Choose ERP system to manage chemical suppliers

The regulations and requirements of the chemical industry are as volatile as the chemicals it produces. Companies are faced with strict rules and procedures enforced by governance agencies, and it may be costly to resolve any non-compliance.

In order to further complicate the business process, chemical suppliers must not only understand the hazards of the chemicals they use, process and produce, but also understand their impact on the environment, safe handling and transportation procedures, as well as the long-term occupational risks and hazards to employees.

Due to the nature of the chemical industry, choosing ERP system to manage the unique complexity requires first-hand professional knowledge of the challenges and needs of the industry. When reviewing solutions that can help companies manage their products, people, and compliance needs, you have to consider multiple repetitions.

The following steps can help you guide the selection process and get the most value from your investment:

  1. Review of important chemical industry challenges

Because of the dangerous and unstable nature of the chemical industry, manufacturers face many challenges that other industries have not experienced. In addition to strict health and safety requirements and compliance regulations, chemical suppliers have to deal with volatile fuel costs, electricity usage, equipment maintenance and replacement, operating costs, logistics and other barriers that may affect profitability.

  1. Negotiate with key team members

ERP systems are often used throughout the organization, which means that the needs and priorities of each user should be considered.

  1. Scalability test

Choosing a chemical ERP system is much more than being able to check all the boxes on your request list. You also have to do your best to consider long-term needs and business goals. With the development and change of business, your ERP should adapt to your company over time. Otherwise, you may find yourself going through the process of exploration and comparison again (and spending more money than you actually need in the process!)

  1. Determine the need for third party integration

Part of the flexibility of ERP system lies in the ability to customize the system according to your unique needs. Generally speaking, chemical ERP is specially designed for the industry, but in many cases, enterprises may need to control the appearance and function of ERP more.

  1. Survey product support

All ERP systems provide a certain degree of product support, but this may vary greatly due to different platforms and suppliers. When dealing with enterprise level systems, such as ERP, implementation is just the beginning. In addition to the initial start-up, you may need ongoing help and support when new employees are hired, training new employees, making major system updates, and making changes as your business grows or adapts to market changes.

  1. Technical requirements for inspection

Will you deploy an internal ERP or use cloud technology (or even explore hybrid mode)? Do you have an on-site it team to create and manage the infrastructure needed to run ERP? Is your Internet connection strong enough to support cloud based solutions? Will you provide mobile devices for employees who need mobile ERP access?

  1. Consider long-term costs

It’s easy to consider only the upfront costs of chemical ERP, but like all major business purchases, it’s also important to consider long-term costs. In addition to the initial investment, the chemical supplier will also undertake the task of maintaining ERP system, implementing the cost of change as the enterprise grows, upgrading technical requirements, and training and induction of new employees.

  1. Add mobile aspect

With the rise of the “bring your own devices” movement, adding the mobile aspect to ERP is worth considering. Employees don’t need to be tied to their desks to do business (especially in the field of external sales and logistics), so giving them the freedom and flexibility to work anywhere helps to increase productivity, boost morale, and better serve customers.

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