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Chemicals

Thank you! – HB Chemical Case Study

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HB Chemical

About NexTec Group

NexTec Group is a national consulting firm, specializing in technology to help you manage your business. This includes Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Business Intelligence (BI), Cloud and On-premise solutions for mid-sized businesses.

We started the company because, as consultants, we saw software sellers that had never walked a mile in the customers shoes. We had, and knew that we could offer something different. A company made up of consultants that had experience working in the industries that they were now advising.

In the 20+ years that NexTec has been in business, we’ve developed close working relationships with our customers, partners and each other.

Customers choose NexTec because…

  • Our consultants have an average of 25 years’ experience in both consulting and industry.
  • We understand the software, customer challenges, value teamwork, and are passionate about doing great work
  • We provide clear information that helps customers make informed buying decisions
  • We stand by our customers to make sure the technology works, is used, and produces great results
  • We deliver our services with a sense of friendliness, fun, individual pride, and company spirit

If you see the possibilities, let’s meet for lunch, coffee or a drink.

Thank you! – Columbia Chemical Case Study

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Thanks for getting in touch

Here’s your copy of the Columbia Chemical case study.

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Columbia Chemical

About NexTec Group

NexTec Group is a national consulting firm, specializing in technology to help you manage your business. This includes Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Business Intelligence (BI), Cloud and On-premise solutions for mid-sized businesses.

We started the company because, as consultants, we saw software sellers that had never walked a mile in the customers shoes. We had, and knew that we could offer something different. A company made up of consultants that had experience working in the industries that they were now advising.

In the 20+ years that NexTec has been in business, we’ve developed close working relationships with our customers, partners and each other.

Customers choose NexTec because…

  • Our consultants have an average of 25 years’ experience in both consulting and industry.
  • We understand the software, customer challenges, value teamwork, and are passionate about doing great work
  • We provide clear information that helps customers make informed buying decisions
  • We stand by our customers to make sure the technology works, is used, and produces great results
  • We deliver our services with a sense of friendliness, fun, individual pride, and company spirit

If you see the possibilities, let’s meet for lunch, coffee or a drink.

Thank you! – EMS Adhesives Case Study

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Thanks for getting in touch

Here’s your copy of the EMS Adhesives case study.

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About NexTec Group

NexTec Group is a national consulting firm, specializing in technology to help you manage your business. This includes Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Business Intelligence (BI), Cloud and On-premise solutions for mid-sized businesses.

We started the company because, as consultants, we saw software sellers that had never walked a mile in the customers shoes. We had, and knew that we could offer something different. A company made up of consultants that had experience working in the industries that they were now advising.

In the 20+ years that NexTec has been in business, we’ve developed close working relationships with our customers, partners and each other.

Customers choose NexTec because…

  • Our consultants have an average of 25 years’ experience in both consulting and industry.
  • We understand the software, customer challenges, value teamwork, and are passionate about doing great work
  • We provide clear information that helps customers make informed buying decisions
  • We stand by our customers to make sure the technology works, is used, and produces great results
  • We deliver our services with a sense of friendliness, fun, individual pride, and company spirit

If you see the possibilities, let’s meet for lunch, coffee or a drink.

ERP solutions

Chemical industry trends and ERP expectations for 2019

By | Chemicals, ERP | No Comments
ERP solution

Chemical companies will need an ERP that can address market and margin pressures in 2019.

Competitive and regulatory pressures are likely to remain prominent issues facing the chemical industry in 2019. In order to stay ahead, companies will need more functionality from their enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions.

Here’s a closer look at chemical industry trends and ERP expectations for 2019.

Chemical challenges and opportunities

Chemical companies will face some of the same challenges in 2019 as in recent years, driven by hefty transactional activity, compliance issues and changing customer expectations. Here are a few of the major challenges:

  • Customer Expectations. Customer and consumer expectations have changed in recent years. Today, the expectations are real-time information on any device, instant communication with quick responses and buying decisions driven by easy access to insights and data.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions. The past few years have seen extensive M&A activity in the chemical industry. While the big deals have largely been consummated, that leaves lots of room for mid-sized companies to acquire competitors or business pieces being dropped by newly formed mega-companies.
  • Regulation. Chemical companies continue to face complex and evolving compliance demands from industry and federal and international agencies. Managing this layered regulatory landscape requires tools that can track and report on myriad data.
  • Margin Pressure. Companies continue to face demands from executives, boards and shareholders for improved profit margins. That means driving operational efficiency through tools to manage inventory, formulas, asset usage and employee productivity.

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What it means for your ERP

The need for more productivity, accountability, documentation and customer responsiveness means your company needs the right industry-specific manufacturing ERP software. These new realities mean chemical companies should expect more from their ERP solution.

Your company needs an ERP that can deliver on not only operational efficiency, but also on the adoption of new technologies that can differentiate from the competition. IN 2019, companies should look for an ERP that can provide:

  • Agility. Your ERP needs the flexibility to anticipate and respond to rapidly changing products, customers, expectations, partners and suppliers. Demands for new products, for example, need to be met quickly. That means having an ERP that can add classifications, formulas, business rules and shipping notifications rapidly.
  • Technology. Your tools and products are getting smarter and more connected. You need an ERP that can accommodate growth in the Internet of Things, linking information that’s collected and sent by connected objects to the right place and the right person. Use of artificial intelligence and machine learning is also bound to accelerate in 2019. Your ERP will need to adapt to handle the efficiencies gained by voice-activated interfaces and machine-generated alerts.
  • Data as an Asset. ERP solutions have long touted the ability to collect, report and visualize massive amounts of data for actionable impact. In 2019, data will continue to be seen as an asset to be commoditized and leveraged. ERPs need to pull data from disparate areas to deliver insights and, in many case, revenue streams.
  • Market Adaptation. Chemical companies are finding more markets, each with their own demands, customer and packaging expectations, label requirements and regulations. Your ERP needs to be able to deliver the variability needed to make an impact in emerging marketplaces.

The right ERP partner

NexTec works with leading ERP companies, including Acumatica, Microsoft and Sage. Our nationwide network of consultations with chemical industry experience are ready to position your chemical business for success in 2019. Get our guide, 10 tips to smart ERP selection, to learn more about how NexTec delivers results with chemical industry ERPs.

Thank you! – Chemical eBook Download

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Here’s your download 3 emerging trends for the chemical industry.

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Three emerging trends in the chemical industry

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About NexTec Group

NexTec Group is a national consulting firm, specializing in technology to help you manage your business. This includes Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Business Intelligence (BI), Cloud and On-premise solutions for mid-sized businesses.

We started the company because, as consultants, we saw software sellers that had never walked a mile in the customers shoes. We had, and knew that we could offer something different. A company made up of consultants that had experience working in the industries that they were now advising.

In the 20+ years that NexTec has been in business, we’ve developed close working relationships with our customers, partners and each other.

Customers choose NexTec because…

  • Our consultants have an average of 25 years’ experience in both consulting and industry.
  • We understand the software, customer challenges, value teamwork, and are passionate about doing great work
  • We have the biggest and most experience Sage X3 team in the industry, implementing Sage X3 since the product’s introduction.
  • We provide clear information that helps customers make informed buying decisions
  • We stand by our customers to make sure the technology works, is used, and produces great results
  • We deliver our services with a sense of friendliness, fun, individual pride, and company spirit

If you see the possibilities, let’s meet for lunch, coffee or a drink.

Sage Authorized Partner
ERP solutions

Positive outlook for chemicals industry in 2019: ERP considerations

By | Chemicals, ERP | No Comments
ERP solution

The 2019 outlook is bright for the chemicals industry.

After a turbulent few years, the tide seems to be turning for the chemicals industry.

Knowing what to look for in 2019 and how an industry-specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution can make a major difference sets chemicals companies up for a productive new year.

With a positive outlook for the chemicals industry in 2019, ERP considerations should come into the fore for companies looking to drive better operations and controls designed with the industry in mind.

Optimistic projections

The American Chemistry Council projects a 3.6 percent increase in U.S. production for 2019, up from a projected 3.4 percent bump in 2018. The ACC attributes the optimistic outlook to several factors:

  • Rising exports
  • Increase in manufacturing
  • Strong potential for global growth
  • Demand from end-use markets
  • Balanced chemical inventory levels
  • Favorable shale gas economic conditions

That positive forecast follows a mixed 2017 for the industry. The ACC believes optimal economic conditions, continued demand in housing and automotive industries and strong supplies of shale and liquid natural gas will lead the strengthening trend for 2019. Growth is projected for 2019 in coatings, consumer products, crop protections, fertilizers and petrochemicals.

ERP solution

Chemicals companies will continue to need dynamic solutions to maintain efficiencies in areas like inventory management.

What to look for in 2019

For chemical companies looking to stay on the cusp of key industry trends, there are several factors to consider in 2019, including:

  • Changing Demand. As customers get younger, they expect simple access to products and services. They want personal relationships with companies and brands, meaning chemicals companies need to use technology to create two-way relationships.
  • Margins. Recent years have brought tightening pressure on pricing and profit margins. Maintaining operational excellence, such as the use of an industry-specific ERP solution, is a key step for chemicals companies to maximize assets and improve productivity.
  • Regulatory Pressure. Compliance continues to be an issue for chemicals companies to manage compliance obligations from multiple regulatory jurisdictions. To deliver the right reporting and management requirements, companies are increasingly relying on an ERP solution. Doing so allows for better tracking and reporting.
  • Mergers & Acquisitions. The massive mergers and purchases of the past few years are likely to give way to smaller purchases of non-core business assets.
  • Productivity Drivers. The industry has focused on improving productivity over the past two decades with demonstrable results. Maintaining productivity and profitability will continue to give chemicals companies a strong negotiating position with suppliers and customers.
  • Digitalization. As customers demands’ have evolved, so too have the mechanics by which products are sold. Companies are relying increasingly on new marketing and sales practices that previously would have only applied to B2C companies but are increasingly becoming the norm in the B2B space.

The need for industry-specific ERP

While ERP tools have been around for decades, too often chemicals companies have had to make do with solutions that are not built to address their needs. Today’s companies need an ERP that has core functionality that includes:

  • Process Functionality including measurement unit conversions, shelf-life and inventory control and materials planning
  • Tracking and Tracing of products and components to the warehouse and throughout the production cycle with forward and backward traceability
  • Formula Management to track ingredients and intermediates, scale batches and global change management
  • Quality Control for consistency across runs and precise measures of shelf life, product quality and expiration dates

NexTec helps chemicals companies prepare for the future with insights into industry-specific ERP solutions that meet critical needs. Learn More about ERP and see how NexTec helps with the selection and implementation of ERP systems.

Enterprise resource planning software

How the right ERP can address 2019 challenges in chemicals industry

By | Chemicals, ERP | No Comments
Enterprise resource planning software

Chemical companies are bracing for economic and innovation challenges in 2019.

Chemical companies are facing myriad challenges as the calendar turns to 2019. From slowing economic growth to weakening demand in key industries, chemical companies are in greater need for enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools that optimize operations and provide deeper insights.

Here’s a look at the major risks and how the right ERP can address 2019 challenges in chemicals industry.

2019 challenges for chemical companies

What do chemical companies need to consider when planning for 2019? Here are some considerations:

  • China Market. China’s ongoing trade dispute with the United States has led to an economic slowdown in the world’s largest market for chemical products. Weakening growth in China, Europe and other regions are a concern across many sectors. The concern is so significant that in Germany, for example, one publication forewarned of a “toxic 2019” for chemical companies in Europe’s largest economy.
  • Sustainability. Growing regulatory mandates and tighter supplies of energy and raw materials are making it more challenging for chemical companies. Added to the challenge is the increasing expectation for new approaches that promote conservation, sustainability and recycling. Chemical companies will continue to need to innovate in packaging design (making plastics easier to recycle) and battery recycling. There’s also the growing use of alternate energy sources, such as wind turbines, which is projected to grow from 11 percent of European electricity demand sourcing now 25 percent by 2030.
  • Automobile Industry. The decline in demand among automakers is driven by increased investments in engine overhauls to meet restrictive emissions standards and consumer appetite for electric cars.
  • M&A Shift. The massive merger-and-acquisition frenzy that has hit the chemical industry in recent years is likely to slow down. Instead, companies will be looking to acquire none-core components of the newly created mega-companies. These smaller acquisitions will put increasing pressure on operational efficiencies and integration management.
  • Digital Disruption. When it comes to leveraging recently developed innovative technologies such as the Internet of Things, the cloud and data analytics, chemical companies have focused mostly on internal efficiencies and operations. However, as customers increasingly demand new products and disruptive startups threaten to reinvent many industries, chemical companies would be smart to consider new adoptions of technology that are outward-facing. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation, connected sensors and 3-D printing are likely to be the foundation of new products.
  •  Deglobalization. The global trend towards retrenchment means chemical companies must be ever-vigilant when it comes to supply chain management, finding partners that can source needed materials regionally and globally. There is opportunity here for chemical companies that need to consider carefully into which markets they focus their footprint expansion strategies.
Enterprise resource planning software

Shifting demand is causing many automakers to focus on changing the way combustion engines are made, a growing challenge for chemical manufacturers.

The need for ERP

The challenges and opportunities chemical companies will face in 2019 make it crucial to use an enterprise resource planning software product designed for the industry. Products need to have the tools that address industry-specific needs such as:

  • Formulation management
  • Chemical property management
  • Recipe management
  • Supply chain optimization
  • Measurement conversions
  • Forecasting
  • Co-product and byproduct management
  • Compliance documentation and reporting

A chemical-industry-specific ERP solution allows your company to collect and analyze data, foster collaboration and transparency, and anticipate and respond to emerging market trends. At NexTec Group, we work closely with chemical companies to identify unique needs and select the right ERP to drive better business outcomes. Contact us to learn more about how NexTec can help your chemical business,.

Person with protective clothing working.

Potential risks of customizing a generic ERP to the chemical industry

By | Chemicals, ERP | No Comments
Person working with face mask and protective clothing.

Chemical manufacturers face specific regulatory and technical needs that are best suited by an industry-specific enterprise resource planning solution.

When your chemical manufacturing company is looking to improve operational efficiency and supply chain transparency, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution is usually a prudent choice. However, when it comes to ERP selection, there are potential risks in choosing the wrong system.

In recent years, ERP developers have created industry-specific solutions that factor in critical needs that are unique to the vertical. With a deeper understanding of regulatory, procurement, process, and production industry standards, platform makers can deliver solutions that are far more turnkey and pragmatic.

What’s more, these solutions reduce the costs and complexities of customizing a generic solution. Here is a closer look at the potential risks of customizing a generic ERP to the chemical industry.

Why Customize?

Customization of a generic solution is essential for several reasons. Chemical companies face regulatory restrictions to monitor emissions, ensure worker and public safety, and accurately reflect the materials and their potencies on labels. Companies need to ensure that detailed records are kept to ensure audit trails are established and reporting is accurate.

Customizations may also be necessary to ensure that user interfaces, reports and workflows are in order. Other customizations may be added to add industry-specific functionality and integrate with other third-party applications,

Person filling containers with creams.

Regulatory requirements for chemical companies require stringent controls and documentation needed, often from multiple federal and international agencies.

As seen in the recent post, Why Chemical Businesses Should Choose an Industry-Specific ERP, customization is problematic, involving considerable engineering and reengineering of platforms. With customer demands and regulations changing swiftly, this can create tremendous workloads to create even more workarounds to address new complexity.

Here are a few of the inherent risks in going with a generic ERP solution.

  • Sustained Increased Costs. Rewriting code is an expensive proposition. Even seemingly basic changes to code can bring about cascading ripples that permeate the entire systems, from finance to procurement to warehouse management to production scheduling. Developing customizations is only part of the challenge. With each change, the consequences need to be mapped, tested, verified, and implemented. All these steps take time and money.
  • Maintenance and Upgrades. System enhancements are a natural occurrence any complex software platform and ERP is no exception. enterprise resource planning solutions. Maintaining and upgrading to new versions are critically important yet complicated tasks. Installing patches and upgrades means assessing each customization to ensure that the new code does not override other work that’s been done to the system. If changes need to be made to the customizations, you are back to testing, verifying and implementing in a vicious cycle.
  • Production Pressures. Chemical companies today face fluctuating markets, customers that demand new products or variants quickly, and rising costs. Providing rapid production cycles and quality products means having tools that accurately reflect the way chemical companies need to operate to remain competitive.
  • Security Exposure. Software manufacturers develop security protocols based on standard functionality. Customized code, however, may create security holes in your system, exposing the company and its system to hackers intent on controlling the system, stealing data, or installing ransomware. The more customizations, the more potential exploits are created.

At NexTec Group, we help chemical companies with the complexities of selecting an industry-specific manufacturing ERP software solution that meets their unique needs. Contact us to learn how NexTec can assist your chemical company with their ERP needs.

Person working in a chemical warehouse.

Regulatory compliance is easier with chemical industry ERP software

By | Chemicals, ERP | No Comments
Person working in a chemical warehouse wearing protective clothing.

The sheer scope of chemical industry regulation makes the need for an industry-specific software solution more essential.

The chemical industry is one of the most highly regulated, with federal and global mandates dictating specific processes and monitoring to ensure worker and public safety. Failure to comply with the wide range of applicable regulations can have costly ramifications for chemical makers.

Choosing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) tool that’s specific to the chemical industry can help reduce the risk of failing to comply while ensuring that audit trails, reporting, and automated controls are in place. A look at the functionality that many ERPs offer makes it clear why regulatory compliance is easier with chemical industry ERP.

As seen in the recent post, Why Chemical Businesses Should Choose an Industry-Specific ERP, regulation is one of the key factors driving more businesses to eschew generic ERP solutions in favor of one that has key functionality that’s critical to chemical companies.

Regulatory Scope

A quick glimpse at the vastness of regulation affecting the chemical industry shows why industry-specific tools are a must. In the U.S. alone, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitors spills, emissions, exposures, and releases. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) tracks worker health and safety in the workplace. The Department of Transportation (DOT) governs the transportation and storage of materials, ingredients and finished products.

The EPA also manages hazardous waste regulations and the use of fungicides, insecticides or rodenticides used or made. If the chemical company is using food or drugs, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) may also be involved. That’s just the domestic alphabet soup. A litany of international and state regulations may also apply. Among the most notable are the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical Substances (REACH) guidelines, which govern companies doing business in the European Union.

With so many agencies involved, the challenge comes in having a solution that allows for efficient production and sound regulatory compliance. That’s where your company needs enterprise resource planning software that has features that allow for accurate response to regulatory requirements. Without an industry-specific solution, companies are likely to face expensive third-party workarounds that try to address the critical needs.

Woman with a glass flask pouring liquid.

Chemical companies need careful tracking tools to monitor each batch and lot.

Chemical Industry Specifics

Your ERP solution needs to address key factors that affect compliance within the chemical industry. They include:

  • Formula Management. ERP features need to include formula and recipe management tracking and storage, unit-of-measure conversions, the use of substitutions, and the ability to scale formulas accordingly to meet demand and facility scheduling.
  • Quality Control. The system should support, track, and automate quality control functionality. Quality tests on incoming purchases, standing inventory and finished products need to be easily scheduled and results tracked. Workflow management needs to track materials from warehouse to operational units, with easy tracking of lots and batches.
  • Inventory Management. Waste and rework are major cost centers for many chemical companies. Your ERP should be able to track lot and serial numbers, grade, container, disposition and shelf life attributes.
  • Material Safety Sheets. Detailed sheets on each material being used should be stored, tracked, and accessible by all employees to ensure that known qualities and reactions are well understood.

At NexTec, we help companies determine the right ERP solution for their unique needs. Contact us to see how NexTec can improve the selection and implementation of your industry-specific ERP.

Enterprise resource planning

Quality control in the chemical industry demands an outstanding ERP

By | Chemicals, ERP | No Comments
Woman with a with protective clothing working.

Industry-specific quality control allows chemical companies to reduce costs, improve production, and boost reputations.

Quality control is a priority in the chemical industry, ensuring that products are made according to the right formulas and that finished goods can be rated at the appropriate potency, eliminating loss of revenue or waste.

That’s why having an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that’s customized for the chemical industry needs to be an essential part of any IT strategy. As seen in the recent post, Why Chemical Businesses Should Choose an Industry-Specific ERP, there are considerable other benefits to choosing a solution that is made to meet your chemical company’s needs. Frankly, quality control in the chemical industry demands an outstanding ERP.

Defining Quality Control

Quality control in the chemical industry is designed around a simple premise: mistakes happen. However, while recognizing that errors, defects and problems are going to occur, quality control focuses on identifying and solving those issues early.

Catching issues and problems early in the production process ensures that batches are not ruined and that products do not need to be recalled. Quality control involves regular and consistent testing and analysis of products to ensure that any suboptimal results are corrected soon.

Benefits of Quality Control

With great quality control work in place, chemical companies can gain a decided market advantage. Among the core advantages of sound quality control are:

  • Lower costs due to reduced waste and better co-product and byproduct results
  • Greater productivity and less down time
  • Improved reputation management with customers and clients
  • Better supply chain relationship and transparency
  • Improved industry-wide reputation
  • Compliance with federal, international and industry regulations
  • Enhanced worker and consumer safety
  • Better reproducibility of results via standards and sample measurement accuracy

The advantages are clear. What’s not obvious is why a generic ERP solution is problematic. Basic ERPs are designed to meet the needs of the broadest customer base.

However, the requirements of your chemical company are likely nuanced and industry-specific. Purchasing a generic ERP solution means costly customization, work-arounds, or third-party applications necessary to meet standards and compliance mandates.

With an industry-specific ERP, you’ll be working with a vendor that has focused on building a product that is created with chemical companies in mind, with standard features that are suited for quality control needs.

Woman placing liquid in a glass tube.

Your chemical company needs an enterprise resource planning solution that can function within industry guidelines and norms.

An Industry-Specific ERP Solution

With an ERP solution designed to support chemical companies, you will have features and functionality that supports and enhanced your quality control work. Using automation tools, reporting, and data analysis capabilities, your chemical industry ERP solution offers an array of tools to leverage all the benefits of a strong QC program.

While features of your enterprise resource planning solution may vary, here are a few of the standard items in an industry-specific ERP:

  • Plan and checklist tracking
  • User-defined values for accepted, tolerance, and recount statuses
  • Tracking and quarantining of products
  • Sample pulling from batches
  • Sample analysis
  • Report and data archiving
  • Customizable quality control reports
  • Data analysis and recording
  • Monitoring tools
  • Marking items in inventory with at-risk and other QC statuses
  • Integration of results with Safety Data Sheets
  • Inventory disposition management driven by QC status
  • Certificates of Analysis generation

At NexTec, we work closely with chemical companies to understand their specific needs. We help identify vendors and products that are built to meet those needs, both for quality control and other industry-specific functionality. Contact us to learn more about how NexTec is a trusted partner for chemical company’s looking to improve performance, operability and quality.