invent processes
with less waste.  Manufacturing goes to locations
where the feedstocks are closer and no one is
looking.  Price jumps, due to supply and demand
and the global slowdown, confuse this even
further.

Comments suggest that revitalization can happen
with major shifts in
  -strategic R&D (longer term focus), 
  -practical fact based regulation of production
and disposal (instead of politicized regulation) and
  -strategic management of human capital as an asset
(instead of a cost to be disposed).

2 Responses to “State of Chemical Industry. LinkedIn Responses”

  1. site admin Says:
    Recent article in C&eN cites American Chemical Council
    economist forecasting a 3% drop in chemical employment
    in 2009. At the same time 10% salary cuts, dropping 401K
    co-pays, and eliminating bonuses are surfacing (note: not
    being announced)
  2. site admin Says:
    The WSJ in an Emplyee Benefits insert on April 2,
    points out how investment choices are becoming
    more restrictive and health care insurance is
    significantly more limited in a number of firms.

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