Ashland Reveals New Corporate Identity and Organizational Culture

Ashland took another step in its plan for the future, revealing its “Always Solving” corporate identity and unveiling the organizational culture that will continue to differentiate the company as it continues its mission.

“We’ve been on a journey since announcing plans to separate Valvoline and Ashland into two standalone companies,” says Bill Wulfsohn, Ashland chairman and chief executive officer. “Today, both companies are positioned for bright futures.”

Along with his leadership team, Wulfsohn developed a strategy which empowers each of Ashland’s chemical businesses to develop its own strategic approach as to where to compete and how to win in their marketplace. Each will employ its own core competencies in problem-solving that brings value to customers. Together as one global team, Ashland will build an organization focused on innovation, operations, and capital deployment. Its foundation will continue to be built on operations. Ashland will continue fostering growth through innovations and sales opportunities, and continue capturing value delivered to customers while driving cost competitiveness.

The most public facing element of the evolution of Ashland, is its new corporate identity – Always Solving – which reflects the company’s positioning and people across diverse industries as broad as pharmaceuticals to automotive, personal care to paints, adhesives to biofunctionals, and more.

“Now is the time for Ashland to communicate the nature of who we are and what sets our employees apart. We’re a company of solvers who develop solutions to complex problems in applied chemistry, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and advancing the competitiveness of our customers across industries,” states Carolmarie Brown, Ashland director global marketing and business communications.

The positioning illustrates how Ashland acts as a partner to its customers, providing solutions that bring value to its business partners. In particular, the company is focused on innovations for growing market positions in segments such as pharmaceuticals, personal care and paints and coatings.

Today and moving forward, Ashland embodies how its people are distinguished by their ability to apply specialized chemistry with a disciplined approach that increases the efficacy, refines the usability, adds to the allure, ensures the integrity, and improves the profitability of their customers’ products and applications. Each of these qualities are manifested in different ways for different industries, and together, its people around the globe are always solving, to improve customers’ products. “In Ashland we bring together different backgrounds, different disciplines, different points of view, and we operate as one team with a sense of purpose,” said Luis Fernandez-Moreno, senior vice president of Ashland and president of the Chemicals Group.

Along with its strategy and identity is the articulation and implementation of a collective Ashland Way, its corporate culture, which is “to respect, protect, and advance the people we work with, companies we serve, shareholders who invest in our future, communities we’re a part of, and the planet we share.”

The Ashland Way will drive business growth and shape an organization of which employees will want to be a part. Values of safety, integrity, partnership and passion will guide behavior each day.

“We have a common understanding of how we operate, think, manage, encourage and act in order to build an organization and improve the world through solutions based on the application of specialty ingredients and materials,” Wulfsohn says.

Ashland has a focus on operations and has been committed to doing business with integrity and respect for all people and the world. The company has made formal commitments to improve the environmental, health, safety and security performance for facilities, processes and products throughout the entire operating system. Forty-six Ashland sites have received Responsible Care certification, including three facilities earlier this year.

Local Branding Can Trump National Competitors

The marketing game can certainly be complex. With hundreds of tools, thousands of options and one big learning curve in between, it’s easy to be inundated.

Throw in some big conglomerate-sized competitors and it’s downright daunting.

Nevertheless, local contractors actually have an advantage. They are in an incredible position to build the very best of brands. All they need to do is start!

SEE THE OPPORTUNITY: A BIG BRAND

Why do people choose big-name brands over competitors? Because they know what to expect.

The bar is set pretty low for blowing customers out of the water with service, quality and efficiency. However, when you can create a truly great customer experience, people will remember it. Customers tend to expect greatness to come from those companies that put forth an appealing and professional image. Their branding gets remembered. And the brands that get remembered are usually the ones that succeed.

A major flaw that many small businesses and contractors fail to recognize is that their brand is not memorable. Maybe they use initials for their company name or have bland truck-wrap designs. Maybe their website looks like it was made in 1995 or their brochure is full of grammatical errors. Whatever the case may be, there is always room for improvement.

A big brand excites and reassures. It doesn’t lead to skepticism or distrust. You can beat out the bigger companies when it comes to delivering personable, reliable and memorable service in your community. You just need to get your visual presence to reflect that.

So how do you make that happen?

PROFESSIONAL LOOK, PERSONAL FEEL

Customers want a service that’s human and personalized. But they also want an outfit that looks the part. The challenge is how to blend the two.

If you think aspects of your service, like tidy uniforms, clean service equipment and a slick-looking company truck, don’t matter, you’re severely missing out. Thoughtful service can help get your company’s reputation in good standing. Yet it’s only when you’ve got a brand that matches your high-quality service that you can expect to crush the competition.

Put customer woes to bed by taking hold of your brand and getting a professionally designed logo. The degree of aesthetic quality and industry-appropriate imagery will position your name as an immediate authority.

UPDATED AND INTEGRATED

Does your website and digital presence reflect your most current services and information? In 2014, this is a must!

You lose customers when you default on your brand promise by providing misleading information or not living up to expectations. Ignorance of an error is no excuse; customers will be disappointed and frustrated when certain expectations are not met. This is business.

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McElroy Metal Celebrates 50th Anniversary with New Logo

McElroy Metal's logo evolution

McElroy Metal’s logo evolution

McElroy Metal, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013, has released a new logo.

“Our old logo served us well but was outdated,” says President Ian McElroy. “Our new logo design gives us a fresher look, plus the artwork adds an element that showcases our business.”

Three generations of the McElroy family have guided the company through periods of growth. In 1963, Thomas E. McElroy Sr., known as Mr. Mac, founded McElroy Metal Mill in Shreveport, La. Four years later, the company moved into a new industrial park across the river in Bossier City, a location that still serves as the corporate headquarters as well as the Southwestern Division of McElroy Metal.

In 1970, Mr. Mac’s son, Tem McElroy, joined McElroy Metal Mill after working as a consultant in the computer industry. One of Tem’s earliest initiatives was implementing the company’s first computer system, interestingly enough, while the senior McElroy was on vacation. Staff members thought computerization was an awful idea and begged Tem to remove the system. He held firm and McElroy Metal Mill entered the computer age.

Mr. Mac retired in 1975 and Tem McElroy took over the reins of president. He soon implemented his vision to turn McElroy Metal into a national company. The company’s first satellite manufacturing facility was built and opened in Clinton, Ill., just a year later.

Since then, McElroy Metal has expanded to a total of 12 manufacturing facilities via green field or acquisition. Through the years, McElroy added facilities in Peachtree City, Ga. (1979); Marshall, Mich. (1983); Winchester, Va. (1985); Adelanto, Calif. (1990); Lewisport, Ky. (1995); Merkel, Texas (2000); Mauston, Wis. (2003); Ashburn, Ga. (2006); Sunnyvale, Texas (2006); and Houston (2012).

In 1999, Ian McElroy, Tem’s son, became the third-generation McElroy to join the company, bringing experience from Wall Street and an MBA from the University of Texas. Ian McElroy moved into the position of company president in 2007 as Tem became the company chairman. Under Ian’s leadership, the company has bolstered its position in the marketplace via acquisitions and joint ventures, including the following:

  • 2009 – Asset purchase of Components Plus Inc. (CPi)
    2010 – Asset purchase of Met-Tile
    2011 – Entered into a joint venture with Green Span Profiles to manufacture insulated metal panels (IMPs)
    2012 – Acquired Houston-based Architectural Building Components

While McElroy Metal has grown dramatically during the past 50 years, the company’s family culture has remained constant and McElroy Metal continues to have the feel of a small company. All three generations of the McElroy family value relationships with customers, vendors and employees. Tem McElroy, chairman of McElroy Metal, states: “While it was exciting when I took over from my father, it was more enjoyable to pass the torch to Ian. The industry is so much more diverse and complicated than it was in the 1970s and 1980s. It has been fun to watch Ian guide the company in new directions as we position ourselves for future growth.”

Ian McElroy adds: “We will continue to look for opportunities that meet our core business model while providing additional value to our customers and employees. Although McElroy Metal is a national company today, we want to remain true to the values my grandfather first cultivated back in 1963.”