Specialty Chemicals | Blog

Blog Series: Production scheduling as a competitive advantage

Driving customer satisfaction through agility.

November 18, 2016 by Eric Kaufman / 0 Comment
Eric Kaufman

Navigating Complexity: Problem or Opportunity?

Escalating complexity has become a hallmark of our interconnected and interdependent world. Complexity is at an all-time high, and it is still rising. Research conducted by IBM in their report, Capitalizing on Complexity: Insights from the Global Chief Executive Officer Study, reveals that “Seventy-nine percent of CEOs anticipate even greater complexity ahead” and that “more than half of CEOs doubt their ability to manage it.” Companies are grappling with an ever increasing array of decisions, and in many instances are attempting to apply processes, methods and tools that were developed in a bygone era of lower complexity. Their inability to cope with complexity is resulting in unforeseen consequences, higher costs and lost opportunities.

The specialty chemicals business is no exception. Specialty chemical producers are facing increasing business and operational complexity as product portfolios expand, customer requirements become more stringent, manufacturing operations become more complicated, and business portfolios become transformed by merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. What used to be relatively straightforward decisions regarding which products to produce, where, how and when to produce them are no longer simple or even consistent every cycle. Producers must contend with a multitude of potential production and fulfillment options and a highly dynamic environment. Applying “age-old” processes, methods and tools does not always address today’s complexity in specialty chemicals and can result in both profit erosion and lower customer satisfaction.

On the surface, complexity appears to be something to be tamed or managed out of existence. Complexity can, however, represent a significant business opportunity. Per McKinsey, “if complexity can be seen not as a problem to be eliminated but as a challenge to be managed and even exploited, businesses can generate additional sources of profit and competitive advantage.” Navigating complexity in specialty chemicals by applying advanced supply chain modeling and optimization solutions can both unlock new profit opportunities and increase customer responsiveness, enabling market share gains against less agile competitors hindered by complexity. In fact, specialty chemical companies who implement supply chain excellence programs report up to a 10% increase in margins.

To learn more about how advanced supply chain solutions can enable specialty chemical producers to navigate complexity from a problem to an opportunity, please download our latest whitepaper entitled Profitability Through Supply Chain Excellence: A Technology Insight for Specialty Chemicals Producers.


  • Edgar Aquino
    January 24, 2017 by Edgar Aquino / 0 Comment

    The New Customer Service Paradigm – Robots, Processes, and Technology

    Achieving a high customer service rating is one, if not, the most important business metric for any company. Consider powerhouse Amazon that is pioneering technology to consistently be ranked #1 in customer service with ‘less than 2% of survey respondents reporting a poor experience, and 59.4% reporting excellent customer service.’ Let those statistics sink in.