With increasing globalization comes increasing demands on efficiency, time-to-market, order lead times, and management of product life cycles. Management is constantly looking for gains through improved asset utilization, enhanced yields and efficiencies, and improved employee productivity.
During the last several years, chemical manufacturers have struggled to maintain growth and profit margins. Raw materials, especially petro-chemically based ones, and energy prices have risen along with competitive pricing pressures. Mergers, acquisitions and industry consolidations are also a significant factor as manufacturers gain competitiveness through size and niche markets. The overriding objective of enterprise business systems is to provide critical information and to support business processes, maximizing gains and minimizing losses.
PSGi’s extensive experience working with many types of chemical manufacturers enables us to provide business process implementation and optimization services incorporating industry best practices. These services are targeted at maximizing the flow of critical information through the organization, minimizing redundancies and ensuring this information is used manually or automatically to make successful vital business decisions.
Complexities of the chemical manufacturing industry include these characteristics requiring constant flow of information:
- Operations with variations in raw materials, formulations and packaging
- Formulas which may include by-products, co-products, recycle streams, intermediates, variations in expected yields and alternate equipment-specific formulas
- There is a growing trend in the chemical industry for manufacturers to produce customer specific formulations from a base formulation and/or to package the product uniquely for a customer
- Inventory parameters that may include specific materials characteristics such as potency, catch weight, classifications, expiration dates, lot control, units of measure and often cradle-to-grave traceability
- Tolling or contract manufacturing with many variations including “swaps” where, for example, 2 different manufacturers in 2 different geographies produce and deliver product for each other in their home geographies and then net the negotiated costs. Or, this could as simple as a contract manufacturer making the product for another supplier who packages it or vice versa.
- Adhering to updated government regulations and evolving customer mandates
- Managing inventory levels, production schedules and yields, capacity loading and a variety of cost factors to maximize profitability. Deriving these cost factors and appropriately assigning cost requires systematic yield analysis. The various types of product streams described in the formulations also contribute to accurate costing.
- Bi-directional lot traceability from raw material to finished good and back is becoming increasingly important. Companies typically do well if assigning finished good lot numbers and tracking one-way to customers but few have control of tracking raw materials through to finished goods.
Managing this information well leads to:
- Operational excellence
- Enhanced and market aligned decision making
- Consistently producing the highest-quality products.
- Manufacturing agility enabling better reaction to opportunities and obstacles
- Managing profitability for greater business growth.
- Competitive advantages