Integrated, comprehensive systems enable organizations to better coordinate production, packaging and pricing across the entire enterprise. As a result, they can match planning with execution while maximizing internal resources and complying with government regulations. They help companies to reduce cost of inventory, improve cycle time and enhance visibility in the supply chain — and, thus, to continue to thrive in a global economy.
THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT
To optimize the supply chain, a holistic, integrated software system truly can serve as a key tool to drive profit and return on investment. Sure, a company can operate without such an integrated system but it risks errors and omissions that may impact performance and profitability.
Chemical companies continue to make great strides in staying compliant and increasing their visibility across the industry. However, they still largely take are active approach. They are missing an important opportunity. Instead of merely responding to compliance standards, firms must become more proactive. When learning of regulations that will roll out within the coming months or years, a company must take advantage of that not only to prepare for compliance but also to identify possible opportunities. After all, this head start can enable the firm to maximize the benefits achieved from its spending on compliance. Organizations can use ERP systems to help tackle those opportunities in advance.
A plan for continuous improvement will give chemical companies a better shot at managing assets. They must think big on the innovation side and deliberately factor compliance issues into their vision of new products and offerings. Compliance, which often has been treated as a barrier or after-thought in the development process, really can spur innovation to bring new products to market. Success depends upon managing the product development process while being mindful of potential regulatory requirements that must be addressed immediately or in the future. Integrated software systems allow an organization to have the visibility and flexibility to manage innovation and compliance processes effectively.
For any chemical company looking to ensure that compliance is achieved in a way that doesn’t radically affect the cost of doing business, key areas to consider include:
• inventory and track-and-trace;
• quality management;
• recipe development and product manufacturing processes;
• innovation and new product development initiatives;
• product stewardship;
• utilizing information as an asset to drive profitability;
• business intelligence; and
• mobility and access of information on mobile devices.
Today’s business challenges and opportunities in the chemical industry have moved beyond traditional norms. Products and processes continue to evolve, driven in large part by changes in global forces. Tackling issues of compliance ahead of time can open up opportunities for innovation in the development of new products and services. Companies must make certain they have the knowledge and resources to keep the production and distribution of chemicals, and those at both receiving ends, as safe as possible. Operating with foresight, with a system containing the foundations for tracking product compliance, and with complete visibility and transparency to critical information will enable an enterprise to realize continued success in a challenging and competitive marketplace.
BRIAN EVERETT is industry solution principal for itelligence, Cincinnati. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.