Customer Orientation

Our customers are our number one priority. We want to view everything we do through the lens of customer relevance. BASF supplies products and services to around 100,000 customers1 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.

1 The number of customers refers to all external companies (sold-to parties) that had contracts with the BASF Group in the business year concerned under which sales were generated.

Around 100,000

customers from almost all sectors and countries in the world

Innovations and tailored solutions

in close partnership with our customers


thanks to in-depth expertise and wide range of resources

Customer focus and customer industry orientation

  • BASF puts customers at the center of its decisions and activities
  • Closer dialog with our customers to increase customer satisfaction

To be the world’s leading chemical company for our customers, we want to further strengthen our customer focus throughout the entire organization. This is why we are aligning our business even closer with the needs of our customers.

Our diverse 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 use various business strategies, 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.

We are continually refining our organization to even better meet the different needs of our customers. In 2019, we embedded significant parts of our functional services – including parts of research and development, IT, procurement, human resources and communications – into the operating divisions. This makes the operating divisions more agile, enabling them to target specific market demands and differentiate themselves from the competition. We also simplified processes to make the way we work more effective, more efficient and more agile. The objective is to satisfy customer requests in a more focused and targeted way and improve our reaction times so that our customers experience a new BASF.

We aim to put the customer at the center of our decisions and everything we do. Our ability to optimally combine our in-depth expertise with our wide range of resources reflects our ambition to be more than just a supplier. We position ourselves as a solution-oriented system provider. We want to work closely with our partners to develop custom solutions that are both profitable and sustainable. We contribute our expertise to optimize processes and applications together with our customers.

BASF and HYMER: Creating innovation together

The VisionVenture concept vehicle is a good example of how we create innovations for the future in close partnership with our customers. BASF and HYMER GmbH & Co. KG, Bad Waldsee, Germany, the European market leader for motor homes and campers, show what a campervan could look like in 2025. More than 20 BASF solutions open up entirely new design options and functionalities, including various high-performance plastics, over 100 3D-printed components, a tailored package of measures for preventing noises and vibrations, and a new coating technology. In less than twelve months, HYMER and BASF together turned their ideas and expertise into a near-production concept campervan. The VisionVenture was unveiled to the public in August 2019.

BASF und HYMER: BASF and HYMER: Creating innovation together (Photo)

To even better understand our customers’ needs, we regularly ask them for feedback on our performance. In 2019, we rolled out the Net Promoter System® worldwide to establish ongoing, closer dialog with customers and further increase customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. This digital platform creates a framework to learn from feedback and respond quickly.

In 2019, we also worked on an expanded IT-based customer relationship management system. We want to roll out this state-of-the-art, even more user-friendly application in 2020 to help sales employees deliver customer support.

We are also pursuing a series of measures that will increase transparency for our customers, enhance customer service and explore joint growth potential. Our comprehensive understanding of value chains and value creation networks as well as our global setup and market knowledge remain key success factors.

Quality management

Our customers’ satisfaction is the basis for our 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 our 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.

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

Customer awards

We again received awards from a number of satisfied customers in 2019. For example, in May 2019 we were named a 2018 General Motors (GM) Supplier of the Year for the fourteenth time since 2002. The award is presented to suppliers who distinguish themselves by meeting performance metrics for quality, execution, innovation and total enterprise cost. GM also recognized us in June with the Sustainability Partner award, the first to be given to a supplier.

The Haier industrial group presented the Golden Magic Cube award to BASF-YPC Company Limited, a 50-50 joint venture between BASF and Sinopec, for the third time in a row in March 2019. The award recognizes, among other things, high product quality, service reliability and a strong customer focus.

In March 2019, Airbus presented us with our fifth Supply Chain & Quality Improvement award. Airbus highlighted in particular the consistently high delivery reliability and quality of the products Naftoseal® and Ardrox®, which we market under the Chemetall brand.

In July 2019, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) recognized BASF for the first time with the Customer First Recognition Award in gold for outstanding customer focus. An interdisciplinary team at BASF has supported JLR for many years now with innovative solutions for automotive OEM coatings, including the CathoGuard® 800 RE technology and basecoats to realize the individual color preferences of JLR customers in the premium segment. The award honors partners that demonstrate JLR’s principles – personalized, transparent, easy to do business with, dependable and make one feel special – which are crucial to the automotive manufacturer’s success.

Creation Center: From inspiration to solution in one place

Discover, understand, create – this is what we offer our customers with the new Creation Centers. These creative centers bring together our comprehensive materials, design, and – in particular – our development expertise in high-performance plastics using the latest visualization technologies. This enables us to address the specific individual needs of our customers and partners, and together transform ideas into tailored products and applications even more quickly. The first Creation Center opened in Mumbai, India, in May 2019. Yokohama, Japan, and Shanghai, China, followed in August 2019. Our fourth Creation Center worldwide opened in Ludwigshafen, Germany, in early 2020.

Creation Center: From inspiration to solution in one place (Photo)