In many cases, the mid-size chemical manufacturer must compete using a combination of these different competitive strategies. However, in order to be successful using any one of these approaches, companies much possesses the information systems needed to manage operations, since reducing costs, increasing quality and agility, and improving customer service demands operational excellence and business insight.
Strong internal systems, namely Enterprise Requirements Planning (ERP), serve as the foundation for operational excellence. But simply having a system does not mean it supports operational excellence. In the chemical industry, many older systems have failed to keep up with the needs of the industry.
Of course, not all ERP systems are created equal. Some have been designed and are well tuned for the specific needs of the chemical industry. The chemical company evaluating the need for a new ERP system or in the process of selection must focus on those needs that are critical to their success. The differences between chemical ERP and generic ERP are in the operational details of the business and the right ERP can make a significant difference in the ability of a chemical company to compete.
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