Chemistry & Life Sciences

Chemical Distribution 4.0

Digitalization of the Chemical Supply Chain is both a Challenge and a Possibility

04.04.2017 -

The digitalization of the chemical distribution industry seems to be a big step for a sector which is both mature and conservative. But, as Neville Prior, president of the European Association of Chemical Distributors (FECC) writes in his feature on page 14: “the chemical distribution market is ready for this digital age and [the sector] is increasingly looking to digital technologies as a way to better access customers.”

FECC has chosen the theme “Chemical Distribution 4.0” for their Annual Congress 2017, to be held in Warsaw, Poland, in mid-June. Thus, we have asked experts to share with our readers their opinions on the impact of digitalization on the chemical value and supply chain.

Dr. Frank Jenner, Global Chemical Industry Leader with Ernst & Young, explains that “digitalization makes it possible to put the customer in the focus of all business activities.”

Dr. Wolfgang Falter, Global Chemicals & Specialty Materials Sector Leader with Deloitte, predicts that “digitalization […] will accelerate the separation between well-run and differentiated chemical distribution winners and less well-run losers.”

And David Strauss, Director Customer Solutions at E2open, provides “five tips that are important to remember as digitalization sweeps through the chemical industry.”

We wanted to know from spokespersons of leading chemical distribution companies, which risks and which chances for their organization could arise out of the digital transformation of the industry and how they are preparing for the digital age. Their answers may reflect different strategies, but one thing holds good for all: focus on the chances and try to live up to the challenges. Because as one of the interviewees put it: “Digitalization is both a blessing and a curse.”

Find out yourself if the chemical distribution market - as FECC president Neville Prior claims - is ready for this digital age. Read here excerpts of what the company leaders have told us. You will find the complete statements here.