The topic of digitization is coming more and more into focus for the more traditional industries like the chemical industry. As the chemical industry is working in a business to business relationship, the digitization creates new opportunities for all their customers in the markets. For example, automation, standardization, and harmonization of processes could result in faster delivery, higher quality, and better pricing. Finally, all these aspects are beneficial for their customers.
An old industry is learning new tricks
If you think about digitization, what is the first thing you are thinking of? Maybe, Google, Facebook or Amazon, the Silicon Valley in the United States, a person writing source code or enhanced robotics from Boston dynamics?
However, the imagination of digitization is most often a new future technology, which would make life easier or allow us to do things we couldn’t do before. So, let us face it, if we think about digitization, we don’t necessarily think about the chemical industry. However, the digitization of processes, implementation of new software and the automation of routines are recent topics in this more traditional industry.
What is digitization?
By talking about digitization, we would expect the transformation of previously analog or manually routines and processes into digitalized routines or even automated processes. So, we expect to do more by doing a task more efficiently than before or even not at all, because it isn’t reasonable anymore. For example, workflows for approvals can be done within the software, in comparison to doing print outs, sing the print, scan it and email the scan to the next workflow partner. So, one aspect of digitization is the reduction of breaks between different types of media. Otherwise, digitization also enables the collection and generation of new data and therefore enables a company to draw new conclusions from their information.
Digitization creates new opportunities
As depicted in the above abstract, digitization unlocks new business opportunities which results in new business models and in fact a new market approach. With more and more information, services can be aligned and created just for the needs of the customer. For example, a company could easily share its information with a broad audience. In the chemical industry, we can think of different areas for digitization:
- Manufacturing processes / Production routines
- Logistical processes / Stock and Warehousing
- Management processes
- Business Models e.g. online platforms
Especially the online platforms need a lot of information about the product, the application, the market, availability and maybe even price.
The current market situation changes
Different online platforms in the chemical industry are coming more into focus. The online world offers all the relevant information to the right time and even more. Ideally, the company has already built some services around the online platforms to attract potential new customers, but also add value for the current customers. On the other side, this approach brings more transparency to the market and reduces the margin of the companies as suppliers and even products are more rapidly exchangeable.
Who offers chemicals online?
To offer chemicals on an online platform, it is as important as a direct business to cope with the right regarding the distribution of chemicals. For example in Europe, this is exactly handled by the European Union. Nevertheless, besides the regulations of chemical business, this is still attractive to reach potential customers as the interaction between customers and companies changes. Just to mention some of the players in this business field:
- Amazon Business
- Univar Solutions
- and furthermore.
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