Strategy for the 1990s and Beyond
As DuPont moves through the last decade of the twentieth century and toward its third century, it emphasize s several areas: competing globally; sharpening its business focus; increasing productivity; committing to safety, health, and environmental excellence; empowering people, capitalizing on its strong corporate and p roduct brand franchises; and continuing to extend its significant science and technological achievement.
A major element in the strategy is to focus resources on businesses in which DuPont has core competencies, where DuPont can build competitive advantage. The most notable example of this focus was the 1993 transact ion in which DuPont acquired ICI's nylon business and ICI acquired DuPont's acrylics business. This streng thened the company's position in the global nylon business while divesting a business that no longer fit it s portfolio.
Another major factor in the transformation of the 1990s was the focus on reducing costs and improving produ ctivity. This was necessary to give the company the flexibility for competitive pricing and to grow market share and earnings.
The globalization trend continued vigorously in the 1990s, with new plants opening in Spain, Singapore, Kor ea, Taiwan, and China, and a major technical service center opening in Japan. In 1994, a Conoco joint vent ure began producing oil from the Ardalin Field in the Russian Arctic--the first major oil field brought int o production by a Russian/Western partnership since dissolution of the Soviet Union.
New Ideas and Constant Values Shape the Future
The DuPont that has emerged from the company's transformation of the 1990s has often been described by peop le inside and outside the company as "the new DuPont. " This characterization is only partly appropriate, because while DuPont has changed, there are many things that remain the same. The core competency in scien ce and technology, the commitment to safety, the concern for people, the feeling of community, the emphasis on personal and corporate integrity, the future focus, and indeed the willingness to change--these are not "new" characteristics; they are the constant forces in DuPont culture.
However, in many ways DuPont is new and different. Jobs are less structured. People on production lines p lan and implement process improvements. People from DuPont manufacturing sites meet with their counterpart s at customer plants to find out how to do a better job. DuPont people with ideas for new products and bus inesses are encouraged to commercialize these businesses, and then run them.
What has always set DuPont apart is the quality of the people, people committed to making life easier and b etter for everybody, proud to be a part of an enterprise making "better things for better living. " That w as true in 1802. And it is just as true today.
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Last updated: April 15, 1998