Customer Orientation

BASF supplies products and services to over 90,000 customers 1 from various sectors in almost every country in the world. Our customer portfolio ranges from major global customers and medium-sized businesses to end consumers.

The graphic depicts the different stations along the value chain. The topics in this chapter address the station shown in dark blue. (here: BASF Customers) (graphic)

Over 90,000

customers from almost all sectors and countries in the world


in close partnership with our customers


thanks to in-depth expertise and wide range of resources

Customer industry orientation

  • Innovations and tailored solutions in close partnership with our customers
  • Updated corporate strategy aligns BASF even closer with customers

Our broad portfolio – from basic chemicals to high value-added products and system solutions – means that we are active in many value chains and value creation networks. As a result, we work with a wide range of business models, which we flexibly adapt to the needs of individual industries. These range from cost leadership to tailored, customer-specific solutions for downstream products. This industry orientation is primarily driven forward and enhanced by the divisions. Around half of our business units are oriented toward specific industries.

Aligning our business with our customers’ needs is our primary focus. Our ability to combine in-depth expertise with a wide range of resources to meet specific demands enables us to position BASF as a solution-oriented system provider.

Our updated corporate strategy puts an even greater focus on the customer. We aim to develop custom solutions that are both profitable and sustainable in close partnership with our customers, and optimize processes and applications. Our organization is being adapted accordingly so that we can work more effectively and efficiently and be even more customer-centric. We want to satisfy customer requests in a more focused and targeted way, and improve our reaction times. Our comprehensive understanding of value chains and value creation networks as well as our global setup and market knowledge remain key success factors.

We are also pursuing a series of measures that will, among other things, increase transparency for customers, enhance customer service and explore joint growth potential. To ensure even stronger customer communication and better understand our customers’ needs, we regularly ask them for direct feedback on how we are doing. This gives us a timely insight into customer satisfaction and we can use the findings to continuously improve our performance.

Quality management

Our customers’ satisfaction is the basis for long-term business success, which is why quality management is of vital significance for BASF. We strive to continually improve processes and products. This is also reflected in our Global Quality Policy. The majority of BASF’s production sites and business units are certified according to ISO 9001.2 In addition, we also meet industry and customer-specific quality requirements that go beyond the ISO standard.

Customer awards

We again received awards from a number of satisfied customers in 2018. For example, in April 2018 we were named a 2017 General Motors (GM) Supplier of the Year for the thirteenth time since 2002. The award is presented to suppliers who distinguish themselves by meeting performance metrics for quality, execution, innovation and total enterprise cost.

In October 2018, BASF was recognized by technology company 3M for its contribution to improving 3M’s competitiveness with the 2017 3M Supplier of the Year Award in the Technology & Innovation category.

BMW honored BASF in November 2018 with a BMW Supplier Innovation Award 2018 as the winner of the Sustainability category. BMW said that BASF achieved the best performance in CO2 emissions in the report published by the non-governmental organization CDP. BASF’s anchoring of the fight against climate change within the company was cited as another reason for the decision. In addition, BASF develops solutions that help its customers reduce CO2 emissions.

1 The method used to calculate customers in the previous year has been adjusted to the “sold-to” parties of our consolidated companies. The updated figure for 2017 is over 80,000 customers.

2 ISO 9001 is a standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and sets out the requirements for a quality management system.