In recent years, with the strong support from the government for Industrial Internet as well as the dramatic development of digitization, the B2B digital platforms have been growing rapidly with a significant impact on the coating industry. At the same time, due to the expansion of the coating market and the new technical requirements arising from the segmentation of the industry, the market is also seeking more advanced solutions.
Rising to the occasion, a China coating solutions platform was launched today with four leading raw materials and solutions providers – Covestro, BYK, Chemours and Hexion as its founding members. The open and one-stop digital platform’s name was officially unveiled as COATINGCAT. An MOU was also signed to officially announce the partnership. The platform will allow suppliers to innovate the business model and develop deeper collaboration in R&D, marketing, supply chain and other areas to meet the growing demand of China’s coating manufacturers and accelerate the commercialization of new coating technologies.
Rapid growth demands digital innovation
The rapid growth of China’s coating industry is creating unprecedented new demands, requiring the industry to respond faster with its continuous innovation.
Industry data shows that there are more than 12,000 coating companies in China and the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the industry was 9% over the past three years. With the expansion of the industry, the market is undergoing two changes. On the one hand, there has been a growing scale of “long-tail” customers which cannot be fully and effectively covered by sales and distribution networks of the existing suppliers; on the other hand, the mature customers in the industry also need to upgrade their technologies to provide breakthrough solutions for new application areas. China’s coating industry is undergoing rapid restructuring with growing demand for environmentally friendly coatings (e.g. waterborne coatings and high solids coatings), giving market players of various sizes the opportunity to achieve breakthrough growth.
In the meantime, the impact of digital innovation is spilling over from B2C to B2B as well, and this includes the deepened application of technologies such as electronic finance and online payment for B2B transactions. The incubation of numerous B2B e-commerce platforms also attests to the rapid growth of the industry. In 2018, the size of China’s B2B e-commerce has already reached RMB 1.12 trillion. The implementation of government policies such as those for supply-side reform and the Industrial Internet helps to further fuel the growth of the B2B e-commerce platforms.
The four founding members of COATINGCAT have already worked on different B2B platforms, believing that building B2B digital platforms would not be possible without the involvement of major manufacturers and service providers of the industry.
New coatings platform – a joint effort for integrated innovation
As the top suppliers of the key raw materials for coating products, the four founding members of the platform are committed to creating new value for the industry through collaborative innovation. The platform will offer a direct communication channel between China’s coating manufacturers and professional suppliers, providing one-stop solutions covering different technological segments as well as the entire business cycle from the test use of samples at the beginning to the subsequent mass production, eventually improving industrial productivity.
In addition to providing solutions, the four founding members will also closely collaborate with each other on technological innovations. By integrating local and global innovation as well as facilitating the in-depth collaboration among industry’s experts, they will overcome technological barriers to provide the innovative solutions for the customers and explore more application areas. By exploring the collaboration potential in areas such as R&D and supply, the platform can also help to accelerate the R&D process and commercialization of innovative technologies, ultimately improving the innovation capability of the entire industry.
In order to address the ever-changing challenges in the industry, the platform will adjust its strategies in accordance with the feedback from the industry and the market. The platform is also open for more like-minded peers such as industry organizations, labs, as well as raw materials and application technologies providers for different market segments. All the partners will be encouraged to explore digital application on multiple dimensions.
 Coating Industry Annual Report 2017
 China’s B2B e-Commerce Market Data Monitoring Report for the First Half of 2018
BYK is one of the world’s leading suppliers in the field of additives and measuring instruments, which are also optimized the manufacturing processes. The coatings, inks, and plastics industries are among the main consumers of BYK additives.
Chemours has a global leading position in titanium dioxide technology, fluorine products and specialty chemicals, and its products are widely used in industrial applications such as plastics and coatings, refrigeration and air conditioning, and mining.
Hexion is a global leader in thermoset resins. Through a broad range of thermoset technologies and specialty products, Hexion serves customers operating approximately 60 industrial facilities around the world.
With 2017 sales of EUR 14.1 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,200 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2017.
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