Digitalization taking over the chemicals industry

By Taru Sirkiä, PINPOOLS GmbH

Digitalization is taking over the chemicals industry, but the transformation is taking time due to the industry’s big size and s

Digitalization is taking over the chemicals industry, but the transformation is taking time due to the industry’s big size and slow adaptation, says PINPOOLS’ Taru Sirkiä. Innovation is needed to make chemical sales to save time and money.
Chemical sales are increasing, and Europe plays an integral part in this success. According to the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), Europe is the second largest chemical producer and covered 15.6% of the global chemical sales in 2017.1.  However, the huge size of the chemical industry means that it implements new strategies and business practices slowly.2
The Global business-to-business (B2B) electronic commerce (e-commerce) sales are expected to reach over $6.6 trillion by 2020, while business-to-consumer (B2C) sales should reach $3.2 trillion, which makes up only half of the B2B sales globally.3 The assumption is often that B2B sales should be easier nowadays than previously because keeping in contact with current customers and reaching the new ones is faster and more efficient than before. However, the problem is the overload of the information people are facing because it leaves them confused and unable to make up their minds.2
Despite these challenges, many people – especially the younger generation and millennials, people born between the ’80s and early 2000 – strongly believe in the Internet of Things (IoT). There are two important reasons why this should be taken into consideration for the future chemical sales.
  • Currently, most of the CEOs of the companies belong to the older generation, but it is predicted 80% of the workforce will be millennials in 7 years. This changes the process of decisions and practices in the future.
  • Millennials invest the most money because they have a larger purchasing power than other age groups.2
Save time and money
Digital platforms offer a marketplace to buy and sell chemicals online. These platforms, which are quick and easy to on-board, can represent manufacturers and distributors of all sizes and product lines. In addition to breadth of choice, those that implement safety checks to ensure product quality and data protection also offer assurances to the offering and purchasing companies.
PINPOOLS Figure 1 June 2019.png

Access to new opportunities
While transitioning to the digital processes can be a major challenge for chemical companies, digitalization is going to be a key factor and exceptional opportunities should be considered. Previously, sales have been managed directly by email, phone and fax, but this is time-consuming. Nowadays, chemical buyers and suppliers can take advantage of the digital opportunities. Besides increasing sales, this approach offers the potential to increase the business with cost-effective solutions.2 Having the information more easily accessible and available saves time for both sides.
One such example of digital platforms for the chemicals industry is PINPOOLS. This German startup was founded in 2016 to make the process of chemical sales in Europe more efficient for both buyers and suppliers.

1. CEFIC. Facts and Figures 2018, 2019. https://cefic.org/app/uploads/2018/12/Cefic_FactsAnd_Figures_2018_Industrial_BROCHURE_TRADE.pdf
2. PINPOOLS. Digital Transformation of the Chemical Industry, 2018 https://en.pinpools.com/news/digital-transformation-of-the-chemical-industry
3. Bhattacharya J. The State of B2B E-Commerce in 2019 (so far), 2019 https://www.b2bnn.com/2019/04/the-state-of-b2b-e-commerce-in-2019-so-far/

Taru Sirkiä, PINPOOLS GmbH, Ohligser Straße 82, 42781 Haan, Germany
T: +49 211 9763 3827