Developing an effective organisational structure
A Syngenta case study

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Page 3: Roles and responsibilities

Syngenta has many sections and departments. It is organised into these functional areas:

  • research and development (R&D)
  • global supply (including supply chain management, manufacturing and logistics)
  • sales and marketing
  • global support functions (providing, for example, legal, financial and HR services).

These functional areas effectively run independently. However, by using a matrix management structure, all areas can contribute to the vast range of projects that are running at any one time.

Syngenta uses the skills and competencies of its people to bridge its functional areas. By using people with specific scientific knowledge or experience to lead teams in areas like marketing and production, communication is better within the team.  Team members know that the leader understands the issues they face. This can also help to ensure that problems are understood and resolved quickly. These profiles help to demonstrate how Syngenta uses this 'cross-over' of talent.

Melanie Wardle is a scientist who now works in Syngenta's marketing team. Melanie uses her scientific knowledge to help market Syngenta products throughout the UK.

'My role covers communications planning for all crops and products. This includes advertising and publicity campaigns to meet the marketing objectives for the Syngenta brand. I manage the PR, advertising and design agencies that we work with as well as our internal team, to ensure these activities are implemented on schedule and on budget. I also co-ordinate our presence at major industry events and exhibitions. I enjoy the variety of the work itself and the fact that I get to work with different departments and people, as well as having a close connection to our customers.'

Kathryn Brocklehurst has a PhD in molecular biology. She is now a group leader of one of Syngenta's functional teams, which focuses on developing products ready for the market.

'Having previously worked in pure research [at university] I wanted to work on a real product, so I joined Syngenta. There is real job satisfaction from knowing you are helping people the world over to feed themselves by improving food production. I work as a group leader of a project team of 18 scientists, providing materials for other groups to test. I rely on my scientific background to understand and act as intermediary with the people I manage. As a group leader, my key role is to ensure the right people with the right skills are working on the right projects.'

Jonathan Richards is a scientist working in production. He was recently posted to an international assignment at Syngenta's manufacturing base in the south of France.

'I started with Syngenta as a PhD chemist in a research team looking at product formulation. The task was to develop agrochemicals that deliver the active chemical to the site of action in the field in the best possible way. For example, this might be by adding ingredients that stop rain washing a product off the crops (where it is active) to the soil (where it is not). After several years in R&D labs, I now have responsibility for the introduction of new products at one of our manufacturing sites in France. My move to the Mediterranean has been well supported by the company, enabling me to settle in quickly. My scientific problem-solving skills are vital in ensuring production hits its targets, though I now have to think much more about how to get the best out of people rather than products!'


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Syngenta | Developing an effective organisational structure