Network, Neutrality and Nous
In my 1st and 2nd blog entries we discussed the rise of the Chemical Marketplaces touching on where the industry may go. My latest piece focuses on how Elemica is positioned to support this industry’s evolution.
I put it down to three “N”’s, the Network, our Neutrality and our Industry Nous.
In this future business landscape, many Chemical producers will place their products on and receive orders from multiple marketplaces. A hinderance to producers successfully integrating into this new channel will be if order format changes between Marketplaces. Most chemical producers have worked to automate these transactions relying on manual processes only in emergency situations. Therefore having a network, like the Elemica Digital Supply Network, is critical to the success of these transactions. The major producers already have electronic orders with Elemica and utilize their additional lightweight solutions to digitize their smaller partners. Whether you are the leading process company in the world, or a small distributor in a remote region, your can get receive orders electronically and communicate real-time to the marketplace.
I sometimes consider Elemica as a “Data Service Provider”, I imagine the message going through our network like a truck on the road. A truck carrying chemicals is the same for BASF, Lonza or Thor. What differentiates these chemical companies’ “trucks” is what happens behind the scenes. How they manage the process within customer services and throughout the supply chain can dramatically change the user experience. With Elemica and the marketplaces it will be the same, what will add value to the user is the way the marketplace works and the added service that it provides to the user. The data transfer to the producers has the same quality and efficiency for all partners. If a marketplace wants to have more data, or data for different process steps, because that adds value to the marketplace and the user, then the data provider should not be the limiting factor. For Elemica, we work with each marketplace to see what data adds value, how they want to receive it and how often they need to get it.
The platform is flexible enough to support anything that may be required. Connections are reusable, we can take data from any channel, we can enrich the data to enhance the data user and critically we can correlate data across a supply chain so that any reference can be used to make sure the data going back to the user makes sense. For example, does the marketplace need its order number? no problem, we can make sure that is always in data movement. Does the producer need the shipment ID? again no problem. Do both parties need to know that the marketplace order number turns into the shipment ID, again, no problem. We have these two permanently linked so that even if a third party, for example a carrier, starts to provide information, we can get it to both parties.
From a common sense and pragmatic perspective, Elemica brings to the various marketplaces that are popping up almost 20 years domain industry experience leveraging a few things for you:
- Knowing the process industry and knowing “the molecule is king”
- Understanding the process industry is a collaborative industry at our core
- Integrating the supply chain business processes that have a true return on value
- Realize people will always want to automate everything, but sometimes reality kicks in
My personal ethos is that I want the chemical customer to find it easy to work with our industry and I am certain that automating transactions makes it easier. The marketplaces that are being created are supporting this and enabling a Digital Customer Journey. This can only be a good thing for our industry.
In the next BLOG we will look at how Elemica can support the Digital Customer Journey.