Digital Transformation Is The New (Carbon) Black: Cognizant Retained By Cabot

Boston-based Cabot Corporation, a producer of specialty carbon products, has retained technology consultancy firm Cognizant for a multi-year engagement to assist with the digital transformation of its business operations.

The company saw 2020 revenue fall to $2.6 billion, down from $3.3 billion in 2019, as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted industrial operators all over the world—many of whom utilize Cabot’s products as chemical feedstocks in their own production. The company’s carbon, aerogel, metal oxides, and colorant products are featured in a wide range of industries, including construction, food & beverage, consumer rubber products, and electronics and energy storage.

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Cabot has been buffeted by a range of additional challenges, including the need to increase prices for its carbon black products sold by its specialty carbons business as a direct result of the significant rise in prime raw material costs as well as the unprecedented rise of natural gas costs for its European production facilities. In August 2021, it announced a global price increase for all of its CAB-O-SIL and CAB-O-SPERSE products due to increasing costs of transportation, raw materials, and operations.

Cognizant is headquartered in Teaneck, NJ, and employs approximately 290,000 global professionals focused on providing end-to-end IT consulting and outsourcing services to large corporations in a wide range of industries. The firm reported worldwide revenue of $16.7 billion in 2020.

The move to retain Cognizant was made as part of the company’s effort to digitize the way it does business to increase its effectiveness and efficiency, leveraging a data-driven approach to target continuous improvement across its business services, outcomes, and global operations. Cognizant will additionally act as a managed services provider for application development and maintenance, infrastructure and operations, automation services, cloud, AI, and DevOps-driven processes.

"We were looking for a trusted partner that understands our business and would not only transform how we deliver services, but also stimulate and reimagine the art of the possible with innovative thinking in support of our accelerated digitalization," said Ivan Skerl, Cabot's VP and Chief Digital and Information Officer. "Cognizant's track record in global delivery, high standards of customer satisfaction, and demonstrated capabilities in driving transformational programs gave us confidence in their ability to deliver us a competitive advantage.”