Business models and customer relations

Customer relations

  • Classical chemicals business: reliable and cost-effective supply
  • Customized products: joint projects to develop products or formulations for a specific industry
  • Functionalized materials and solutions: close partnerships to jointly improve customer processes and applications through innovations

BASF’s customer portfolio ranges from major global customers and medium-sized regional businesses to local workshops. We align our business models and sales channels with the respective customer groups and market segments. In line with our strategic principle, “We add value as one company,” we have optimized our organizational structure and more tightly bundled our products and services. This enables us to even better address the needs of customers from different sectors.

In the classical chemicals business, we mostly sell the chemicals produced in our Verbund in bulk. These comprise basic products from the Chemicals segment, such as steam cracker products, sulfuric acid, plasticizers, caprolactam and TDI. For these basic chemicals, our priority is on supplying customers reliably and cost-effectively. Marketing is carried out partly via e-commerce.

We manufacture a broad range of customized products, particularly in the Performance Products segment – from vitamins, personal care ingredients and color pigments to paper chemicals and plastic additives. In joint projects, we work closely together with customers from an early stage in order to develop new products or formulations for a specific industry. A worldwide network of development laboratories allows us to quickly adapt our products to local needs.

We offer functionalized materials and solutions tailored to customers’ requirements, particularly in the Functional Materials & Solutions and Agricultural Solutions segments. These include, for example, engineering plastics, concrete additives, coatings and crop protection products. We enter into close partnerships with customers to develop innovations together which help them optimize their processes and applications. Our understanding of the entire value chain as well as our global setup and market knowledge are key success factors here.

Industry orientation

  • Around half of business units geared toward specific industries
  • Industry teams pool cross-unit expertise, knowledge and contacts
  • Systematic, structured development of our industry orientation as important part of “We create chemistry” strategy

We serve customers from many different sectors with a broad portfolio of diverse competencies, processes, technologies and products. Around half of our business units are geared toward specific industries. By combining expertise and resources, we position ourselves as a solution-oriented system provider for our customers.

Not all business units can be arranged purely according to industry, however. That is why BASF creates sector-specific “industry teams,” such as those for key customer sectors like the automotive, pharmaceutical and packaging industries, or for growth fields like wind energy. They pool expertise, knowledge and contacts across different units, sharpen our understanding of the value chains in customer industries and work on industry-specific solutions that often could not be developed within one operating division alone. For example, as the largest supplier to the furniture industry, BASF has an industry team for furniture. This is where we work together with customers on solutions for more resistant coatings, innovative surfacing materials and new foams for cushions.

The close alignment of our business with our customers’ needs is an important component of our “We create chemistry” strategy. We therefore aim to keep systematically and structurally enhancing our industry orientation in the future.