The right way to digitize chemical manufacturer

The chemical industry is not a single industry. It is a group of industries that produce a wide range of products in many unique segments. Due to the rapid changes in digital technology, consumer demand and global competition, basic chemicals, paints, beauty products, spices and food seasonings are facing pressure.

In the past, large producers dominated the market. These large manufacturers value operational efficiency rather than flexibility and adaptability. Today, this market is being challenged by niche market participants who are strongly focused on consumer demand. These chemical manufacturer has differentiated existing enterprises, producing smaller batches of products according to the needs of individual customers, selling services, experiences and achievements, and taking the lead in adopting digital technology at the core of their business.

Big established companies and smaller emerging competitors face the same problems. As oil prices continue to fall, the rapid commercialization of the oil industry is also accelerating. The unstable price of raw materials increases the factor of cost change. New technologies such as 3D printing provide new opportunities for plastics, resins, ceramics and powders.

Globalization has also changed the chemical industry. New competitors, market and regulatory issues have changed industry dynamics. Asia’s economic and manufacturing growth has come to the fore. As a result, many chemical manufacturers began to maintain competitiveness and drive growth through mergers and acquisitions. For these companies, the daily challenge of integrating operating systems into a single system has become a reality.

The re planning of markets, products, services and technologies by innovative companies also poses a threat. An example of this is the paint and coatings market. The company sells customer experience, not products: the point is not the color of the paint, but how the paint looks on the wall and whether it is suitable for a larger family experience. Chemical manufacturers are using integrated digital supply chains and consumer data to create a direct consumer oriented model. By working with retail stores and automated sensor hybrid systems, they are also a step towards the first level of quality in customized products. In the process, they get valuable customer data and insights.

Edge of acquisition

The impact of these industry changes is obvious, as are the challenges: chemical manufacturers must identify new sources of revenue, including innovative services and results based models. To do so, they must address the aging and non digital workforce, find ways to attract new talent, and embrace digital workplaces. These talents will be the key to using technology to provide core business value. To achieve this, companies have to use a lot of data to better understand their operations and customers.

Overcoming these challenges is the only way to address the biggest challenges facing the industry today. The future of the chemical industry is no longer a one-off, blockbuster product model. It’s about creating an ecosystem focused on improving the customer experience.

The right technology, the right method

Digital technology and its data bring great hope for the chemical industry. All of these technologies can play a role in driving business value.

The Internet of things (IOT) uses sensors to obtain data from manufacturing, storage and distribution

Cloud, a platform for suppliers and customers to jointly record the system

Analyze and correlate supply data with product quality and customer satisfaction

Machine learning to assist predictive maintenance of operating equipment

Blockchain to better track transactions of assets, materials and products

But it doesn’t solve the technical problem itself. In the chemical industry, the use of technology against the right digital strategy is really valuable. This needs to focus on achieving a true digital core and a common record system through business. It also needs a kind of enterprise thinking that embraces agility, adaptability and innovation. It needs a customer-oriented way of thinking.

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