The end of the old year and start of the new is a natural time to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. We make resolutions — plans and goals for the future.
Companies do the same thing, only they call them business plans. Developing three-year, five-year, and long-term plans are regular business activities for those in the corner offices. And then once created, reviewing, and revising business plans are regular activities.
So let’s take moment and take a look at the year ahead. We spoke with some industry experts to get some insight into 2018. We asked four questions that need to be a part of any analysis.
First let’s take a look at what might create difficulties:
What are the biggest challenges facing the industry in 2018?
“From today’s point of view, the biggest problem, and challenge, is the production situation in the Peoples Republic of China, with many factories for raw material, AI and formulation products which are closed, or running at small capacity,” says Diego Taube, Managing Director for Argentina’s Chempro S.A.
“In India, the government is promoting the Make in India policy. This will further impact import of active ingredients. The industry has to meet this challenge by enhancing production capacity,” Saha says.
In South America the challenge will be “reconfiguration of the distribution network and the side effects of consolidation,” says Guido Azzari, Executive Director for Guatemala-based Central America Toll-Manufacture & Logistics (CTL).
What are the biggest opportunities facing the industry in 2018?
It seems smart companies find opportunities where others find challenges.
According to Trogele and Azzari, China’s supply disruption, price increases, corporate tax relief (if you’re US-based) could all be positives.
Taube suggests the Chinese regulatory concerns could mean some “factories from other countries could take advantage and export their products.”
“Until now, Indian crop protection chemical companies were depending heavily on Chinese imports,” Saha says “They are now forced to think of manufacturing in India. This will prove beneficial to Indian companies in the long run.”
What technology will have the biggest impact on the industry?
“We believe that delivery technology such as use of drones and precision farming will have a major impact,” Saha says.
Trogele agreed that precision agriculture will have a positive impact but added non-GMO demand could be a negative for trait companies.
“The biggest change will come in the types of formulations and mixtures,” Taube says.
What else does the industry need to know?
AMVAC’s Trogele’s advice to the industry is simple, direct,returns to business basics. The industry needs to know: “How to add value!”