Companies need to grow if they wish to flourish and prosper. There are many quotes already related to business growth you might have heard before, including:

  • “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth,” President John F. Kennedy
  • When you stop growing, you start dying,” author William S. Burroughs
  • “Every problem is a gift —without problems we would not grow,” motivational speaker and author Anthony Robbins
  • “Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength,” neurologist Sigmund Freud
  • “Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle,” author Napoleon Hill
  • “The only way you are going to have success is to have lots of failures first,” Google co-founder Sergey Brin
  • “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu


What do you consider growth for your business? How this is measured is up to each individual organization. Data points that highlight company growth includes:

  • Sales
  • Revenue
  • Profits
  • Company Value
  • Number of customers
  • Number of Employees

The next question to ask is, “Are you growing in a way that is sustainable and lets you achieve all of your company’s goals?” As they grow, companies can make several mistakes that doom their opportunities for growth.

According to Growthink, the most common growth-related mistakes are:

  1. 1.Ignoring the Ansoff Matrix—also known as the Product/Market Expansion Grid—that details ways to increase sales.

Figure: 1Ansoff Matrix: Product-Market Expansion Grid

Ansoff Matrix: Product-Market Expansion Grid

  1. 2.Failing to conduct market research, such as a SWAT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) assessment.
  2. 3.Developing weak financial models showing the impact of each growth opportunity.
  3. 4.Forgetting what worked in the past for your company.
  4. 5.Starting at the wrong place and lacking a clear vision of where you want to go.
  5. 6.Lacking focus, which can occur when a company lacks a clear growth plan.
  6. 7.Ignoring the human factor by not having the right people.

Chemical Industry Mistakes

The previous items apply to all companies wanting to grow, regardless of industry. The heavily regulated pharmaceutical and chemical industries face additional challenges when they want to grow.

According to Global Safety Management, these unique challenges include:

  1. 8.Ignoring jurisdictional regulations.
  2. 9.Costly errors from operations.
  3. 10.Failing to evolve into an intelligent enterprise.
  4. 11.Delivering products, not business outcomes.

Ignored regulations often result in hefty fines. For example, if your pharmaceutical company sells its products in Europe, and then decides to expand into the U.S., not following FDA labeling regulations is a major no-no. Violating Section 21 of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (aka, title 21, section 331) mislabeling a prescription drug for interstate commerce is expensive. Penalties include prison sentences up to 10 years, fines of up to $250,000 and civil penalties up to $10 million, the law firm of Wallin & Klarich states.

Problems often result from manufacturing errors and omissions. Many of these can be traced to the supply chain. For example, inaccurate inventory counts lead to starting a production run only to discover a key ingredient is missing, stopping production.

Evolving by using available technology as a way of moving forward can be done when company leaders are looking toward the future. Tools exist today—such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) coupled with modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) software—to let small and medium-sized businesses grow. They also let larger companies get even bigger.

Having total control over your inventory and an ever-changing grasp of your supply chain lets you reduce raw materials and shipping costs while still delivering products on time.

Translation Errors Can Prove Fatal

The final error in our “devils’ dozen” is:

  1. 12.Translation Mistakes.

Let’s face it: many American chemical manufacturers purchase materials from suppliers outside the U.S. and ship finished products overseas. That means labels must not only be in the languages used by your customers and others in the supply chain, they must also meet safety regulations at their destination.

If, for example, a formula using imperial measurements (i.e., pounds and ounces) is incorrectly translated into its metric equivalent or instructions are unclear, the resulting product may fail safety and purity tests. Poorly translated labels could cause regulators to deny a shipment until the products are relabeled correctly. Translation errors could even result in a large batch failing its tests, wasting the materials, time and equipment.

“If the mistakes are severe enough, the resulting chemical combinations could be dangerous or deadly for staff members who follow mistranslated instructions to the letter,” GLTaC states.

Under terms of the European Chemicals Agency’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) act of 2006, dossiers are required on each substance produced or imported weighing more than one metric ton.

“Inaccurate information due to translation mistakes could result in regulatory action by the European Chemicals Agency that could prove financially crippling,” GLTaC, a translation services provider, warns.

Technology Helps Reduce Mistakes

ERP software like Microsoft Dynamics 365, especially when paired with something like Xcelpros’ Integrated Chemical Management (iCM), helps companies better manage their growth.

Figure: 2Integrated Chemical Management with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management

Integrated Chemical Management with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management

ERPs can work with IIoT sensors, gathering large quantities of data. Dynamics 365 Finance helps turn the raw numbers into actionable data. Using this data, and the charts and graphs created from it, executives can spot areas operating inefficiently. For example, machines are down and staff is doing make-work while waiting for earlier cycles to complete.

Having access to real-time numbers lets these leaders know where changes can occur, boosting overall production.

iCM helps chemical companies hit their growth targets. It integrates seamlessly into D365’s Finance module, providing impeccable security. Among iCM’s value propositions are:

  • Built-in labeling and safety data sheets (SDS)
  • Fully integrated SDS management
  • Real-time SDS data sheets are consistent and compliant with Global Harmonization System requirements

These SDS features reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) by removing the need to maintain product safety documentation and data in-house.

iCM becomes the repository of record for all regulatory data while making it accessible to authorized D365 users. It also integrates SDS authoring at the formula/item level, embedding workflows for authoring and approvals.

Xcelpros’ product adds to one of D365’s many strengths: its labeling prowess. The Supply Chain Management module lets companies track products from the moment raw materials arrive in their warehouse to the instant a customer receives them. iCM builds on the existing technology, further focusing on the chemical industry.

For example, iCM becomes the system of record for all labels, integrating them into operational workflows like production and shipping. To learn more, download the iCM brochure.

Figure: 3Translation Service Process in Dynamics 365

Translation Service Process in Dynamics 365

Customers using D365 also have access to the Dynamics 365 Translation Service (DTS). Hosted in Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS), it uses a machine translation system to maximize translation output quality. It also recycles linguistic assets from D365 and partners, such as Xcelpros. DTS is compatible with D365 Finance, Commerce and CRM modules among others.


Chemical companies face potential mistakes common to all growing businesses. In addition, they also face certain hurdles that other industries do not. Regulation is a major issue for chemical companies, especially those who rely on raw materials and finished products made outside the U.S. or shipped overseas.

Taking advantage of technology like Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Xcelpros’ unique Integrated Chemical Management software can help prevent these mistakes and let executives continuously grow their companies.

Get a consultation to learn how to resolve critical problems in your chemical company.

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References: Distribution Of Mislabeled Products In Interstate Commerce