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White Paper

Reimagine Your Enterprise

3 Ways Innovative Chemical Companies


Are Transforming Their Business

e
I n n o va t

Digitally Equipping the Workforce

Enabling a Responsive Supply Chain

Innovative New Product Introductions

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About the Author

Brian Everett
Chemical Industry Solution Principal

As an Industry Solution Principal at Mr. Everett started his career at Andersen


itelligence, Brian Everett is responsible Consulting (Accenture) as a consultant,
for North American demand generation, where he was involved in implementing the
sales, and solution development activities SAP R/3 software package in the chemical
in the chemical industry as well as actively and manufacturing industries. These ‘on the
participating in itelligence’s Cloud Innovation ground’ experiences have been carried forward
Center Program. He has been with itelligence and provided the foundation for growth as he
for seventeen years and working in the SAP has progressed through his career.
ecosystem for twenty-one years. Prior to
working as an Industry Solution Principal, Mr. Everett has a Bachelor of Science
Mr. Everett has held the itelligence positions degree from Miami University (Ohio)
of Director of Mid-Market Solutions, Project with a concentration in marketing and
Manager, Manager of Industry Solution statistics (1996) and a Master of Business
Development, and Application Management Administration from the University of
Support Manager. He also has industry Cincinnati with a dual specialization in
experience in manufacturing, consumer Finance and Management (2005). Hobbies
products, automotive, professional services, include running, biking, golf, and playing
and life sciences. saxophone in a community band.

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary 4

1. | Digitally Equipping the Workforce 5

2. | Enabling a Responsive Supply Chain 6

3. | Innovative New Product Introductions 8

Summary and Conclusion 9

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Executive Summary

Chemical manufacturers and distributors are at a crossroads. With an increasingly


competitive environment, business operations are constantly challenged with
volatile energy prices, ongoing regulatory requirements, lengthy product innovation
cycles and complex global supply chains. Mergers, acquisitions and divestitures add
At the
to this challenging environment and consistently change the industry landscape.
Crossroads
Additionally, customers expect real-time order updates, operations personnel want
to proactively maintain production equipment, and executives need to track business
performance that’s occurring around the globe.

Chemical companies are under mounting pressure to operate more effectively and
efficiently, while fulfilling customer demands for immediacy and product innovation.
Yet trying to meet these challenges with manually intensive processes and outdated
technology is difficult, especially when external trading partners and global
operations are involved. Constraining operations with slow, error-prone manual
tasks and input limits performance standards and impedes growth, while potentially
harming customer satisfaction, making businesses more likely to lose customers to
competitors who can effectively act in real time.

Chemical companies are under mounting pressure to


operate more effectively and efficiently, while fulfilling
customer demands for immediacy and product
innovation.

To meet these demands, chemical companies must lead their business into the digital
age by further extending business processes across trading partners, from suppliers
to customers. This serves as a critical expansion that marks a departure from the
traditional focus solely on manufacturing and distribution.

The key to enabling a digital transformation for your company requires rapid access
to data across all business operations. More accurately, it requires the ability to
leverage and learn from critical data by getting it to the right people in real time, and
at the point where value creation occurs. With accurate information, customers know
exactly where their orders are and when they’ll arrive. Supply chain professionals can
monitor distribution schedules, quickly spot a potential problem and respond cost
effectively. And, operations personnel can proactively manage machine maintenance
and improve asset utilization.

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This transformation helps chemical organizations boost efficiency, profitability, and
innovation — driven by new technologies that help organizations of any size embrace
the possibilities of real-time business. By leveraging new technologies and digital
processes, chemical organizations can more effectively collect, distribute, analyze
and use their data. As a result, business performance improves and your organization
is better equipped to compete in the data-driven digital economy. To get the most
out of data, businesses must move away from growth-impeding processes to leverage
technology solutions that extend current enterprise systems and fully enable digital
business operations.

This paper highlights three key areas where chemical companies need to embrace
digital transformation to maximize efficiency, profitability and innovation.

1. Digitally Equipping the Workforce

With a digital transformation, chemical companies can fully enable workers to


work smarter and make better-informed and timely decisions. A recent study found
that 86% of employees cite a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for
Bringing workplace failures.1 Consider the situation where a predictive maintenance solution
the pieces is flagging an expected failure on a specific piece of production equipment. With
together enhanced digital capabilities, teams can access data from various sources, such
as sensors, suppliers and weather reports. They can also bring in expertise from
engineering, component suppliers or other subject matter experts to analyze and
correlate data to identify the root cause.

A recent study found that 86% of employees cite a


lack of collaboration or ineffective communication
for workplace failures.1

1
Footnote: http://www.fierceinc.com/about- fierce/press-room/press-releases/new- study-86-percent-of-
employees-cite- lack-of-collaboration-for-workplace- failures

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Many chemical companies are good candidates for improved workforce connectivity.
In addition, companies can take advantage of other digital capabilities to transform
workforce performance including the following:

nn Exception-Based Reporting: Work guidance based on prioritized exceptions vs.


“hunting” strategy

nn Simulations & Predictive Guidance: Predictive engines provide simulations &


present scenarios

nn Bias Toward Action: Transactions necessary to take action presented in context


of analytical dashboards

nn Un-Tethered Consumer-Grade User Interfaces: All interactions delivered in


intuitive formats, consumable by any device, anywhere

itelligence has recently worked with a formulator of minerals to successfully address


many of the above issues resulting in transitioning their organization to a more
digitally aligned business. The business was beset with manual and antiquated
manufacturing planning and execution processes. While the company’s processes
worked, they didn’t allow for the necessary scaling and predictive capabilities
required in an ever-evolving and changing ecosystem. itelligence implemented a
product solution that allowed for the customer to improve product forecasting, boost
exception management capabilities and gain a single ‘version of the truth’ regarding
supply chain processing.

2. Enabling a Responsive Supply Chain

Given the size and global scope of today’s chemical supply chain networks along with
the variability of responses that occur at different links within the chain, companies
must advance their current systems and operational practices to more digitally
focused technologies. This is an inherently collaborative process involving multiple
Chain
trading partners across the globe that requires the access and sharing of data from
Reaction
multiple sources to meet service levels and exceed customer expectations.

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Global supply chain networks tend to constantly shift and industry mergers and
acquisitions drive some changes. As a result, chemical firms need to leverage digital
capabilities to better identify the best sourcing, production, and inventory options on
a constant basis. Greater access to supply chain information allows firms to integrate
demand, supply, and financial information and better analyze customer, product,
market and channel information to maximize customer service and financial
performance. Access to real-time shifts in product requirements and preferences
translates into real-time logistics planning and execution that lowers global supply
chain risks and costs.

Figure 1: Greater access to


supply chain information allows
firms to integrate demand, supply,
financial, and customer data.

Financial

Warehouse Logistics

Demand Supply
Inventory
Planning Planning
Optimization

People Data

Process Systems

Additionally, companies can strategically position raw materials, replacement parts,


works in progress, and finished products to better support customer demand. With
improved inventory positioning based on advanced digital capabilities, companies
can avoid out-of-stock situations and maximize customer satisfaction. As an example,
itelligence worked with a manufacturer of electronic and wood treatment chemicals.
The project focused on implementing an ERP system for locations in the US and
abroad. The resulting benefits of this implementation included greater visibility into
inventory and creating an information repository from machines and manufacturing
devices on the production floor. This centralization of information, rather than being
distributed in a variety of disparate machines across the production floor, allowed
the organization greater access to inventory quantity information and a better
understanding of inventory carrying costs. As a result, the organization was more
efficient and able to operate in a more lean fashion.

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3. Innovative New Product Introductions

Greater connectivity with customers and knowing more about their preferences helps
drive new product innovation. Additionally, you can gain deeper scientific insights to
better identify potential research niches and competitive opportunities. With more
Taking insight, chemical firms can intelligently determine what new additives to include or
Action where future customer trends are heading that might impact new product development—
whether that’s the reduction of harmful chemicals, the addition of organic additives or
other requirements. With this insight, chemical firms gain a better understanding of
customer needs and trends, quickly respond to any product issues and expand growth
opportunities with innovative new products.

Figure 2:
Staying connected to
optimize opportunities POS

Following
Web

Web
Social Store

Reviews Support

Call
Center

The majority of new product introductions are viewed as costly and risky activities. It’s
imperative that chemical firms embrace digital approaches that garner new levels of success
from products that better anticipate and meet the future needs of customers. In one situation,
itelligence engaged with a manufacturer of skin health and hygiene solutions for end
consumers. Managing the product lifecycle is critically important in order to develop products
that allow for a positive long-term return on investment. itelligence has successfully helped this
company leverage SAP product development capabilities and enabled the organization to tailor
product offerings to consumer preferences.

As business models change in this digital era, product innovation requires direct customer
engagement for chemical companies to deliver the right products and services at the most
opportune time. Boosting customer connectivity and scientific insights during product
development cycles helps ensure greater market adoption rates and more successful product
launches.

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Summary and Conclusion

The digital economy is developing rapidly worldwide. By adopting new digital


technologies, chemical companies can develop more innovative products, increase
workforce utilization and gain deeper insights into business performance. The
digital trend is inescapable and enables more than just technological innovation.
For companies that take full advantage of new digital opportunities, it means more
competitive business models, enhanced networking with trading partners, improved
operations and deeper customer relationships.

With itelligence solutions, chemical organizations can simplify production operations


and better respond to demand variability. Additionally, our chemical clients gain
access to the right operational information and quickly place business insights into
the hands of decision makers. As a result, your organization can place more focus on
developing innovative products, improving operational performance, and profitably
growing your business.

Figure 3: Enhanced digital network for increased performance and greater profitability.

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Workforce Se De Supplier
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Sale
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Sourcing

Assets Customers

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Find out More ...

For more information

For more information on how itelligence Group North America can help your enterprise capitalize on the
possibilities of digital transformation, click here to request a discovery call or contact us at
+1-866-422-8858.

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This white paper outlines our general product direction and must not be relied on in making a purchase decision, as it is not subject
to your license agreement or any other agreement with itelligence. itelligence has no obligation to pursue any course of business
outlined in this white paper or to develop or release any functionality mentioned herein. This white paper and itelligence‘s strat-
egy for possible future developments are subject to change and may be changed by itelligence at any time for any reason without
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in this document, except if such damages were intentionally caused by itelligence or its gross negligence.

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About itelligence

In the digital age, you need an IT partner you can rely on.
Someone who understands the digital and real-life challenges
of your industry and helps you rethink your business. A partner
who is with you every step of the way.

With over 25 years’ experience, itelligence knows SAP software


inside out. We work closely with our clients to identify
their specific needs and fulfil them. Numerous SAP awards,
certifications, and our SAP Platinum Partner status are
testament to our success. From consulting to implementation
and managed services, we have over 5,000 employees with the
expertise to take your business further.

As part of the NTT Data Group, we can draw upon a global


network of over 9,000 SAP specialists. And our presence in 24
countries around the world ensures we are always close to your
business. What’s more, our strong ties to SAP mean we stay up
to speed with the latest innovations and can help you get more
from them. No matter what industry you are in – we are the
IT partner for your digital transformation. Think ahead. Go
beyond. Visit www.itelligencegroup.com for more information.

itelligence North America Headquarters | 10856 Reed Hartman Highway, Cincinnati, OH 45242 • 1-866-422-8858 • marketing@itelligencegroup.com