A digital supply chain for the chemical industry

chemical factory

The world is abuzz about the digitalization of everything from operations to logistics, and many industry analysts and thought leaders are weighing in on the significant impact that visibility, greater innovation and faster time to market can have on an industry—which are all gains that can be traced back to an increasingly digital supply chain.

The digital supply chain is predicted to have an especially significant impact on many areas of the chemical industry, leading to optimized business processes, faster decision-making and continuous performance improvements. To find out more about the transformational journey of digitization in the chemical industry, Transporeon Group recently joined forces with Germany’s largest technical university, RWTH Aachen, to conduct a unique survey of the current status and future of digital logistics.

“In chemical and process engineering, it is essential to establish robust, predictable supply chains,” says Alexia Fenollar Solvay, research group leader at RWTH Aachen University. “It is all about delivery reliability and planning reliability when you are transporting dangerous goods or valuable chemical products.”

Digitization helps improve communication and collaboration between carriers and shippers. It provides visibility across the supply chain, allowing chemical manufacturers to achieve transparent and more cost-effective movement of chemical products around the world. A digital supply chain enables shippers to know where their shipments are at all times and buyers to know when their orders will arrive.

A Quantum Leap in Digital Supply Chain

Digitizing processes in transportation creates information that can be used for continuous improvement and to measure performance. As chemical manufacturers have to meet ever-increasing safety standards and certification for transporting dangerous goods, this information can be gathered and distributed easily to regulatory agencies for verification. Performance data can be shared between carriers and shippers, making shippers more attractive to carriers to improve access to scarce capacity.

Thomas Einsiedler, chief product officer of Transporeon Group, states that transmitting event-based status information to relevant parties, which enables the shipper to proactively inform the end customer of any delivery problems or delays, represents a “quantum leap” from shipment tracking by telephone to a more digitally dependent process.

Digital communications across a cloud-based platform allow chemical companies to collaborate with all trading partners. With greater visibility into shipping processes, chemical producers can proactively let their customers know if a shipment will be delayed. Automatically generated messages can be sent to all relevant parties, replacing tedious phone calls and faxes.

“The future lies in communication and collaboration via a cloud-based platform that can integrate every party in the supply chain,” he says.

The next evolutionary step in shipment tracking for chemical manufacturers, Einsiedler says, is real-time visibility—constant transparency into truck location and estimated time of arrival using digital tools—and using predictive data to move away from reactive behavior to fully proactive behavior.

To start your digital transformation, see how Transporeon has helped others in the chemical industry embrace the technology that leads to improved operations and greater profitability. You can read the full interview with Transporeon’s chief product officer and the researchers from RWTH Aachen here: http://go.transporeon.com/SPCTPGEN2018-05-03InterviewChemicalCampaign_LPRegistration.html

And if you also struggle with unplanned truck arrivals at your site, click here for a useful at-a-glance infographic based on our industry-specific research results and a link to more information about Transporeon Time Slot Management.

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