The chemical industry has fundamentally changed the way we live — from the cars we drive, to the houses in which we live, to the everyday conveniences that we take for granted. Chemical companies face numerous challenges. Local and national tax requirements, often managed across multiple territories, are increasingly complex and under continuous review. New regulations have resulted in additional obligations with respect to internal controls and management certifications. As costs rise, management is trying to figuring out how to get the most out of their IT and people investments. At the same time, in search of profitable growth, chemical companies are pursuing emerging markets, seeking new partners, and shedding non-core product lines.
Engineering and construction
The construction industry is also a key indicator and driver of economic activity and wealth creation. But, the industry’s future prosperity will depend on its capacity to evolve on business, technological and environmental fronts. PwC is recognised for its engineering and construction expertise and extensive experience with public and private companies, governments and industry.
Forest, paper and packing
Success in the forest and paper sector depends on how well a company manages costs, satisfies customer demand, and responds to an ever-changing business and regulatory environment. To stay competitive, companies must also continually monitor a host of other critical business issues including those involving information and technology security, mergers and acquisitions and global competition. Our industry specialists help clients meet challenges associated with cost control and performance improvement, supply chain management, sustainability and environmental management, operational risk management, audit, tax and other business and financial issues.
The industrial manufacturing sector is large and diverse, but most sector players face similar challenges. Increased costs for oil, natural gas, steel and copper are squeezing margins, unless offset by pricing and surcharge increases. Customer reluctance to invest in new equipment has intensified the importance of aftermarket service. To expand geographically some players are seeking acquisition candidates. Local and national taxes, often managed across multiple territories, are increasingly complex and under continuous review. Calls for corporate accountability have driven new regulations around internal controls and management certifications.
Metals is a cyclical industry and much of the current boom has been driven by Asian demand. Sooner or later the industry will experience a down cycle and then, once again, there will be renewed focus on traditional issues, such as cost management and “anti-dumping” concerns. Looking ahead, we expect consolidation to continue, especially in the fragmented steel sector. Securing energy supplies, guaranteed access to competitively priced raw materials, cost reductions strategies, and the health of end-market industries will continue to remain on CEOs’ agenda. At the same time the external regulatory environment is driven by the impact of Sarbanes-Oxley, IFRS adoption and European Union Emissions Trading Scheme to name a few.
Transportation and logistics
The markets are on the move: Due to advancing globalisation, declining trade barriers and an increasingly mobile workforce, the transport and logistics industry continues to enjoy above average growth. And by expanding their service offerings both upstream and downstream, transport companies and logistics service providers are also becoming masters of their supply chain. both forward and backward. International growth through acquisitions, joint ventures and alliances are also reshaping the industry. Under these conditions, new corporate strategies and processes are required.