How D365 CRM is Transforming the Chemicals & Plastics Industry

The chemicals & plastics industry is mature with big-named companies that have been around for many decades, including Dow, Shell, ExxonMobil and more. It is a unique industry that has continuously sustained growth and has been referred to as the “silent supplier” to almost everything consumers use in their daily lives – from cars and zip ties to agriculture and leggings. So, how has this industry kept up with its growth and the changing technology landscape?shutterstock_421484053-1

I’ve worked for companies within this industry for years, and many of the executives I’ve worked with at these companies still recall days of paper orders and punch cards – and I still see traces of these outdated processes today. During conversations with these clients, I’m not surprised to hear things like, “Debbie files this in the cabinet”, “Tom cycles across the floor to place orders”, “We manage our schedule on a white board at the warehouse floor”, and so on.

Surprisingly, in the same conversations with these executives, I often also hear, “We have a strong Master Data Management process in our ERP system” or “We have insight to that process from a report we run in Power BI”. It seems like ERP and some form of analytical reporting is something a lot of businesses in this industry have already implemented. However, the gap with outdated technology and processes still seems to be on the Sales side, which is where the Dynamics 365 for Sales is transforming the industry.

Here is how we’ve helped several companies within the chemicals & plastics industry close this gap using Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement:

  1. An aging salesforce is one of the biggest threats most businesses in this industry are facing. Sellers are their strongest assets that are successful based on strong customer relationships they’ve built over multiple decades. The reality of a retiring salesforce is a valid, shared concern across this industry, along with many others. While there is no easy answer, a Dynamics 365 implementation helps to track and transfer much of the relationship knowledge and details into a structured application. An application that is not only easy-to-use, but also allows for smart, targeted sales effort.

  2. This is a close-knit industry and almost all transactions are based on well-established relationships. Dynamics 365 CRM provides a visual UI that helps you easily view relationships that are shared between OEMs, distributors, suppliers, etc., and with internal personnel like sellers, BDs, technical specialists, industry specialists and product managers. This view in Dynamics 365 can provide a quick visualization of relationships that can be easily understood and leveraged to win new opportunities.

  3. With a centralized CRM application like Dynamics 365, executives and managers now have greater visibility on all opportunities and sales activities. This leads to better understanding ROI in sales activities and narrowing down focused effort into strategic growth clients.

  4. As with any industry that has a supply chain model, there is a constant balance between supply and demand that must be managed - inventory vs. sales forecast vs. actual orders placed. Capturing products in an opportunity pipeline leads to better forecasting and order management. It also helps focus sales efforts on sitting inventory.

  5. Easy integration with ERP systems, like Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (and SAP), allow seamless transfer of information from opportunity to order across systems. MCA Connect provides solutions that seamlessly transact between both the systems, without duplicating data.

  6. With a Dynamics 365 CRM implementation, Business Intelligence reports are richer with information about Sales tying in with ERP; making reports more powerful and meaningful by design. More importantly, MCA Connect has provided solutions that help embed the BI reports within CRM, so users don’t have to log-in to multiple applications to see information across the business.
These are just 6 examples of many ways in which MCA Connect and Microsoft Dynamics 365 have helped businesses in this industry. Contact us today to see how we can help in your business transformation journey.

Author: Nawal Mohsina, Solution Architect

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