Embracing digitization in the chemical industry

When did the chemical industry begin?

The chemical industry began on a full-fledged scale during the industrial revolution in the 18th century. The industrial revolution first started in Britain and slowly moved to the other parts of the world. By the 19th century, the chemical industry had seen significant advances in organic chemistry that led to the further expansion and diversification of the industry. By World War II, the petrochemical industry grew in the US as the demand for synthetic material to replace the costly products increased.

Though the chemical industry gained momentum during the industrial revolution, the manufacturing of chemicals can be dated back to ancient times. The chemical industry is considered to be one of the oldest industries, and the first chemical invented by mankind was the explosives using alkali and salt pepper. Though the chemicals were made throughout history, chemical manufacturing became more significant and popular during the industrial revolution.

The changes the chemical industries underwent during its evolution:

  • Diversification
  • Implementing regulatory policies
  • Focus on innovation and R&D
  • Global expansion

Why is digitization important in the chemical industry?

Digitization is important in the chemical industry to ease the processes involved in the supply chain and help the suppliers and consumers. The need for digitization rose among companies due to the increasing competition, evolving environmental regulations, changing dynamic customer needs and more importantly customers coming from diversified geographies.

The chemical industry being one of the largest and fastest-growing industries, is highly diversified and complex. Despite its size and complexity, there are not enough resources to describe the supply chain practices and challenges of the industry. The chemical market is often known for direct supply agreements between producers and consumers, which results in a lack of price transparency. In addition; the increasing competition, fast-changing demands, hefty transportation costs, and evolving environmental regulations have created an increasingly challenging environment. Chemical consumers are under significant pressure to optimize the supply chain and secure better prices for the products they are purchasing.

Adapting to digital transformation in chemical industry

The chemical supply chain still works on traditional methods that make it difficult to source the right chemical at the right time. Digitization is important in the chemical supply chain to improve operations, achieve greater efficiencies, and get faster responsiveness. It’s time for the chemical industry to revamp their sourcing strategy to ease the process of buying and selling chemicals. The digital transformation of the chemical companies not just helps them remain on par with the competitors, but also helps them improve the core business.

Companies buying chemicals have limited insights on the pricing. The result of this lack of transparency doesn’t allow companies to compare the prices of one seller to another. To solve such issues, digital chemical platforms like Carbanio.com were established. Such digitization tackles the challenges faced by the dynamic chemical industry.

The new age chemical platform for the tech-savvy generation

The millennial generation forms a significant proportion of the modern workplace, the chemical industry is no exception. This tech-savvy generation wants everything done at just a click. To meet the requirements of the modern workforce and be on par with the generation with new expectations, the chemical industry has evolved to digitize the chemical supply chain.

Companies like Carbanio.com have made the entire chemical supply chain process a breeze. Such online platforms help to conveniently connect with the buyers/sellers across the globe and purchase chemicals with just a few clicks. The digitization of the chemical industry opens new ways to overcome the significant challenges and help the industry grow at a drastic rate.

Why is digitization important for the chemical industry?

Unlike other industries, the chemical industry is not completely digitized. It is amidst a digital change to achieve the next level of excellence. The digital transformation is an opportunity to explore new ways to improve the overall production, manage records with ease, and design new products & processes.

Chemical companies involve a diverse range of operations including product manufacturing, research, development, marketing, sales, logistics, stock maintenance, market research and a lot more. Digitization helps to improve the performance at every process and unlock new business opportunities. There is an increasing competition in the chemical business, thus, technology creates more opportunities to quickly respond to the dynamic chemical market.

Digitization can help the chemical industry in:

  • Production
  • Sales and marketing
  • Research and development
  • Purchasing
  • Invoicing
  • Recruitment
  • Accounting and finance
  • Health, safety, and environmental safety documentation
  • Regulatory affairs
  • Logistics
  • Stock maintenance

The chemical industry today is highly dynamic with ever-changing demands. To ensure the optimum working of this complex sector, it is inevitable to get digitization in place. Digital transformation in the chemical industry will eventually enable improved business processes, better handling of supply and demand patterns, and create the right governance. The use of digital tools for monitoring and measuring performances across the chemical supply chain is soon becoming a necessity.

The future of digitization in the chemical industry

Digitization has completely transformed the face of many industries across the world. But the chemical industry had been relatively slow in adapting this change. Though the chemical industry is rapidly growing and expected to grow further in the next few decades, the current trend doesn’t emphasize complete digitization. According to a report by Roland Berger, about 90% of the chemical professionals believe that digitization is slowly transforming every part of the chemical value chain and will clearly transform the current market within the next five years.

As we are entering the digital age, the chemical industry needs to reorganize the supply chain and implement the digitization strategy for end-to-end transparency, real-time pricing, and improved customer service. It is important for companies to adapt to the changing digital world in order to overcome challenges and remain at a competitive edge. Digitization will help companies to explore new markets and create better opportunities.

When companies embrace complete digitization, it can help:

  • Create a perfect business model
  • Sell/purchase chemicals online
  • Attain technical sustainability
  • Reduced time to market
  • Easy operation and maintenance 
  • Computerized production processes
  • Accurate recordkeeping
  • Inventory planning
  • Compliance and documentation

Chemical industry trends 2019

Focusing on mergers & acquisitions to drive growth and stay ahead of the competition is a thing of the past, adapting to digitization is the real game-changer. All major players of the industry have implemented the latest technology including artificial intelligence (AI), Cloud computing, Internet of Things and data analytics. Businesses face new digital challenges to leave their mark in a highly competitive business environment. Companies are also improving their digital usage to respond better to the customers’ requirements.

Chemical companies have understood the need for digitization and they are slowly adapting to this change. The hope remains to ease the entire chemical supply chain and help the customers and the rest of the industry too.

Digital technologies in chemical industry

Digitization is crucial for the success of the chemical business. The chemical industry is already seeing a growing level of digitization. The future of the chemical industry focuses on maximizing digitization that’ll enable true end-to-end transparency, real-time pricing, and easy online chemical purchase. Digitization will also increase productivity and add value to the entire supply chain. Emerging digital technologies like AI, Cloud computing, Internet of Things and data analytics have improved the manufacturing efficiencies of the chemical companies.

Digital transformation is not something that’ll take overnight, it’s a journey not the destination. The digitization will slowly ease the entire process in the chemical industry, helping both the suppliers and the consumers. It’s easy for the suppliers to sell the chemicals while the consumers have smooth product delivery at the right time. The chemical industry online has revolutionized the process of buying and selling chemicals. From the buyer raising a request for acquiring chemicals to the seller displaying their goods, everything is done with just a few clicks.

Successfully implementing digital transformation in your company

Reshape your company’s success strategy, get digitization in place. Here are some of the key considerations while going for digital transformation.

Preparing your organization: Digitizing the entire process at all levels of the organization isn’t an easy task. It requires complete preparation before getting the digital platforms installed. The company should consider competency requirements and train their employees with the necessary digital skills.

Ensure to protect the digital data: With the rise of cyberattack threats, it is of utmost importance to have a cybersecurity process in place. It is necessary to have regular checks for cyber-attacks and have appropriate attention to ensure complete security. When companies plan for digitization, they need to know that cybersecurity implementation involves sufficient investment and highly skilled manpower to protect the system from any external attack.

Decide the digital system you want to use: Once you have decided to go for digitization, identify the processes you want to digitize. Whether you are looking to digitize the supply and distribution chain or want the research and development sector digitized, define your requirement. You can even consider digitizing all the processes. Ensure to get the relevant governance too.

Develop and launch digitally enabled business: Adapting to digitization is one of the major challenges that the chemical company faces today. To launch a digital model, it requires thorough preparation and an improved strategy. A good strategy and an advanced digital module will help you get into the digital space smoothly and get ahead of disruptions if any.

With the start of digitization, a new transformation journey had begun in the chemical industry. This is going to revolutionize both the B2B and B2C markets. Digital changes provide data related to chemicals, processes, supply chain, distribution, purchase, logistics and much more. The analytic data further helps the company to make the right decision and take necessary actions.