Going where we haven’t

As a high school soccer coach for over 20 years, one of the things we teach our players is to pass the ball not to where their players are but to the space where they want them to be. We usually have one of our Captains playing at midfield who is a master at this and almost always will lead our team in assists. The same is true in football. When a quarterback throws a pass, he leads the receiver and throws the ball so the receiver can catch it on the run making it easier to score. In both cases the people on the end of the passes score a lot of points if their leader is skillful, unselfish and focused on the success of the team.

Companies like Apple, Amazon and Disney are creating the future with amazing customer experiences from new products and ideas that most of us have never even considered. They don’t just do what their customers want, they anticipate future needs their customers didn’t even think possible. Sometimes we take it for granted. My iPhone is smaller and more powerful than my two-year old PC. At Walt Disney World, the new Avatar ride is like “Soaring on steroids.” It isn’t just a ride it immerses the rider in an experience. Typical wait time is over two hours. This is more than customers asked for because they didn’t know it was possible.

Amazon has taken purchasing products on line to a new and unanticipated level. You can buy almost anything and have it in a day or two. When Shale Crescent USA went to Japan in January I paid my wife, Lynnda’s, travel expenses so she could come and be part of the experience. She became our photographer during the trip. One of our surprises in Japan was their heated toilet seats. We had one in our hotel room. We were surprised that even public toilets had heated seats. Lynnda loved them. Shortly after we returned from our trip, on a Saturday evening at about 10 p.m., Lynnda decided she wanted one and went straight to Amazon. She found one made by Toto at a cost of $375 and ordered it. The seat arrived on Monday and my buddy and I installed it. My buddy’s plumbing expertise was important because it does more than just heat. The point is, who would have thought such an unusual product could be ordered and delivered so quickly! Amazon, Apple and Disney are leaders. We can do the same in our businesses.

It has been one year since Hurricane Harvey devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast. Recovery is continuing. On my last trip to Houston the rebuilding efforts were evident. Winds of 135 mph tore through Houston. Over three feet of rain fell in the Houston area. Some parts of Texas had over 4 feet of rain. That is a lot of water in a short period of time.

The Gulf Coast is home to about 90 percent of the nation’s plastic producing capacity. The crackers on the Gulf Coast produce the pellets that are turned into everyday household products, pharmaceuticals, industrial products and even military equipment, weapons systems and uniforms. As you know, most of the companies that turn these pellets into products are in the Shale Crescent USA Region. Our 2018 IHSMarkit Study showed “the Shale Crescent USA Region is in close proximity to over two-thirds of US polyethylene consumption.”

Following Harvey, roughly 60 percent of U.S. ethylene and propylene capacity went offline. Because of high water, finished product couldn’t be shipped. Manufacturers in our region couldn’t get the raw materials they needed to continue making their products. My son is the manager for a plumbing and heating distributor. They could not fill contractor orders for plastic pipe because the local company that made the pipe couldn’t get resin. Those that could get polyethylene and polypropylene resin pellets found the price up 25 percent. One company in the Ohio Valley had a railroad car full of their resin in Texas under water. The resin pellets were destroyed. Shortages and increased resin prices lasted into 2018.

We can’t prevent hurricanes. The question isn’t if another hurricane will come but when. We can do our best to prepare. It makes sense for our country’s economy and national security to have an alternative to Gulf Coast. We now have one called, The Shale Crescent USA. Our organization has known this for the last two years.

Like Amazon, Apple and Disney, we know what our prospects need. We spent the last 2 years letting them know the Shale Crescent USA has it. The IHS study, released at this year’s World Petrochemical Conference (WPC) in Houston, “Benefits, Risks, and Estimated Project Cash Flows: Ethylene Project Located in the Shale Crescent USA versus the US Gulf Coast,” told the world what we already knew. IHSMarkit is highly respected global organization. It they say something it is true.

In April following the release of the study at WPC, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Finance Canada, Oilprice.com and several other websites ran an article about Shale Crescent USA with the title, “Shale Boom Creates New Petrochemical Hub.” They said what we knew, but our prospects will believe them.

We knew what our country and prospects needed before most of them did. The message is getting out. Shell understood before we did. Now others like PTT are considering the Shale Crescent USA as the best place to build a petrochemical plant.

In your business how can you use this concept to create a future that will thrill your customers in a way they didn’t think possible? The growth is starting. Seize the moment. Thoughts to ponder.

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Greg Kozera is the Director of Marketing for Shale Crescent USA www.shalecrescentusa.com . He has over 40 years of experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert with a Masters in Environmental Engineering and the author of four books and numerous published articles.

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