Digitalization in the chemical industry picks up speed

Just one year ago, the chemicals industry was still rather hesitant on the matter of digitalization. The approach was to observe rather than act. That has now changed completely.

The chemical industry has understood

The most recent CHEMonitor study by CAMELOT Management Consultants and specialist magazine CHEManager examines how German chemical managers view the importance of digitalization. Three quarters of those questioned stated that their companies were implementing digital technologies and/or saw themselves as innovators and drivers in these technologies. This is essentially a quantum leap in comparison to last year’s survey: 12 months ago, the figure was below 30%.

There is a considerable shift from the previously rather passive position of the chemical industry to an active role. The chemical industry has understood that digitalization is one of the main lever for ensuring future competitiveness.


How the chemical industry will benefit

Digitalization will completely change communication and corporate activity throughout the entire value chain in the chemical industry. New collaboration, analysis and automation opportunities will change the entire range of company functions and enable opportunities for competition through new products and services, innovative business models and more efficient processes.

German chemical managers project that digitalization will have its clearest effect on supply chains and logistics, followed by sales and marketing as well as production.


SMEs are catching up

It is true that significantly more large than SME-sized chemical companies see themselves as digitalization innovators. But even in the latter category, the share of active users of digital technologies has more than doubled to reach 69%.

The chemical industry has awoken from its slumber. It will be exciting to see how digitalization develops further in the chemical industry and whether it is successful in actually using it to develop real competitive advantages.

written by
Dr. Sven Mandewirth
Dr. Sven Mandewirth is Partner and Chemistry Industry Lead at CAMELOT Management Consultants. He has managed and supported strategy and organizational projects in the chemical industry for 20 years. His particular focus is on realizing digitalization with regard to market and efficiency effects. Sven Mandewirth is the co-initiator and study lead for the CHEMonitor Trend Barometer , the only long-term study in the chemical industry.

This post is also available in: German