Few markets remain in the same state for long. In some cases consumers needs change with some companies choosing to respond. Depending on the nature of the industry, it may or may not be beneficial to be the first to respond. If the innovation is particularly difficult to produce or market, other companies may gain by learning from the mistakes of the innovator. So, being the leader brings risks as well as the prospect of rewards.
This Case Study looks at how Corus has responded to a particular need in its own market and the steps it is taking with a view to achieving success.
Corus was formed through the merger of major steel manufacturers British Steel and the Dutch company Koninklijke Hoogovens in 1999.
Corus provides steel and aluminium solutions for customers worldwide. With a turnover of nearly 12 billion euros in 2003 and almost 50,000 employees worldwide, the Corus brand represents a mark of quality and strength, combining international expertise with local service.
Corus Colors is an international business within the strip products division manufacturing pre-finished steel for the building envelope, consumer products and manufactured goods markets.
A key market for Corus Colors is Controlled Environmental Surfaces (CES). This means supplying material which is able to meet very strict standards in particular contexts. The standard may relate to safety, durability and ease of cleaning. In some environments it is vital to keep surfaces clean and free from any possible source of infection. By eliminating the growth of bacteria, the risk of disease and cross contamination is reduced.
Clearly, this is a vital consideration in hospitals. It is also crucial in other sectors such as food processing, food storage and laboratories. The dangers posed by contaminated work surfaces have made headlines in recent years following several health scares.