Digitalization is the catalyst for innovation of chemical companies

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Catalyst for innovation

In recent years, the increasingly fierce competition, changing customer needs, evolving regulatory environment and dynamic cost equation have posed heavy pressure on chemical companies, creating a gradually challenging environment. Therefore, many chemical companies are focusing on transforming their business and operation mode through the transformation trend of other industries. With many global industries and departments embracing digitalization in areas ranging from business processes to customer relationship management, digital transformation is becoming an intelligent business goal, not just to improve the core business. The global chemical industry can benefit from this transformation, and it can become a catalyst for enterprise wide business innovation.

The real goal of digitalization is to help the whole organization transform by identifying an effective, enterprise level and digitalized business transformation roadmap, including:

a) Assess maturity in terms of business innovation and digital (and index technology) adoption

b) Promote greater collaboration within and outside the organization’s functional departments

c) Understanding the value of business transformation

In doing so, chemical companies may realize that digitalization can be used as a unique catalyst to condense the whole organization around continuous innovation and value creation. Digitalization is expected not only to release the innovation potential of chemical companies, but also to enhance the full spectrum of shareholder value (such as revenue growth, operating profit margin, asset efficiency, sustainability and safety).

Near digital conversion

In the global chemical industry, many special digital and index technology methods and experiments are in progress. However, many chemical companies are not sure of the advantages that the digital revolution may bring and are cautious about the enterprise wide digital transformation.

Challenges facing chemical companies may limit their digital excellence, including:

The current digital responsibility is misplaced

Change management, which simplifies employees’ adoption of digital agenda, seems to be absent

The key roles of network security, talent management and strategic alliance have not been fully recognized

In the short term, digital opportunities are expected to be the most in business operations, sales and marketing

However, in the 2016 Deloitte global digital Chemistry Survey, a considerable number of chemical companies do realize that digital initiatives are increasingly important in enhancing their innovation potential, but the vast majority of enterprises focus on data. Senior leaders of chemical companies have the opportunity to actively promote digital culture, which may contribute to the innovation of chemical companies and ultimately achieve a comprehensive transformation focusing on business growth and operation.

Five enabling factors for the enhanced digital initiative were identified

Based on the results of Deloitte’s 2016 global digital Chemistry Survey and industry observation, the following suggestions can help chemical companies expand their digital strategy:

Starting from a clear digital enterprise strategy, build a robust transformation process

By establishing a sustainable insight driven strategy to build and strengthen internal capabilities, digital can be scaled across the enterprise

Create a structured approach to identify risks in complex and dynamic ecosystems

Build an agile operation model to plan, execute and manage digital activities with newly identified priority resources

Integrate continuous innovation into a culture that supports new ideas and encourages learning

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