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Chemical industry sets new priorities for digitalization

The CHEMonitor study by CAMELOT clearly shows increased importance of digital technologies

Mannheim, January 7, 2017 – Within one year, the importance of digitalization in the German chemical industry has changed considerably. In the current CHEMonitor study by CAMELOT Management Consultants and the trade journal CHEManager, three-quarters of the surveyed chemical industry managers stated that their companies use digital technologies or alternatively even consider themselves to be innovators and drivers in connection with these technologies. In the same survey of one year ago, this proportion was still below 30%.

“The current CHEMonitor survey shows a considerable shift from the rather passive position of the chemical industry to an active role. German chemical industry managers have understood that digitalization is one of the main levers for future competitiveness,” says Dr. Sven Mandewirth, Partner Chemicals at CAMELOT Management Consultants, commenting on the survey results. More than 200 top decision makers in the German chemicals industry are consulted twice each year for CHEMonitor trend barometer. The CHEMonitor participant panel has been active since as early as 2007.

Digitalization is central for supply chain and logistics
When asked about the importance of digitalization for the different company functions in the coming three years, around two-thirds of the interviewed chemical industry managers ascribe “critical to success” or “essential” importance to supply chain and logistics (75%) as well as sales and marketing (73% each). Production was rated to be similarly “critical to success” (15%). Research and development as well as finance and administration taken together are mentioned by more than half the interviewees, but are considered to be “critical to success” by a considerably smaller percentage (4% and 5%).

Chemical industry SMEs catch up with digitalization
An analysis of the development in the use of digital technology in chemical companies as a function of the company size showed a sharp increase in the active users among chemical companies with fewer than 500 employees (2015: 26%, Current: 69%). There was also a sharp increase in the percentage of users among large chemical companies, from 31% to 77%. However, considerably more chemical industry managers from large companies see their companies as innovators in digitalization than managers from SME companies (29% vs. 10%).

 

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