E-commerce is all about making it easier for companies to buy and sell products and services, and businesses in nearly every industry are taking advantage of countless efficiencies and cost saving opportunities afforded by modern technology. But despite the rapid growth of B2B digital commerce, the chemical industry seems slow to adopt new business practices.
Several fast movers have recognized the potential of web-based channels early –
like Dow Corning, a chemical manufacturer who built a web-based self-service channel to give their manufacturing customers a convenient and cost-effective way to place and track orders. But overall, adoption of e-commerce among chemical companies remains low. Many producers, distributors and buyers of chemicals continue to rely on faxes, emails and phone calls to close deals. In the world that’s rapidly moving toward digitization, manually completing orders, tracking payments, and responding to RFQs seems like a step backwards.
A recent McKinsey report points out that while the chemical industry has enjoyed tremendous success in recent years, many of the growth strategies that were effective in the past have been exhausted, and companies need to look at innovative solutions if they want to continue to deliver above-market returns. McKinsey suggests that using digital commerce avenues for marketing and sales could be worth up more than $200 billion in additional earnings for the industry.
So, what’s holding chemical companies back?
It’s true that B2B buyers expect the same “Amazon-like” experience from commerce websites as they do from consumer portals. They look for always-on personalized service, a convenient purchasing process, and a smooth, user-friendly interface optimized for every device. But it’s also true is that many vendors tried to enter the chemical market promising easy “Amazon-like” e-commerce solutions, only to find out that unlike consumer marketplaces, a commerce portal for the chemical industry can’t rely on a “one size fits all” approach. A solution that would be functional in the complex world of specialty chemicals, with its precision manufacturing, intricate distribution chains, strict handling requirements and life-long business relationships, must be built from the ground up to support unique requirements of the chemical manufacturing, distribution, transportations, and purchasing processes.
Enter Agilis – a New York city-based technology company dedicated to boosting e-commerce adoption within the chemical industry. Agilis brings the power and convenience of online buying to the chemical supply chain. Companies can increase their sales and improve customer engagement (with repeat sales as a bonus!) using Agilis’ easy and intuitive commerce portal. With Agilis, customers can easily locate the right products and initiate RFQs with just a few clicks – the same way that today’s consumers and businesses purchase products online every day. Agilis delivers that “Amazon-like” experience of buying and selling products online, optimized for the chemical industry. With Agilis, customers get fast and user-friendly transactions, clear view of product inventory, convenient ordering and re-ordering process, and smooth and transparent transactions – all in a single, customizable, secure platform.
Agilis helps chemical producers tap into the e-commerce growth engine
Producers benefit from the membership in the Agilis platform by having access to potential buyers all over the world without having to spend extensive resources on building and maintaining their own proprietary branded commerce portal. The result is a faster, more efficient sales process, more personalized service for their customers, shorter sales cycles, and reduced operating costs.
The power of data analytics
Data analytics engines have been integrated into every aspect of modern commerce, and Agilis helps bring that power to the chemical supply chain operations. Companies can analyze their sales performance, track demand for their products, keep informed about market fluctuations, and make adjustments to their inventory and production schedules based on precise information collated by Agilis AI-powered data engines.
The industry is changing. Are you at risk of being left behind?
Despite a slow start, the chemical industry is showing signs of being ready to embrace e-commerce and take full advantage of the speed, power, efficiency, accuracy, and reach that come with access to online platforms and tools. Tried-and-true business models that worked well in the past can no longer support growth. But it doesn’t mean that processes and relationships that have been cultivated for generations need to be replaced with robots. A sustainable solution is based on a combination of modern technology and deep industry knowledge and understanding. Choosing the right vendor can take your company into the digital age without disrupting the business model that you have worked so well to develop. Agilis was founded by chemical industry professionals, and knows just what it takes to build a successful commerce engine for this market. Let Agilis show you what digital technology can do for your business!
Contact Agilis today to learn more about how we help chemical companies grow.
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