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Customer Story

Breaking Through Chinese Market with Innovative Distribution

Covestro takes the Agile path, creating a feature-rich platform and scaling to the Chinese market in four months

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Agile and Cloud

Transport, Trade and Logistics

Xebia and | Part
of Xebia

In 2015, Covestro was born as an offshoot of the German pharmaceutical conglomerate Bayer, called Bayer MaterialScience. Now completely independent, Covestro creates cost-effective and sustainable solutions through its production of high-class polymers and other performance materials. These materials are used frequently in everyday objects ranging from cosmetics to cars, electronics, security, sports, and packaging. The company is divided into seven entities, with each division focusing on customers’ needs and business touchpoints. Currently, Covestro has locations spanning 30 sites across the globe with over 17,000 employees.

Manage excess stock and open up a new consumer base
Deliver a scalable platform to increase sustainability and expand market capacity
Adapt and accelerate software infrastructures while employing Agile methods to scale into China

Scaling Up to Scale Down

Like many companies, Covestro had an excess problem — too much product. They needed to shed surplus stock and distribute their existing supply in a meaningful way. With Xebia’s expertise in Agile ways of working and revamping infrastructure, a collaboration was the perfect opportunity to rethink the current structure. Covestro came to Xebia to create a scalable platform to not only solve the waste problem but also make their products deliverable to the Chinese market. This would focus on tailor-made produce and accelerated development using cloud technology. As Covestro CEO Thorsten Lampe noted, “We were stuck in the process and moving slower than desired. Xebia gave us the confidence to partner with them.”

Expand and Diversify Markets

Sometimes faster isn’t the best means to meet market trends. This was especially the case for Covestro—it was outpacing the industry, but the company wanted to remain true to its sustainable, forward-thinking roots. Waste needed to be trimmed, as well as the old IT infrastructure and platform. To be successful in the industry meant being more sustainable and working smarter toward this end—particularly in an oversaturated market, bound by a linear economy. Covestro turned to Xebia to get rid of waste and work in an Agile, market-smart way to innovate distribution and value while still creating long-lasting environmentally friendly products.

“If you want to develop a new product, Xebia consultants extend your team in a most valuable way. They helped us grow muscles as a team and as individuals. They gave a hand where needed so we delivered on our targets. With their support, we became the high-performance product team we are today.”
Thorsten Lampe CEO at Covestro

Finding Balance in Agile-ty

Covestro always had an eye toward the future. Its innovation lies not only in its products but also in its dedication to sustainability in each stage of production. Through working with Xebia, Covestro was able to deliver innovative distribution and bring its products into the entirely new Chinese market all the while learning to work in an Agile way. The feature-rich platform Xebia created worked in a scalable way allowing for Covestro to diversify its customer base. It was, as CEO Thorsten put it, “a mix of problem solving and persistence...of great value.” This was accomplished through shared knowledge, automated pipelines and software development best practices. Agile work practices focused on a team approach to build the platform.

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