Amidst globalization, increasing supply chain complexity, and a volatile global landscape, the importance of supply chain management cannot be overstated. This is perhaps especially true in the chemical industry, one of the world’s largest economic sectors that touches the majority of the manufactured goods we depend on every day.
Conditions in the manufacturing landscape today are constantly in flux; unpredictability is a given. Chemical manufacturers can ensure the efficiency, agility, and resilience of their supply chains and remain prepared for the future by investing in the future of chemical supply chain management — Industry 4.0 Smart Manufacturing technology.
Up-Leveling Supply Chain Management In The Chemical Industry With Industry 4.0
Recent research has found that nearly a third of all supply chain processes are inadequate, the largest proportion could be considered “competent,” while only five percent achieve “mastery.” Clearly, there is opportunity for improvement for the majority of supply chain operations; an improvement in supply chain management would allow manufacturers to better handle instability while gaining a meaningful competitive advantage.
The future of chemical supply chain management lies in the adoption of Industry 4.0 methodologies to achieve fully autonomous Smart Manufacturing status.
Industry 4.0 is characterized by unprecedented interconnectivity, the leveraging of big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), advanced automation, and continuous intelligence to facilitate enhanced supply chain visibility and more efficient, effective, realtime decision-making.
The Current Situation
The challenges chemical manufacturers face that could be better tackled with supply chain management powered by Industry 4.0 are many:
- Sudden changes in the price of raw materials - this is one of the biggest challenges facing chemical manufacturers today since raw materials are so crucial to manufacturing processes in the chemical industry; fluctuating costs for raw materials like oil and natural gas can interrupt the flow of supply chain operations if not properly tracked
- Sustainability concerns - consumers are demanding more transparency when it comes to chemical products and chemical manufacturing operations and reducing overall carbon footprint is the goal of many chemical manufacturers.
- Customer expectations - in addition to transparency around quality and sustainability, customers are increasingly demanding when it comes to product availability and timely and accurate order fulfillment. Brand trust and reputation are at risk without proper supply chain management of inventory and distribution.
- Ensuring quality and safety - the chemical industry is subject to many laws and regulations in place to protect the environment and human safety, and chemical manufacturing operations must be optimized and monitored to adhere to these standards.
- Supply chain complexity - in chemical manufacturing, production runs consistently or in a batch; products can be produced in bulk, or streams and processes can merge or de-merge. Variability is high, making supply chain management difficult.
Data handling - amidst today’s data explosion, chemical manufacturers face the task of managing the massive amounts of data available to them in plant and across all stages of the supply chain, and outdated systems often fall short.
Industry 4.0 Smart Manufacturing technologies effectively address these challenges and more.
With an Industry 4.0 digital transformation, chemical manufacturing enterprises gain the crucial advantage of enhanced visibility into manufacturing operations, maximized, end-to-end supply chain traceability, and a truly connected supply chain with the ability to share data with partners upstream and downstream.
Advanced data analytics allow chemical manufacturers access not just to massive amounts of data, but the insights within that data that empower them to respond more quickly and effectively to anomalies, interruptions, and setbacks. AL and ML deliver cause & effect identification and identify root issues, from chemical raw material suppliers through to the delivery of finished goods to consumers. Predictive analytics provide the ability to recognize patterns, anticipate demand, and predict changes, preventing trouble even before it occurs.
With Industry 4.0 technology, chemical manufacturers have the power to significantly enhance their supply chain management, and the growth and profitability of their enterprises in turn, creating supply chain operations that are more connected, more productive, more efficient and agile, and delivering products that are safer and of higher quality.
Risk mitigation, increased resilience, a clear competitive advantage — what any manufacturer wants, especially in our ever-evolving world. Industry 4.0 Smart Manufacturing is transforming supply chain management in chemical manufacturing, preparing enterprises with the solutions they need to face the biggest challenges of today — and tomorrow.
The Future Of Chemical Supply Chain Management Is Here
The future of supply chain management in chemical manufacturing is here thanks to the revolutionary innovations of Industry 4.0, and companies like ThinkIQ — the leader in Transformational Intelligence for manufacturers. ThinkIQ’s Transformational Intelligence platform allows manufacturers to contextualize data — both in-plant and across the supply chain —delivering Smart Manufacturing that improves yield, safety, quality, and compliance.
Previous technologies like ERP, MES, and MOM were generally passive. ThinkIQ’s Transformational Intelligence platform provides a complete overview of operations, delivering actionable insights that transform manufacturing.
ThinkIQ has aligned our Solutions roadmap with the 5 Steps to Smart Manufacturing, and combines the best of supply chain data analytics, traceability, and manufacturing analytics into the next generation manufacturing data platform.
ThinkIQ has already helped transform the production lines of many of today’s top companies, guiding them towards modern, optimized manufacturing. We’re ready to transform yours.
Ready to level-up your chemical supply chain management? Talk to a ThinkIQ expert today for a no obligation chemical supply chain traceability demonstration. We also have a new selection guide eBook, “An Evaluation Guide to Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing,” to help you better understand the questions you should be asking. Download your copy today.