Procurement challenges and the future of digitalization in the Indian chemical industry

The role of the CPO in a critical sector like chemical goes beyond the apparent cost reductions and stability of material sourcing. The new-age CPO in the chemical industry needs to accept supply chain complexities, vendor consolidation, and innovations in packaging and distribution to tap the tremendous growth potential in the sector. 

Bridging the Divide: Challenges at the doorstep of chemical procurement leaders 

The life of procurement officers is challenging and simultaneously demands innovation and efficiency.

The ever-broadening scope of the supply chain 

Chemical handling complexities create a need for specialized lab equipment, safe transportation, and storage options.  

The complexities of vendor management 

With many specialized vendors, organizations will face challenges of timing, logistics costs, dependability and quality. Transportation of materials is a crucial challenge. Material and human safety, temperature control and brittleness of packaging are essential to smooth operations. Real-time tracking and predictability of bottlenecks alleviate these procurement challenges. 

Need for innovation and stability in packaging 

As every chemical industry CPO will attest, spillage continues to be a significant concern for every industry player. Due to the hazardous nature of chemicals, storage and transportation is very complex and need specialized training to manage. While glass is the primary choice of storage due to its excellent properties, it is also brittle and prone to breakage.  

A shift in global procurement trends 

The CPO needs a robust end-to-end procurement platform to help navigate international policy and multi-vendor management. 

A positive shift towards sustainability 

Innovation requires agility as the nature of procurement could change based on supplier location and pricing considerations. Sustainability is the future and could soon become a higher prioritization parameter than even price.  

The advent of digital transformation in the chemical industry 

Though the chemical industry is no stranger to digitalization, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of innovation-led technologies, including but not limited to remote operation centers, industry 4.0, robotics, and autonomous operations in warehouses and logistics. 

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