[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As a company active in the chemical industry, as a distributor or producer, you must be able to provide answers to key questions on products or even on molecules. How much did you purchase or manufacture? What did you ship to customers in your country, or perhaps to other countries inside or outside the EU?  You do these things not only because some of it has become mandatory over the years, but also because it is a best practice.

Systems tuned for the specific financial, such as margin control, and operational needs of the chemical industry have moved from nice-to-have to must-have. You want to report on the products you buy, manufacture, and deliver to your customers.  You want to understand which products are in stock, how many of them contain potentially hazardous substances.  You want to quickly see whether you are within internal or external volume or mass thresholds.  You must have reporting flexibility from data stored in (hopefully) one ERP system. Managing this information can be hard work if your data is in siloed systems or spreadsheets.  It can be hard work if your ERP is not able to capture some critical attributes of your end products, intermediates, and raw materials.  You were probably OK with some potential system shortcomings in the past, but as reporting requirements have grown incrementally, there is a need to work with the data and not spend ages collecting it and producing reports from it.  For example, you may be contemplating questions like:

  • How easily can we report on purchases of biocides, production of biocides?
  • Can we easily create a report of products in scope of PIC?
  • How difficult is it to produce local reports, such as chloride quantities, reporting requirements?

You cannot have FTE’s being spent on crunching numbers.  A correctly designed ERP system will automatically generate and distribute these reports so you can spend more time acting on the results rather than creating them.

Let’s spend some time looking at some examples.

Deliveries outside of the EU

The PIC (Prior Informed Consent) regulation applies to a number of banned or restricted chemicals such as benzene, chloroform and others.  The export is subject to notification and explicit consent granted by authorities.  Notification means that you have to notify your intent to export to a non EU country.  Once you start the export you want to report on what you are actually exporting.

An example product is DDAC, didecyldimethylammonium chloride.  There is an obligation to report on DDAC.   Items are marked as in scope of DDAC, with an indication of DDAC percentage.  As such it gets relatively easy to generate reports which show you how much went out and where to exactly.

Biocide Production

All biocide products require authorization prior to being offered for sales according to BPR.  As such it is no more than logical you track & trace these products with great care.  You will want to get a clear overview of end products in scope of biocide reporting, with production details such as when it was produced, how much, which batch numbers the system assigned, and more.

Biocide Purchases

Have clear reports of purchased raw materials and of intermediates in scope of biocide reporting, with a clear indication of suppliers, batch numbers, quantities, and more.

Chloride Check.

The list of chemicals in scope of PIC is extensive.  You want to trace and measure those products.  Assume you want to measure products containing chloride. At any point in time, check how much chloride (or any other product!) is in which warehouse.  Indicate which products contain specific molecules so the system can, via molar mass, calculate how much of the molecule was where at which point in time.  If there are maximum thresholds, it is easy to visually indicate if we are in good shape or not.  We did not add a screenshot of this report as it provides insight into formulations.

Conclusion

Regulation is here to stay. Regulation will put more and more reporting requirements on chemical distributors and producers.  Producing these reports for external or internal purposes has its cost impact, an implication you can’t always transfer to your customer.

You want to relax and be confident that your company is ok and that it will not have issues reporting on key numbers.  Given the importance of these requirements, don’t pick just any ERP, pick a solution that closes the gap between traditional ERP and the real needs of the chemical industry.

Auteur: Gunther Coppens Harmonize-IT

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