Solving Customer Problems: Top Three Attributes to Drive Success

By: James Ni, Senior Vice President, Latex Binders

- Tuesday, August 17, 2021

At Trinseo, we have 70+ years of experience developing, commercializing, and industrializing latex binders solutions for the textiles and paper & board markets. Over the past few years, these markets have matured, prompting our company to seek out new market opportunities, such as CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers), that offer higher margins, less cyclicality, and more growth potential. To be successful in navigating both our newly entered and our established industries, we’ve focused our strategy on becoming the best materials provider at solving customer problems and selling that value. We identified three core focuses that will help us do just this:

Better Solutions, Quicker

To differentiate ourselves and meet customer expectations, we not only need to solve their materials challenges, but we also need to do so quickly. Because customers often work with multiple suppliers to determine who can develop the best solution, moving faster with product development is at the center of our strategy for success. As a smaller, more nimble company, we’re often one of the first to the table with solutions. To enhance this, we also embrace strategic partnerships to drive our innovation strategy, accelerate development, and expand our manufacturing capabilities.

Flexibility, Proactivity, Accountability

Throughout our organization, we encourage our colleagues to embrace our cultural competencies of proactivity, agility, accountability, collaboration, and engagement – otherwise known as PA2CE – in our daily work. These attributes are crucial to our ability to best solve customer problems, and we lean into them with all of our decision making. Not only does this apply to how our employees’ approach problem solving, but also how we tackle asset planning and develop our internal capabilities. For example, while textiles and paper & board are typically high-volume businesses, our focus on CASE has required us to be agile in pivoting to develop the manufacturing capabilities to meet the smaller volume demands of this market.

Customer-Centric Problem Solving

Finally, being the best at solving our customers’ materials challenges requires that we have a customer-first mentality throughout our workforce. We strive to work hand-in-hand with our customers and develop close relationships that allow us to more fully understand the scope of their materials challenges and to subsequently deliver the best solutions to address those challenges. Part of this approach includes ensuring we have a robust workforce of talent with the right materials expertise, and application know-how to be successful. This plays into our hiring strategy, but also our commercial training and skills development programs, which help ensure our workforce has the skillsets necessary to go to market and deliver on customer needs.

In opening our organization to new market opportunities, we’ve identified that we can be most successful in solving our customers’ problems if we innovate quickly, stay nimble in our operations, and maintain an unwavering dedication to customer-centric business. We will lean into these areas in the years to come to establish ourselves as the best materials provider for delivering innovative solutions that solve customer problems quickly and effectively.

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