Exclusive dialogue

Especially in the chemical industry, trends and technologies are essential for future-oriented innovation. Do you also ask yourself which trends are currently relevant? Stephan Limberg, responsible for the Chemicals division at NTT Data, and Andreas Früh, CEO of TER Chemicals Distribution Group, address various questions in a stimulating dialog on the topic of "Trends in the chemical industry". Read on to learn more.

Dialog: Trends in the chemical industry

1. What general trends do you see in the chemical industry and what does this mean for companies?

According to Andreas Früh, there are currently three major trends in particular. The change in EU chemicals policy, which is placing increased compliance requirements on companies under the heading of "Green Chemical". Along with this, the topic of sustainability is also increasingly being discussed, because sustainability affects all areas of companies. In the chemical industry in particular, environmentally harmful risks want to be minimized and long-term benefits optimized. The question of how more environmentally compatible products, as substitutes for previously used products, can contribute to a more sustainable chemical industry is therefore more topical than ever. Digitalization is not losing its importance either. The main question here is how "Big Data" can be used efficiently and intelligently by companies to shorten processes and, on the other hand, to expand business potential. With regard to "Big Data", Stephan Limberg recommends the future use of intelligent algorithms, which could be the first step towards artificial intelligence. In addition, Stephan Limberg emphasizes that digitalization is an important factor for changes in given process structures. Linear processes are being replaced by networked and more complex processes. This can be done by integrating customers and suppliers into manufacturers' production processes. Thus, interaction, collaboration with the supplier and networking are driving forces. Andreas Früh sees the move to more agility as essential here in order to be able to meet new market requirements quickly.

2. Let's come back to the topics of compliance and green chemicals. What will companies have to face?

The changed EU chemicals policy places higher demands on companies from the chemicals sector due to the new rules. The first step toward collaboration is to improve data collection, processing and transparency. This data from complex economic networks can then be shared with compliance partners. This enables transactional use of the data.

3. What challenges do the general trends pose for companies?

Every trend creates change, which leads to new challenges. People in companies, who are at the center of this change process, inherently crave stability and orderly structures. It must be taken into account that processes and requirements change daily and that it becomes more difficult to meet these needs as the speed of the adaptation process increases. Lifelong learning finds particular relevance here, as it represents a necessity in terms of the companies' ability to adapt. The qualification of employees will change throughout their lives, which can become a major challenge for companies and employees. Another challenge for companies, is the design of future processes - in all business areas.

What should not be ignored, in addition to the challenges, are the opportunities for companies that arise from digitization. A change in the company offers the possibility of optimization and differentiation.

Do you have any questions? Feel free to contact me!

Wolfgang Weger
Head of Marketing
Phone: +49 40 300 501 0
E-Mail: info[at]terhell.com