C is for the chemical process industry

The chemical process industry covers all manner of different trades; from adhesives and sealants to chemical manufacturing, and food and beverage industries to paints and coatings. And with most businesses in this sector being sales and customer service focused, it makes ERP an important business necessity.

Today’s chemical manufacturers are under increasing pressure to maintain competitiveness, while complying with constant changes in government legislation, global competition and price sensitivity in the market with competitors continually undercutting prices. In addition reporting has become as standard a part of their job than production, traceability and quality control, and so having the ability to automate reports and gain a transparent view of all businesses processes is a vital ingredient to success.

Typically in the chemical process industry, assessing the information required for government reporting meant long hours of manual labour and a resistance test; wading through endless piles of paperwork and files. Compiling hazard communication reports, SARA Title III documents and ANSI reports always used to wade into too much of the day. An advanced ERP system like SYSPRO makes this much easier and provides desktop to the boardroom reporting with the flexibility of customisation and the convenience of archiving and scheduling. It provides a convenient and effective way to gather and monitor process information and automate compliance reporting.

On top of these pressures comes fluctuating material costs, which makes managing profitability a must for chemical manufacturing companies. Being able to track real time cost data through ERP can help a business to making better pricing decisions and improve its bottom line with greater visibility.

Chemical manufacturers have a series of specialist manufacturing techniques, such as formulation management, specific gravity calculations, and strict weight and volume restrictions, which can make the packaging and distribution processes difficult. Full traceability of products is vital from purchasing through to inspection, stocking and sales. And to keep up with fluctuating material costs, ERP can help forecast future demand and supply based on seasonal, cyclical and trend demand patterns, aiding financial management.

Waste and disposal are other issues that chemical process companies have to keep up-to-date with, and particularly as more and more chemicals start to be introduced to manufacturing processes. Being able to report on requirements for waste and recycling regulations and meet industry standards for sustainable packaging is key and a strong business case for ERP in this sector.

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