Witco Specialty Fluids

The goal was to develop a strategic five-year plan to step up sales and profitability.

From the letter by Bruce G. Orr, Vice President, Specialty Fluids, OrganoSilicones Group.

In the spring of 1998 Witco engaged (Complexity Solutions) to assist the Specialty Fluids Business in their strategic planning for the future of the business. The challenge was to plan for a step function in sales while improving margins. The plan horizon was 5 years, looking out to 2002.

Witco agreed to use the group process developed by (Complexity Solutions) that utilizes their Synplex software. It is a unique and powerful tool for handling the language-based information generated by the participants. It also fosters a great sense of ownership and team building.

Over a period of six days, (Complexity Solutions) facilitated the group through the process. The facilitated dialogue helped to rigorously define the key issues and the software structured their relationships. The set of key issues for dealing with current operations and future needs were clearly identified. The process then supported the definition of the objectives that needed to be achieved to fully deal with all the key issues, not just a limited subset. With these objectives in hand, the process then helped the group construct a detailed, time sequenced action plan for implementation. The results of this process came in two stages. In the first stage the plan was accepted without revision by the Witco executive team. In the second implementation phase which began in July 1998, the following results have been obtained:

a) Like many businesses, in 1998 the Witco Specialty Chemicals business was hard hit by the collapse of the Russian economy, the Asian region ‘meltdown’ and the financial crisis in Latin America. Sales dropped substantially.

b) In spite of the general world economic situation, the business stuck to the strategic plan and the restructuring of the business.

c) By the IQ99 the business has not only begun to recover but had reached the major step function in profitability which was a key milestone embodied in the new plan.

With these results in hand I would strongly recommend other business leaders to seriously consider using (Complexity Solutions) to assist them in dealing with complex, difficult business issues.