Data as a value creation tool in chemicals: How your ERP can help

Categories: Chemicals, ERP
February 14, 2019
ERP solution

Your ERP solution is the key hub to use to leverage new possibilities from your data.

Chemical companies are discovering the value of the data they have and generate. While there is tremendous opportunity to leverage this data for deeper insights and new revenue streams, companies need the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools to fully leverage the opportunities.

Knowing how your ERP can help maximize data as a value creation tool in chemicals is a key strategic focus for many companies.

Using business analytics to leverage data is relatively new for the chemicals industry. That’s one of the main reasons that several private organizations and government agencies hosted a workshop in Washington, D.C., in 2018 to incorporate deeper analytics (data science) into the chemicals workplace.

Building Reserves

The power of new technologies. Many chemical companies are thinking of data like countries think about oil. They’re building tremendous reserves of data, stockpiling it in the case of an emergency.

However, many chemical companies are building up this reserve without a clear path to using it effectively and to use it for competitive advantage.

With all that data comes the need to have systems that can use the information in key ways. Chemical companies have unique needs in how data are operationalized, including:

  • Data needs to be highly searchable and usable in different contexts depending on the audience
  • Data have different characteristics that need to be factored into their use
  • Chemical data needs context to understand why they behave in a certain way
  • Forces act on chemical systems and need to be factored into creating systems and models

These complex attributes mean that leveraging chemical companies’ data is much more than what to with it. It’s also about observing the data and how it behaves in different scenarios.

For example, a company may collect data on the frequency of reactions for chemicals at different temperatures and use that information to create better internal processes that improve safety and quality.

Two construction workers sitting in a heavy machine with hard hats.

ERP solutions can help employees gain deeper insights to improve processes an gain revenue.

Leveraging Data Power

What chemical companies do to use their manufacturing ERP software to seize the data opportunity? Here are a few steps:

  • Practical solutions. Your data and analytics platform needs to be focused on delivering value to the organization. Your platform should focus first on augmenting what’s being done now. Then you can incorporate your newly created tools into other functions and processes.
  • Small bites. Organizations can be paralyzed by the sheer scope of data analytics. Instead of trying to pull in all the variables at once, companies should take an iterative approach.
  • Multiple investments. As much as you will invest in your ERP solution and the tools to use data effectively, you also need to invest in talent and training. Making sure your organization is resilient, comfortable with innovation and change, and has the necessary skills is just as critical as collecting the data.
  • Democratic approach. You need to share your data widely across the enterprise and tap into the knowledge and insights that others can bring to solving problems. That’s one of the strengths of using ERP for your data transformation. ERPs foster and encourage transparent, collaborative approaches to data usage.

NexTec is a leader in helping companies maximize their ERP solutions. With NexTec, chemical companies can get more out of their ERP investment and take their data to the next level. Contact us to learn more about how NexTec can drive transformation in your organization.