Peter Guarraia: Digital Opportunities for Chemical Producers

Although chemical companies have been relying on digital technologies for the past 30 years, new products and services will require new strategies. Peter Guarraia, who leads Bain's Chemicals practice in the Americas, identifies three areas that chemical companies must address to successfully capitalize on the emerging opportunities in digital.

Read the Bain Brief: Digital Opportunities for Chemical Producers

Read the transcript below.

PETER GUARRAIA: Digital technology is nothing new for chemical companies. They've actually been employing digital technologies for the last 30 years, whether it's been in plant operations or in analytics. However, what is new is the products and services companies are now able to offer using digital. Whether it's digital products and services attached to the molecule, additional analytics or additional service capabilities associated with specific products, new ways of customer engagement, thinking through how and when to order product, fulfillment capabilities, actually delivering product when it's needed versus when it's ordered, and then finally, thinking through issues like digital in operations. Actually doing predictive maintenance. Thinking through when and how to better control their plants. It's gonna help companies actually drive dramatic improvements in the way they run their facilities.

But all this requires new skills and capabilities for chemical companies. They need to think through three areas. One is actually decision rights and responsibilities. Who's going to make decisions and what's the right organizational structure to control digital technologies? Other elements that they need to think through are, what's the right ecosystem of partners to bring to bear? What are the software providers, the hardware providers and consultants that they should be thinking through to actually help guide them on their digital journey? And finally, what is the vision? Where should they invest? Digital represents an opportunity to sink enormous amounts of capital into your supply chain and operations. And the reality is you should really be focusing on embedding digital in those capabilities that really differentiate you from the crowd.

We believe digital represents a massive opportunity for chemical companies, but at the end of the day, executives also have to realize that this is a multi-year journey, and digital needs to be deployed thoughtfully and carefully, and that the laws of gravity still apply.

Read the Bain Brief: Digital Opportunities for Chemical Producers