To stay ahead of the competition, today’s chemical companies are embracing new innovations. As strong product demand places more strain on their operations, these companies are looking to new technology solutions that will help them efficiently serve customers and manage costs, all while producing the high-quality supplies the market demands.
One major chemical company saw new innovations as the key to modernizing its order-to-manufacturing process, boosting productivity and enhancing the customer experience. Its manufacturing function wanted a real-time view of inventory and stock to help plan and schedule priorities. And its sales activities demanded a solution to energize the customer experience through fast quotations and accurate delivery times.
The company and Accenture launched a business process transformation project that would streamline the sales ordering process and improve the efficiency and complexity of manufacturing operations through the implementation of IoT technology. This collaboration resulted in the design, development and deployment of three key products:
An eOrdering website
This platform, built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), facilitates tracking and accountability in the company’s end-to-end manufacturing process.
A weight and truck scale system
This drive-on pad system weighs trucks leaving the factory, feeds data to SAP in real time and ensures the right stock level is sent to customers.
A revised barcode scanning system
This system allows stock to be scanned and data sent back to SAP in real time. It also keeps operators informed about current stock levels.
To quickly and effectively implement these solutions, the team leveraged a combination of cloud native computing capabilities on AWS, DevOps delivery methodology and SAP infrastructure on cloud. AWS was especially important to the deployment of the company’s new technologies. The Accenture AWS Business Group helped conduct an initial proof-of-value to develop the IoT and cloud native systems quickly and demonstrate that a platform could be built and work on AWS.
People and culture
Together, we achieved operational efficiency and the goal of lowering costs through a foundation of mutual trust, collaboration and an innovation mindset.
Agile values went hand in hand with consistent collaboration, elevating what started as a promising transformation to a change-adaptive culture upgrade. The company’s IT team overcame the mental barriers of adopting DevOps and cloud technologies, a change that is preparing them to remain solution-minded and affording them better visibility to make data-based decisions.
Delivered in just half the expected time, using modern cloud technologies and DevOps practices, this initiative is making work in production lines and warehouses faster, more consistent and efficient. The company can now schedule manufacturing activities based on a close to real-time view of inventory. The company can also generate fast and accurate customer quotations, with the quotation time dropping from an average of eight days to almost real time.
In addition, sales are improving through reducing the ordering process from weeks to just hours. Finally, through DevOps and cloud native application development methods, the company can implement changes to its applications securely and in a fraction of the time.
By redefining its manufacturing and sales model, the company is positioning itself as an agile and resilient industry leader in the fast-paced global chemicals market.