SCOPEIN has its roots in the classic “Old Economy”. Our focus is on the chemical industry and its related branches, the energy and utility companies, as well as on machine building and plant manufacturing firms.
In addition, the field of transport, logistics and infrastructure comprises another area of our expertise.
After years of stability, the industry sectors that are based on chemistry have experienced a continual change of its fundamental structures.
Since the 1990s, the traditional “conglomerates” that were active in all areas from basic to agricultural chemistry, and from pharmaceutical products to biotechnology, have almost disappeared. New firms emerged as the results of spin-offs, disinvestments, acquisitions and fusions.
After the turn of the millennium, the further transformation process of the newly formed companies was intensified due to the drastically changing external conditions. The marked increase of raw material costs, fierce competition from other regions, the entry of venture capital into the markets and the uncertainties over the enforcement of patent rights directed the attention of the market participants to their core competencies and to the question of the proper strategy. Accordingly, it is imperative to react to these dynamic external conditions.
Ways to Improvement
SCOPEIN helps companies to enhance their performance, independent of the market segments formed and the product spectrum offered. Experience has shown that the business portfolio is especially optimized in four ways:
- Optimization of the acquisition and logistics costs
- Improvement of the customer and product portfolio management
- Strengthening of the sales and marketing focus
- Standardization of the internal processes and the services offered
Volatility and Disruption in the Energy Market
The current trend toward remote working and operations in business will likely continue to grow, not least as a way of managing the risk of future disruptions. Consequently, energy consumption can be expected to fall, supported by sustained energy conservation measures. Alongside this, electrification and renewable energy will keep expanding. Investments in fossil fuel are already declining. This is partially in response to climate change, but also a reaction to ever smaller returns, as evidenced by the continued drop in the oil price.
A key element in accelerating the energy transition is decentralization. This is a shift away from the traditional utility business model, in which monopolist power companies distribute their energy from large power plants to the end-user. What replaces it is a distributed energy network with a democratic business model in which energy consumers manage their own energy portfolio. Such a set-up could include renewables, homes and factories, batteries, and fuel cells, to name a few. In the centralized model, more power is generated and distributed when demand peaks. In a decentralized system, demand response is used to manage distribution and grid stability.
Critical to the success of such schemes is digital transformation, which has received a further boost in the wake of the pandemic. A high degree of sophisticated automation and analytics is needed to manage a system powered by an increasing variety of energy sources. Supporting technologies such as predictive artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things, and blockchain are critical to analyzing demand and adjusting how much power is drawn from where across the distributed grid. To date, these kinds of applications have not been fully exploited in the power industry. To orchestrate the individual parts of new power ecosystems effectively, it’s critical for digitalization to move from this current “casual IT” stage – where many companies are still mainly experimenting – to a “serious IT” stage, where digital technologies become mature, fully integrated and business-critical. Many still need to scale and undergo more standardization before new distributed networks can truly settle down..
SCOPEIN helps guide internationally operating energy companies in the implementation of structural changes. In the process regarding organizational design, it is particularly essential to reconcile the legal (anti-trust) regulations with the organizational efficiency. Powerful companies that are equipped for the coming challenges in the energy market thereby emerge.
Commodities – Scarce Resources, subject to shocks
Almost all commodity prices recovered in the third quarter of 2020 following steep declines earlier in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Crude oil prices have doubled since their April low, supported by sharp oil supply cuts by OPEC+, but prices remain one-third lower than their pre-pandemic levels. Metal prices recovered rapidly in response to a faster-than-expected pick up in China’s industrial activity. Some food prices have also risen due to production shortfalls in edible oils. Looking ahead, oil prices are expected to increase very gradually from current levels and average $44/bbl in 2021, up from an estimated $41/bbl in 2020, as a slow recovery in demand is matched by an easing in supply restrictions. Metal and agricultural prices are projected to see modest gains of 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively, in 2021. The main risk to the price forecasts is the duration of the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic is a shock to global commodity markets that presents a challenge to policy makers in commodity exporters: to the extent that it is short-lived, policy stimulus can buffer its impact; to the extent that it is lasting, policy makers need to allow their economies to adjust smoothly to a new normal. Identifying the duration of commodity price shocks is a challenge that frequently confronts policy makers in commodity exporters, as documented in a Special Focus section. The Focus finds that industrial commodity markets are mainly buffeted by transitory shocks, whereas agricultural commodity markets are chiefly subject to permanent shocks.
What We Offer
We support our industry customers in the investigation of your commodity market dynamics and the derivation of custom-fit strategies. We also support our customers that act as providers or suppliers to the commodity markets in the development of appropriate strategies for the future.
Furthermore, SCOPEIN supports its customers in the analysis and realization of growth prospects. In addition to the assessment of national and international investment projects, we also help in the search for interested partners and acquisition goals at home and abroad.
Through globalization, machine building and plant manufacturing are subject to an intense competitive pressure that drives it into cost-effective production of its high-quality products, rapid innovation cycles and short development and processing times.
Based on the company strategy, SCOPEIN analyzes the technological situation, the existing infrastructure, the products and the business markets of the client and deduces optimization measures from these on varying time scales.
Against the background of the strong export dependence in the machine building and plant manufacturing sectors, SCOPEIN is especially supportive in the search for and selection of foreign cooperation partners and acquisition goals for production and sales. Upon request, we also support and advise on company mergers and their integration. We can draw on a broadly built project expertise on this matter, particularly for the fast-growing nations of Russia, China and India.
For machine builders and plant construction firms that develop and produce based on customer orders, a knowledge management system is a strategic answer to the market speculations on the price, quality, delivery time and innovation drivers. Through our experience in conceptual design and implementation support, long-lasting synergy potential can be demonstrated and realized for the company.
Our consulting along the value chain is based on a broad, tested and approved method portfolio and is focused on the decrease of costs e.g. through process optimization/standardization in product development, purchasing, production and logistics, and on the opening of new markets for after-sales activities. Here, opportunities present themselves for the machine builders and plant construction firms, which are typically product-oriented, to offer high-quality services to the market as a system supplier and to differentiate themselves from the competition.