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Eventful Conferences has spent the last four months conducting extensive customer centric research with over 40 Chemicals organizations using SAP and 60+ individuals across North America. These individuals came from a wide range of functional areas within the chemicals industry including supply chain, manufacturing, IT, development, and leadership roles across organizations. Both business and IT were represented in our interviews and research. To balance the customer research, we also spoke with partners and SAP to hear their perspectives.

We asked these chemicals professionals, through both round table discussions and one-on-one conversation, what challenges they faced day to day and their thoughts on the most pertinent issues facing chemicals organizations. The Best Practices for Chemicals Conference will strive to address each challenge, pain point and trend by providing solution-oriented presentations, backed by specific evidence and packaged to provide the audience with clear takeaways on how to achieve similar results.

In this issue we will elaborate a bit more on future expectations in terms of customer centricity and experience. If you missed or would like to revisit the previous entries in our series, please follow the links below.

Strategic Imperatives for the Chemical Industry - Part 1: Analytics – Data & Decisions

Strategic Imperatives for the Chemical Industry - Part 2: Technology – Strategic & Future

  1. Customer Centricity – Engagement & Experience

In our personal lives, we expect to operate digitally – from music to pictures to videos, we do everything online. We expect an “Amazon” or “Apple” level of digital experience when we interact with consumer facing technology. We have witnessed the “Uber-ization” of parts of the transportation industry and we can expect to face the same pressures within Chemicals. While mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures are still commonplace, many organizations are now set on modernizing and digitizing their resulting new business units. A new focus on customer experience and customer engagement has accompanied this transition and chemicals organizations want to know how SAP and their technology footprint will enable this transition to the greatest impact.

Currently, though, we don’t operate in a fully digital way; we still carry forms and clipboards, we input data from those forms manually into computers, and often we rely on others to then manually create additional data from these records. Spreadsheets still proliferate. As a result, we increase the propensity for errors and maintain staff for data entry who could be used elsewhere. Further, we miss really hitting the nail on the head with the customer expectation that digitalization is a new norm and should be integrated into any forward-thinking business.

Chemical companies are understandably concerned about the future of digitization and the impacts on current and future business processes. Expectations are clearly changing across all businesses.

  • What is the ROI or business value of digitization, and how do I capture that? How do I explain functional changes that don’t lead directly to profit?

  • What’s the roadmap for SAP’s digital solutions? How can I plan my digitization strategy?

  • How do non-SAP platforms interface with SAP’s digital solutions?

  • What are some applications of IoT in real terms and how easily can I harness them?

  • What are the security implications for digitization? What do I need to consider and how is confidential information particularly handled?

  • How does digitization relate to mobility? If I go digital, do I also have to have a fully mobile workforce?

  • How do I get my suppliers and customers on board with digitization? What happens if I’m fully digital and they are not?

  • What is the impact on my workforce and technology needs?

To get answers to these and many more questions view the agenda and register now! for the Best Practices for Chemicals Conference, being held in Austin/TX on March 6-7, 2018!

We look forward to see you there!

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