This morning Nexam’s recently appointed CEO Anders Spetz sent out a summary about his first 100 days on the job:
“Most of you who are interested in Nexam Chemical, have noticed that we have been moderate with our communication so far this year. As the new CEO, I have chosen to consciously use my first hundred days to form a proper understanding of the business. It is clear that we, during the last year, not have been able to deliver on our own and others expectations. With this background it is even more important to know where we stand.
Just as I expected, I can now say that there is a lot that is working well. Pleasingly to say, the potential in our technology, as a platform for creating customer value, is one of these areas. This is confirmed again and again in the activities we are engaged in, together with our partners, in order to reach the market with our first volume products.
However, I have also noticed that there are a lot of areas where I am not at all pleased with our efforts so far, and these are the once we will focus on in the future.
The management team and I have, for the last two months, made a thorough analysis of the business. The work has been done from both a technical as well as a commercial perspective. We have reached a number of conclusions which will result in a number of changes within the company. In simple terms, the business so far has focused too much on the development of new molecules with exciting features and less on how these should be applied to create concrete customer value. The main changes that we are implementing is that we go:
- from a slow, perennial, business development cycle, primarily focused towards research and development clients, to a faster, semi-long, business cycle, where we approach customers within the areas of conversion, compounding and recycling of plastic, i.e. we broaden our customer base by moving forward in the value chain.
- from a laboratory operation, focused on developing new chemistry and new molecules, to a more concrete application development, focused on customer value and customer benefits.
- from an organization where most of the resources work with development, to an organization where a significant part of the resources are allocated towards sales and application support.
Now, we are building a small but skilled and motivated team with the capacity to drive Nexam Chemical’s commercialization process.
As a first step in this process, I am very pleased and satisfied to announce that Lars Öhrn has chosen to join us as our new CMO (Chief Marketing Officer). Lars brings to Nexam Chemical a solid marketing and sales experience from the plastic industry that we intend to address. He has held a number of senior roles both within polymer manufacturing and plastic processing companies. His most recent position was as Market Application Manager with Borouge in Abu Dhabi. Lars’ knowledge and insight of how to generate value for the customer and the in-depth knowledge of applications, contributes greatly to drive our efforts in the right direction.
Our NEXIMID® business develops positively within high-performance polymers, especially for polyimides. However, this is a relatively small market with limited volume and profitability potential. During the current year, we will put more resources into delivering a strong “proof of concept” with our technology in the prioritized high-volume segment. A first step is commercialization of applications within PE-pipes, and a variety of film and foam, based on PET, PE and PE.
We have also, in parallel with the re-focus towards market and sales, reviewed the company costs. Together with the management team I have initiated a cost reduction program, which significantly will reduce our costs already during this year.
As can be seen, and here I want to be clear, I think Nexam Chemical should have progressed further than we have in terms of commercialization of our technology. We have put too little emphasis on in-depth analysis and evaluation of our customer offers and have been unable to focus on the right market segment. Our sales efforts have been fragmented with activities on a far too low level. With this said, it is always easy to be wise after. To develop Nexam Chemical’s type of business takes time, longer time than we have earlier thought and communicated.
With this update, I hope to provide Nexam Chemical’s shareholders and business partners an up to date picture of where the company stands right now. Also, I want to emphasize that my first hundred days are over and now I have, together with the management team and the board, set a clear agenda and activity plan on how to go forward. Currently, we are working intensively in order to demonstrate to our customers and other stakeholders that, by using Nexam Chemical’s chemistry, it is possible to create significant customer value and also value for all of us having an interest in Nexam Chemical!