My view for the future is crystal clear, says Chidichimo

8th of October 2012 Article by Pedro Chidichimo
My view for the future is crystal clear, says Chidichimo

Pedro Chidichimo of Diversey, which is part of Sealed Air, writes his latest exclusive blog for ECJ. He says he has a clear view of how the industry will change in the near future.

I am often asked about the way I see the future for our industry. Although I am not a futurologist and I can't predict what driving forces will shape the global landscape too early in advance, I do have a clear view about the changes that are coming on board the boat these stormy days.

I have a clear view of what products and services our customers will demand in the next few years, what our shareholders will demand, and what social, labour, and regulations challenges we will meet. Leading global companies are showing us the way:

• Globalisation - Our customers are also being globalised, so they will demand standard and consistent solutions and same service levels anywhere they operate.

According to a recent study, purchasing decisions will be made centrally, with an increased level of demand for standardised deployment of the contracts in all parts of the world. At the same time, the growing lack of local employees will increase competition for talent and it will in turn increase the focus on automation.

Leading beverage companies like Coca Cola have understood this trend and are investing heavily in growing regions to have a global presence.

• Technology and innovation - after the 'industrial Era', the 'information era', the quantity and quality of technology around us is such that we are very close to what I call the 'automation era'. Vehicles that navigate in autopilot mode, self-service websites that deliver your order to your doorstep with the click of a mouse.

Breakthrough innovation will be the only way to compete. Leading global retailers like Walmart are making now intensive use of training and reporting e-tools that help them monitor their Food Safety initiatives in real time, in every store.

• Environmental protection - in spite of the apparent lack of agreement between governments on carbon emission regulation, more and more nations are passing more stringent environmental protection laws. The EPA in the US, and the European Union regulators are more demanding every year.

From a regulation perspective, it will be mandatory to fully document our environmental footprint: water, energy, waste, and in general CO2 footprint. From a commercial perspective, our customers will not accept any product or service that is not designed to be sustainable.

Leading hospitality chain Accor is already incorporating sustainability measures in its bidding processes.

• Business optimisation - snd don't forget to do all this in a profitable way. Your shareholders will be looking at the value you create. Consolidating to grow is the only long term path to get a bigger size; marginal growth rates in overdeveloped regions will take you nowhere.

The outsourcing trend is strong and driven by cost reduction and productivity gains. Leading facility management company ISS is acting boldly and outsourcing everything that is not core to their key strengths, in order to build equity for their shareholders.

Now change everywhere you read 'will' for 'are'. The future is here, the future is now.

Sometimes I get too concerned that all we strive to do in these current times is turn the crystal ball around to find a crack in it... instead of looking through it.

If we fail to see through it, we will not find that these global trends are already among us. It is a clear vision I have, proven by leading global companies, and it is not the time to yield to doubt or fear. The new world is in front of us.


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