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By Gregory Hale
With the economy starting the slow turnaround back to profitability, manufacturers need to make sure they continue working toward a continuation of a collaborative model. Continuing with the status quo for any company will contribute toward its demise.

“We have to think of new ways to do business,” said Andy Chatha, president and founder of ARC Advisory Group during his keynote address this week at the ARC World Industry Forum: Driving Innovation, Sustainability, and Performance in Orlando, FL. “New solutions enable new business models. We are going to continue to see this type of transformation take place. You truly have to bring your entire organization together.”

When Chatha talked about bringing everyone together he coined the phrase Collaborative Value Network (CVN). By creating a CVN, Chatha believes manufacturers can compete effectively and better utilize IT tools throughout the entire network. That will speed and optimize innovation, production and delivery of goods and services, he said.

He also added for CVN to be successful there has to be complete buy in from the board room all the way through the enterprise.

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Along those same lines David Ritter, president of The Haymarket Group and former oil and gas industry executive, said during his keynote from the oil and gas industry perspective, with the demand for energy continuing to grow, things will have to change.

“Innovation and technologies are critical for the oil and gas industry moving forward,” he said.

Today’s new business model means no one company can stand still and hope to survive.

“The pace of change and the speed of change are on everyone’s mind,” said Don Taylor, vice president of manufacturing and engineering, advanced materials division at Dow Chemical. “We have to leave incremental change behind and accelerate that level.”

Taylor mentioned a point in time a few years ago when Dow was at a crossroads. “We knew we had to change. We had to take what we learned in the past and apply it to the current scenario.”

Part of that change included Dow’s 2008 merger with Rohm and Haas. “We came to believe in the strength of two and the power of one,” Taylor said. “We had to collaborate more than we ever did before.”

One of the byproducts of collaborating and truly learning from the acquisition was improving safety at the company, which ended up being a point of pride.

Taylor said they reduced process safety incidents by 50%; the loss of primary containment incidents went down by 50%, spill quantity went down by 70% and reduced injuries and severe injuries by 50%.

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