Visiting the LogiChem conference last week in Antwerp, I was pleasantly surprised to hear many presentations focusing on supply chain opportunities instead of doom scenarios.
According to analyst J. Witteveen from ING, the European chemical market is characterized by under-capacity, low margins, consolidation and lower demand. A pessimist would be discouraged by this. An optimist sees opportunities to grab market share. I met a lot of optimists in Antwerp.
Supply chains are no longer seen only as cost-cutting solutions but as a commercial instrument to win new deals. But how can you organize your supply chain to quickly respond to volatile prices, faster speed of change and climate challenges?
Andreas Backhaus, Senior Vice President Global Supply Chain & Process Innovation BASF, explained in his presentation that changes in technology will offer new opportunities. Companies like BASF are globalizing and standardizing their IT systems but also recognize that specific models built around core systems are needed to provide business answers with different variations.
However, a plenary interactive survey at the LogiChem conference, executed by Camelot Consulting, showed that 47% of the delegates think that “poor IT” is the reason they will not achieve their SC objectives in the next two years.
AIMMS was recently named a 2013 Cool Vendor inside the Gartner Supply Chain Managament Application report, and one of Gartner’s key findings in this report is that “Supply chain management innovation continues. Supply chain and IT leaders can benefit from the new solutions emerging that are more adaptable, help improve supply chain optimization and enhance decision making.” 1
And if that wasn’t motivation enough to get on the supply chain optimization bandwagon, Mark Nikolich, CEO of Braskem Europe put it this way: “People need to embrace volatility and speed of volatility instead of fighting it. It only becomes worse.”
Disclaimer: Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. 1Gartner “Supply Chain Management Applications” by C. Dwight Klappich, Christian Titze, Tim Payne, Noha Tohamy, Amber Salley April 16, 2013