That's what Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based BASF is doing with its distinct businesses within the U.S. noncrop markets - merging them into one to create the BASF Specialty Products Department (SPD).
The primary businesses known as Pest Control Solutions and Professional Turf & Ornamentals (T&O), and secondary businesses including Professional Vegetation Management and Market Business Development will now collectively be known as SPD.
Each respective market will continue to be served, but BASF will do so as one business unit led by Jan Buberl, BASF's director of specialty products. Key changes related to this reorganization include the business manager roles of PCS and T&O being dissolved and consolidation of the PCS and T&O marketing departments.
Dan Carrothers, formerly PCS business manager, and Brian Lish, formerly T&O
business manager, assume the newly created roles of SPD marketing manager and
strategic account manager, respectively. Both Carrothers and Lish will report to Buberl.
While the move will save money, it's not about cutting costs, Buberl says.
"It's about reallocating resources and pouring more money into research and development to better service customers," Buberl said. "We have some very exciting technology in the pipeline."
Buberl said BASF also merged the businesses to stay ahead of the curve. As the T&O and pest control markets move closer together, the merger puts BASF in a position to better serve its customers, he added.
"We have to drive more innovation to make our customers more competitive in the market place," Buberl said. "This is a proactive, strategic move to make sure we can be competitive and offer our customers the right solutions."
In addition to a strategic account sales structure and approach, SPD sales also includes an inside sales force and a traditional field sales approach that is divided into three regions for both key businesses. Three regional sales managers overseeing these territories will
have both T&O and PCS field sales representatives reporting to them and those sales reps will remain dedicated to the respective markets they serve. Both the inside and field sales teams will be led by Jim Derbyshire, national sales manager, who will also report to Buberl.
With this merger, the PCS business, currently located in St. Louis, will move to Research Triangle Park. The new SPD business structure will be in place by March 31.
"Bringing everybody together makes us much more efficient," Buberl said, noting he expects up to 30 people to move from St. Louis to RTP.
Nevin McDougall, senior vice president/North America for BASF Crop Protection, said: "Having these businesses come together as one strengthens BASF and its commitment to the specialty markets, and the acquisition of Becker Underwood underscores a continued commitment and investment to grow. The new SPD unit will be built to last for the long term, while meeting the needs of customers in these markets."