Covestro Group at a Glance – Company Profile
Marketing and Sales
Industry-specific marketing and sales teams are responsible for developing potential business with prospective and existing customers and continually analyzing markets and trends. Each business entity markets and distributes its own products through its own sales organization as well as through trading houses and local distributors. Major customers with global operations are an exception to this, as these are serviced directly by our key account managers. Marketing is conducted in close cooperation between marketing, sales, and application development teams. Marketing activities at Covestro are comprehensively managed by the business entities.
In recent fiscal years, selected business entities transferred their sales activities in part to the Covestro Direct Store, our digital sales channel. In fiscal 2021, more than 13,000 transactions with a total value in the mid- to upper three-digit million euro range were completed via this digital platform. The number of transactions grew by around 60% over the prior-year period while the corresponding revenue doubled. Besides selling products through the Covestro Direct Store, the company is also working on placing a selection of products on third-party digital sales platforms to align our range of products even more closely with our customers’ needs and to give them a completely digital customer experience. To this end, we developed a Group-wide initiative called Customer Centricity in fiscal 2020 to put customers at the forefront of every employee’s day-to-day responsibilities. Regardless of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, our focus is still on continuing to implement our digitalization strategy for our marketing activities. The goals of the strategy are to provide our customers with even more effective and customized information, and to communicate with them more directly and holistically. To achieve this, the initial digital showroom concept was expanded into digital event platforms. We also boost the idea of connecting the dots in our marketing activities, i.e., integrating all relevant processes, systems, and therefore data flows. Big Data in relation to customer, market, and business consolidation and the associated provision and analysis of information are also becoming increasingly important for us.
The corporate Supply Chain & Logistics function in the EMLA, NA, and APAC regions is mainly responsible for customer service activities and the efficient fulfillment of customer orders. It is tasked with the entire process – from receiving orders through plant logistics and shipping to invoicing and handling complaints. Customer-oriented support in the individual regions allows us to process orders especially quickly and seamlessly. Covestro makes use of channels such as e-commerce platforms for receiving and processing orders. Our customers can place orders and check the status of their orders at any time in the Order@Covestro self-service portal. However, Order@Covestro is not used to initiate new business: Instead, the portal complements the services we provide our existing customers and helps us handle routine inquiries during times outside our customer service and sales staff’s business hours.
The transportation of our products to customers is handled by logistics service providers who are selected and evaluated according to stringent safety, environmental, and quality criteria. Alongside the protection of people and the environment, delivery reliability is particularly important to us. The preferred mode of transportation is rail or intermodal – a combination of different modes of transportation. When selecting the mode of transportation, we also consider resource efficiency and seek to reduce associated carbon emissions in particular. Whenever permitted by transportation times and delivery reliability, we supply customers from close-to-production warehouses. In the case of longer distances and depending on the reliability of the mode of transportation, our products are temporarily stored in regional distribution centers and then dispatched from there in order to shorten delivery times. We also participate in the RH2INE industry initiative as part of our corporate commitment to reducing our carbon emissions. This initiative aims to deploy fuel-cell-powered vessels on the Rhine River starting in the year 2024. Building on RH2INE, Covestro is a key player in initiating another fuel cell project whose goal is to accelerate the development and use of fuel cells in cargo trucks.
We measure customer satisfaction using the Net Promoter Score (NPS), a metric that reflects customer willingness to recommend Covestro, to ensure that customer feedback is incorporated to a greater degree in our internal decision-making processes. We conduct systematic customer satisfaction surveys for this purpose each year. In addition, our foremost quality goal is to eliminate errors in all our processes to guarantee a high level of customer satisfaction. This information is regularly collected throughout the world and analyzed in a global management system, taking into account customer satisfaction analyses and supplier assessments, which measure the performance of Covestro’s suppliers. We use this data to derive corrective and preventive measures for the purpose of continually increasing quality and customer satisfaction and further lowering the error rate and the incidence of complaints. In the reporting year, we received 5.13 customer complaints per 1,000 deliveries.