Eventful Conferences has spent the last four months conducting extensive customer centric research with over 40 Chemicals organizations using SAP and 60+ individuals across North America. These individuals came from a wide range of functional areas within the chemicals industry including supply chain, manufacturing, IT, development, and leadership roles across organizations. Both business and IT were represented in our interviews and research. To balance the customer research, we also spoke with partners and SAP to hear their perspectives.
We asked these chemicals professionals, through both round table discussions and one-on-one conversation, what challenges they faced day to day and their thoughts on the most pertinent issues facing chemicals organizations. The Best Practices for Chemicals Conference will strive to address each challenge, pain point and trend by providing solution-oriented presentations, backed by specific evidence and packaged to provide the audience with clear takeaways on how to achieve similar results.
In this issue we will talk about how to best possibly leverage/enhance existing process and IT landscape with innovative, technology driven capabilities. If you missed or would like to revisit the previous entries in our series, please follow the links below.
- Technology – Current & Ongoing
While chemicals organizations maintain an eye for the future, equally important is how they can continue to drive value from the investments they have already made into their current technological landscape. Even without changing or upgrading their own systems, the world around the chemicals industry is rapidly evolving. A more visible, mobile, “real-time” world has impacted supply chain and logistics professionals especially by increasing the speed at which we do business, and changing the expectations of those relying on these business functions. Customer expectations have changed, with customers now wanting to track shipments and understand logistics in real-time. Geo-political pressures and changing regulations require real-time decision making as well, most of which impacts costs.
Our chemical company representatives all agreed that supply chain and logistics were foundational areas that can benefit significantly from improvements to current investments. Those are not the only functional areas ripe for optimizations, though. A lack of visibility hinders decision-making, cost analysis, and customer service across the organization, and improved business processes can offer substantial returns in each of these areas.
- Understanding Demand and forecasting better – What can I do to better manage materials and manufacturing inputs – control ordering, be sure to have enough of what I need?
- The relationship between Sales and Operational planning – In what ways can I leverage technology and improve processes to streamline?
- How can I best map and understand the interrelations between manufacturing and other aspects of the business?
- How can SAP tools help me with my hazardous raw materials management?
- What can I do to better screen market demand and shifts, and then reflect that back in my own inventory management decisions?
- What tools exist in SAP to support MRP and what case studies can we see of customers using these tools effectively to drive efficiency?
- Available to promise becomes part of core SAP S/4 – what does this mean to APO and where should I do this process in the future?
- I need to be flexible in my shipping options to meet customer and business needs; how can I manage the ever-changing options and costs associated so that I can make faster decisions?
- What are some best practices for third-party logistics, especially as it relates to transportation management, shipping, and distribution?
- What SAP technologies are best for managing third-party distributors? How do I create buy-in from distributors to use this technology?
- What are best practices for Supplier Relationship Management?
- How can I leverage SAP to improve procurement governance and sourcing decisions?
We look forward to see you there!