Best Practices for Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O Software

Best Practices for Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O Software

Best Practices for Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O Software 700 500 Xcelpros Team

Best practice, better D365 results

Are you ready to take your business to the next level with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (F&O) software? Implementing any new system can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.

Working with a partner that understands implementation best practices will simplify the process and give you the best possible results.

  • Tailored Solutions: Experienced implementation partners help tailor software to meet unique business needs. Because they understand the software’s capabilities, they can guide you in configuring and customizing the software to meet your specific requirements.
  • Risk Mitigation: Implementing complex software like MSD365 finance and operations involves a certain level of risk. An experienced implementation partner can help you identify potential risks and provide strategies to mitigate them. This can help you avoid potential roadblocks and ensure a smoother implementation process.
  • Best Practices: An experienced implementation partner understands the best practices for implementing D365 finance and operations software. They can guide project management, change management, and training, helping ensure your team is prepared for the changes and new processes the software will introduce.
  • Ongoing Support: Implementing D365 finance and operations software is not a one-time event. Your business will likely need ongoing support and maintenance to keep the software running smoothly. An experienced implementation partner will provide ongoing support, including troubleshooting, training, and maintenance to ensure your software always performs optimally.

A partner that understands implementation best practices will make the process easy and give you the results you are looking for. With that in mind, here are 10 best practices to follow when you begin your implementation project.

Figure 1:Best Practices for Implementing Dynamics 365 F&O Software

Best Practices to Follow when Implementing Dynamics 365 F&O Software

Define the business problem that you want to solve

To get the most out of D365, the first step is pinpointing the issues at hand to determine if a system like Dynamics 365 can help. Obtaining opinions of key stakeholders from all areas of your business such as finance, sales, operations, and IT is a great way to discover underlying difficulties and highlight job functions that need optimization.

At the same time, you should create a record detailing the problem, expected outcomes, and any other pertinent facts to be used as a reference throughout the deployment. It’s virtually impossible to determine whether a project is successful or not without first defining the project’s purpose.

Assemble the right team

To guarantee a successful implementation, you will want to assemble an experienced team comprised of individuals from every part of the business the implementation affects. These users should possess sufficient experience, such as project managers, software developers, and consultants to help strategize, plan, and deploy the project.

Having some knowledge of Microsoft D365 is beneficial, but the best option is working with an experienced implementation partner.

Putting together the right team guarantees the implementation process will be completed effectively and reduces the chance of delay, helping ensure the project moves on schedule.

Define your scope

Start by outlining the goals of your project in order of importance. You’ll want to look for any similarities between these objectives and note the hazards associated with them. This approach lets you create a timeline that considers not just individual assignments, but also the big picture.

Once the scope is set, define how every component will coordinate with planning efforts. This assessment will help identify any missing pieces of the current design and reveal the best approach for implementation. During this phase, user experience is a priority.

Create a realistic schedule

When implementing Dynamics 365, one of the most important steps is creating a realistic schedule. The timeline should be agreed upon by all stakeholders before the implementation process begins. This will ensure that everyone involved understands the timeline and what is expected of them for the project.

The schedule should include detailed tasks, assigned resources, deadlines, and any dependencies to take into consideration. It is important to set realistic deadlines, because rushing through an implementation result in costly mistakes. At the same time, it is also important to consider how the different stages of the project might overlap or impact each other.

To ensure your project timeline is feasible, break it down into smaller phases. This will help manage each phase efficiently, adjust if problems arise, and account for unexpected delays or issues. It’s also important to communicate the timeline and keep stakeholders informed about progress throughout the process.

Prepare your data

When you start getting ready to implement D365, you’ll want to ensure that your data is organized, complete, and up to date. This will help make sure you have a successful implementation and avoid issues during the transition process.

Before you begin the implementation process, identify any gaps or inconsistencies in the data. This way, you will be able to address them before they become an issue. It is also important to consider any regulatory or compliance standards that need to be met.

Perform a test migration

Before going live with D365, perform a test migration. This will help you ensure that all data is transferred accurately and that all customizations function properly.

To begin the test migration process, select a small sample of data to transfer. Test the entire migration process with the small sample first so you can make any necessary changes or adjustments before migrating your entire database.

Your partner can help set up a sandbox environment for testing purposes. This is the best way to safely move data into D365 without disrupting your existing system. It is important to remember that the sandbox should be regularly refreshed so you can continue to test new configurations and scenarios.

Make sure to test at each step of the process to confirm that all data is migrating correctly. Give yourself time to double-check customizations and configurations, ensuring they are all working as expected.

Train your users

Training users is another essential part of a successful implementation. With proper training, users will use the system correctly, and your project will be a success. Here are some tips for training users:

  • Create a training plan: Create a detailed plan that outlines what types of training your users will receive, who is responsible for each part of the training, and how long the training will take.
  • Consider user experience: It is important to consider the user experience when designing your training program. Be sure that users are comfortable with the system and understand how to use it efficiently.
  • Provide hands-on training: Give users a chance to try the system themselves before you go live. This will help them understand the features and functions of Dynamics 365 F&O better and allow them to ask questions and provide feedback.
  • Use multiple training methods: Different people learn different ways, so it is important that multiple training methods are provided. You can provide online videos, in-person training, webinars, one-on-one sessions, written materials, and more.
  • Track and measure user progress: Tracking user progress during the training process measures your users understanding of the system before they go live. When you know all users have received adequate training, you should be ready to use Dynamics 365 F&O successfully.

Go live with a pilot group

Once your implementation is complete, it’s time to go live. Starting with a pilot group provides the opportunity to test the system on a small group before it goes live to everyone in the organization. It’s always best to start with a limited group of users and expand as needed.

When selecting the pilot group, consider users with distinct roles and levels of expertise. If the system is not working properly, you can identify any areas where additional training may be needed. Additionally, you’ll want to plan for changes based on feedback received during the pilot phase.

Be sure to communicate with your pilot group throughout the process. Provide clear instructions on how to use the system and answer any questions they have. Once the pilot group has successfully used the system, you can confidently roll it out to the rest of the organization.

Change management

Managing change is an essential part of any implementation. Changes can happen both during the implementation process and after the system is live, so it’s important to have a plan in place that lets you manage changes efficiently.

Organization is a must. Document all changes made during implementation, such as data migration, system configuration, and user training. Staying organized will help you identify where changes have been made and ensure that all updates are tracked.

Once your system is live, establish a change management policy and process. Assign responsibility for managing changes, identifying changes that need approval, and setting a time-frame for when changes should occur. Creating a formal process for tracking and approving changes before they are implemented is also a good idea. A formal process can ensure changes are documented and that everyone involved knows them.

Monitor and optimize

Once your new system is up and running, monitoring and optimizing performance is an ongoing process. It will help you get the most out of your implementation and confirm that the system runs as efficiently as possible. Monitoring and optimizing involves reviewing your system’s data, processes, and workflow.

For example, look for inefficiencies in your data entry processes or identify instances where manual processes can be replaced with automated solutions. Additionally, be sure to regularly evaluate system usage metrics to guarantee users make the most of their available features.

If necessary, upgrade your server infrastructure or reconfigure your system settings to optimize performance. It is also important to stay on top of Microsoft updates as they are released. These can fix bugs and improve performance to strengthen your system.

Final Thoughts on Implementing MSD365

Following best practices for implementing D365 is essential to successfully meet your company’s needs.

Working with an experienced partner who understands these best practices is crucial. An experienced partner will guide project planning, change management, customizations, and ongoing support, helping you simplify the implementation process and achieve a better outcome.

XcelPros can help you navigate the complex process of implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365. Our team has extensive D365 implementation experience within various industries. We will work with you to define your business requirements, develop a project plan, and provide ongoing support to confirm that your software will continue to meet your evolving needs.

XcelPros also provides expert advice on customizing and configuring your software so it is optimized for your unique business needs. This way, you get the full potential of D365, driving profitability for your company.

Contact us today to learn how XcelPros can help you realize your goals.

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How Sustainable Operations Helps Manufacturers Grow

How Sustainable Operations Helps Manufacturers Grow

How Sustainable Operations Helps Manufacturers Grow 700 500 Xcelpros Team


Every business leader has heard the term “sustainable manufacturing,” but not all know that practicing methods that help the environment can also grow their business.

“Sustainable manufacturing is the creation of manufactured products through economically-sound processes that minimize negative environmental impacts while conserving energy and natural resources,” the United States Environmental Protection Agency states. These same practices enhance employee, community and product safety in part by producing less waste that pollutes the air, water and soil.

According to the EPA, companies that use a methodical, planned approach to sustainable manufacturing processes:

  • Increase operational efficiency by reducing costs and waste
  • Respond to or reach new customers and increase competitive advantage
  • Protect and strengthen brand and reputation and build public trust
  • Build long-term business viability and success
  • Respond to regulatory constraints and opportunities

Fostering Growth

These environmentally friendly sustainable manufacturing practices help companies grow by reducing production costs long term. For example, instead of paying thousands of dollars each month to an electric company to light and cool a 300,000 square-foot manufacturing plant, consider covering a flat roof with efficient solar panels.

The average payback time for a home solar electric installation (industrial estimates were not available) is roughly 6-10 years, though it varies depending on the climate and other factors. Solar panels also tend to last 25-40 years meaning roughly three-quarters of their useful lives is spent generating free electricity. The most recent designs are much more efficient, producing more power in a smaller size, than those made 10 years ago. The result is greater efficiency, allowing manufacturing facilities to cover less of their roofs while producing as much or more power than the older models.

Production plants can also reduce their massive electrical bills with skylights. The waterproof domed coverings help illuminate work areas, reducing the need of electric lighting. Extended exterior shelves can reduce sunlight, cutting cooling costs.

Figure: 1 Sustainable Manufacturing – a Big Picture

Sustainable Manufacturing - a Big Picture

Turning Trash Into Treasure

Other sustainable methods look at ways to reduce waste, especially by converting some “trash” into new products or using it for new methods.

One website alone lists 35 artful ways homeowners can recycle wooden pallets. These new uses include making tables, bed frames, stairs, mounting frames for heavy electronic display monitors and a host of other uses. Many of these same methods work for industrial companies in terms of outfitting conference rooms and other non-work areas.

From an industrial perspective, worn pallets can be repaired, cleaned and reused. They can also be sold, recouping some of the cost. Other uses for worn pallets include chipping them, turning them into wood pellets. The pellets can then be burned, generating heat and electricity.

Get a consultation to discover more about building sustainable operations for your manufacturing company.

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Cascading Chemicals

Recycling is a large part of the sustainable “green” economy. Industrial chemicals can be recycled. They can also be reused through a process known as “industrial symbiosis,” greenbiz.com states. One example cited uses ferric chloride, which is a byproduct of steel pickling in hydrochloric acid, to treat water.

“Frequently, recycled chemicals are not only cheaper than newly produced ones, but they also reduce resource consumption, waste generation and greenhouse gas emissions. The carbon emissions through solvent recycling are 46 percent – 92 percent lower than those of new solvent production,” the website states.

When the article was written in 2019, industrial giants Siemens and Evonik were conducting research to convert the most common greenhouse gas—carbon dioxide (CO2)—into common industrial chemicals such as ethylene.

Other methods used to reduce chemical and industrial waste cited by greenbiz include swapping what might be one manufacturer’s trash with a different nearby business. That business can use these materials in its products.

Another environmentally friendly industrial method is “leasing” chemicals. In this model, a manufacturer sells the functions performed by the chemical using functional units, not the chemicals themselves.

Large manufacturers with their own wastewater treatment plants can redesign those facilities in ways that help the company turn a profit and grow. Companies interested in practicing sustainable manufacturing practices can modify existing equipment to produce energy, clean water and chemicals because, “the future of sewage is power and profits.”

The greenbiz.com article ends with a quote made in 1848 by the former president of the London Royal College of Chemistry, R.W. Hoffmann: “In an ideal chemical factory there is, strictly speaking, no waste but only products. The better a real factory makes use of its waste, the closer it gets to its ideal, the bigger is the profit.”

Technology Can Spot Opportunities

One way a company can practice sustainable operations management is by using its data wisely. Especially in forward-thinking firms that use internet of things (IoT)-enabled devices, they have access to mountains of information.

Combining a well-thought plan with the right software lets these firms look at everything coming into their warehouse—including packaging—as potential profit sources. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) products such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 and its Supply Chain Management Module let companies of any size keep accurate track of their inventories. Add in the Integrated Chemical Management component and chemical manufacturers have an accurate label management solution that also produces safety data sheets.

By understanding the chemicals involved and working with sustainability experts, plant managers can evaluate their current conditions.

Executives interested in sustainable production and consumption—and being more competitive—will want to ask questions similar to these: What current waste products and materials can we use for secondary purposes or repackage and sell to someone in a different industry? Can we reuse packing materials we receive to pad and protect outgoing shipments? Are we using our raw materials effectively or are there ways we can become more efficient? How much power do our plants use? Are there affordable ways of reducing that consumption while also generating some of our own power all while meeting our long-term business goals?

Asking questions like these, and then using powerful software to find the answers, help innovative firms generate more money. That in turn can use sustainable practices to fuel growth.

The Bottom Line

Sustainable manufacturing involves looking at everything a company has, from a different angle. More office employees are working from home, freeing up space. Can we use that space for a different purpose instead of looking at empty desks? Can we move items around and expand our production facilities or our warehouse without having to build or buy new facilities?

Operations managers wanting to fuel growth by reducing power consumption can use ERP software to find ways to save money and new ways to make money. All it takes is a little outside the box long-range thinking.

How choosing the right ERP system can boost your company's growth

How choosing the right ERP system can boost your company’s growth

How choosing the right ERP system can boost your company’s growth 700 500 Xcelpros Team


According to the latest Mckinsey research, agile organizations are healthier and more likely to meet long-term performance KPIs than their counterparts. Moreover, such organizations are more likely to achieve:

  • greater customer centricity,
  • faster time to market,
  • higher revenue growth,
  • lower costs, and
  • a more engaged workforce.

One way to improve the agility of your organization is to employ an ERP solution. Here we explore the advantages of utilizing an ERP system and outline five ways the right ERP system can improve agility and help you grow your business.


of all companies won’t survive in the next ten years if they fail to figure out how to change and transform their business to accommodate the latest technologies.

Source: East Innovations

Benefits of Implementing an ERP Software Solution: Key Areas

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) as a business process management tool can enable organizations to manage day-to-day business activities like:

  • accounting,
  • procurement,
  • marketing,
  • human resources,
  • project management,
  • risk management,
  • compliance, and
  • supply chain operations.

The right Enterprise resource planning software application allows these different departments to communicate and share information with the rest of the company.

Figure: 1Different departments integrating through an ERP

Different departments integrating through an ERP

In other words, ERP software helps your business by making it easier for different departments to cooperate with just one interface.

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5 Ways a Modern ERP Can Help You Grow Your Business

Large ERP solutions often slip to the bottom of IT management’s agenda, but the growth benefits of ERP solutions—seamless, end-to-end integration across functions and business units—make them a fundamental asset for most large companies.

Moreover, the next generation of modern ERP solutions offers even more promising capabilities, both functionally and technologically. Below we explore just a few of the ways a modern ERP can help you grow your business.

Enhanced Insight and Visibility

ERP software provides complete access to important business processes by making data from different departments easily accessible to senior management. It provides a birds-eye-view of daily business operations like:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Management Accounting
  • Human Resources
  • Manufacturing
  • Order Processing
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Project Management
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and
  • Data Services.

The boost in visibility enables decision-makers with the information they need to not only control daily operations but also improve inefficient processes and reveal opportunities for growth.

Better Reporting and Analytics

Accurate and complete reporting helps businesses plan, budget, forecast, and communicate the state of operations to the organization and other interested parties, such as investors and shareholders.

ERPs make big data and big business a good match because they enable your team with a single, unified reporting and analytics system for every process. You also enable your team to analyze and compare functions across departments, without the hassle of multiple spreadsheets and emails.

Greater Efficiency and Performance

By linking far-flung departments, ERP systems make it easier for your team to interoperate. The easier it is for your team to interoperate, the easier it will be for them to produce high quality work, and perform at their best.

“Higher the efficiency, the higher the profitability!”

Properly implemented, an ERP software suite can greatly reduce or eliminate repetitive manual processes, which frees up your team to focus on revenue-generating tasks. ERP systems can also aid in the adoption of industry best-practice, and alignment across the organization.

Stronger Data Security

ERP software improves data security by limiting input to a single system, thus eliminating the avenues by which a hacker could infiltrate the system and/or steal information. Both on-premise and cloud-based ERP systems provide a higher degree of security than the alternative, i.e., merging information from multiple systems.

Additionally, most ERP software runs on a single database system, which enables centralized backups of your critical and sensitive data.

Improved Supply Chain Management

The feature-rich working environment of an ERP suite provides a range of important supply chain advantages and play a key role in several aspects of the creation and maintenance of a superior supply chain management process, including:

  • Supply Chain Planning – ERP systems offer an easier and more flexible way to establish and alter the supply chain parameters.
  • Purchasing, Procurement and Execution – ERP software applications provide a more effective way to manage the procurement and supply of goods, services and other resources that are needed to operate a successful supply chain.
  • Monitoring and Maintenance – The ability to monitor, review and alter supply chain efforts and activities in real-time is essential for ensuring your business can maintain the flexibility needed to stay competitive and ensure cost-effective operations.
  • Measurement and Assessment – ERP systems offer superior information aggregation and organization, which makes it easier to identify and address undesirable variances throughout the supply chain.

How to Choose the Right ERP System

There is no one-size-fits-all ERP system for every business, but there are features that distinguish it from other types of business software, including:

  • Common database – Most ERP advantages stem from a common database that enables organizations to centralize information from numerous departments, and eliminate the need to manually merge separate databases.
  • Single user interface – ERP systems provide the same user interface (UI) and have a similar user experience (UX) across all departments and roles. In other words, everyone uses the same interface and sees the same thing when they interact with the software.
  • Process Integration – The right ERP system will enable your team to unify a diverse set of processes, and connect workflows that play crucial roles in the company’s success.
  • Automation – A basic feature of most ERP systems is the ability to automate repetitive tasks like manual data entry, which saves time, improves efficacy and minimizes human error.
  • Data Analytics – the most valuable aspect of an ERP is how it breaks down information silos, enabling your team to mix and match data from any part of your business into insightful reports.


The prospect of streamlined business functions and major boosts to productivity make ERP systems a good investment for any business owner. But which ERP system is right for your business? The answer to that question depends on your business.

Ultimately, the ERP system you choose for your business should not only make work easier, but also enable your team with the tools, time and information they need to improve business processes and set your company on a trajectory for growth.

Enhancing Chemical Plant Operations to Make it Smart Factory Ready

Enhancing Chemical Plant Operations to Make it Smart Factory Ready

Enhancing Chemical Plant Operations to Make it Smart Factory Ready 700 500 Xcelpros Team


Creating an Industry 4.0 smart factory requires time, planning, money and employee buy-in. Companies are advised to develop a roadmap showing what they want to do before they start. Improving communication through a digital platform ensures alignment between people, processes, and technology.

Smart factories are facilities using computer technology to transmit real-time status of every machine to a central hub. The data is used to make decisions on the spot, avoid production delays, and provide opportunities to improve efficiency.

In these factories, a combination of electronic sensors connected to a computer network provides a constant flow of information. When combined with artificial intelligence software, the computers make autonomous decisions, improving chemical plant production.

In the United States alone, 86 percent of manufacturers believe that smart factories will be the main driver of competition by 2025.Source: Deloitte

How it Works

Enhanced communication between machines means: Receiving tells Procurement what raw materials arrived and when. Procurement knows what supplies are on-hand and what must be ordered. Machine A has the materials it needs to create products. Machine B is working on a different product instead of being idle while waiting on Machine A. Machines A through Z are programmed to perform their jobs and let human workers know when potential problems may occur. Sales knows what finished products are available for shipping and what is in the pipeline. Customers know when they can expect deliveries in the time and quantities they require. Best of all, this information is available in real-time, so everyone knows potential problems and how they can work around them.

Acquiring data from the industrial internet of things (IIoT)-enabled devices and rapidly analyzing it turns standard factories into smart chemical plants.

These plants can rapidly view their entire supply chain from inventory to production to sales. Having the ability to keep track of production flow and ensure the supply chain flows smoothly is the function of specialized software such as Microsoft Dynamics Supply Chain Management.

Converting an existing plant using older manual devices, though, takes time, effort and money. Thought and a lot of planning are required to bring an analog factory up to this level gradually.

Critical smart technologies include hardware components such as sensors, industrial internet of things (IIoT) connections, factory floor networking connections and cabling plus data storage for millions—possibly billions—of datasets. Company computers—either on-premises or connected via the cloud—require software able to organize and manage the data using artificial intelligence. One such product is Microsoft Dynamics Supply Chain Management.

Figure: 1 Working of a Connected Factory

Connected Chemical Factory

Industry 4.0

As part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, commonly known as Industry 4.0, smart factories build on computerization added to manufacturing processes in the mid 20th Century’s Third Industrial Revolution.

Above and beyond automating individual machines, Industry 4.0 smart chemical plants have:

  • Dramatically increased data collection, allowing more accurate decision-making.
  • Increased automation to encompass entire production runs. This produces goods more efficiently, including during times when humans are not present.
  • Improved flexibility allowing factories to mass-produce lots in any size from one unit on up.

5% Percentage of factories are fully “smart”.

30% Percentage of factories are being updated to smart status.

65% Percentage of factories are not making progress toward smart status.

Source: Deloitte Insights

Smart Factory Challenges

Factory owners face several potential barriers to converting an existing facility into a smart factory running more efficiently with minimal downtime and defects. These barriers may include:

  • Employees accepting ongoing training and developing needed skills. Deloitte estimates a 2 million worker shortage in the US alone over the next decade.
  • The cost of updating factory floor machines to include sensors and information sharing capabilities. Some existing machines can be modified, while others may require replacement.
  • Networking all data collection points to ensure a smooth, continuous information flow. The information can flow to a central server on the premises or remotely.
  • Accepting the concept that smart factories cover the entire company, not just the production floor.
  • Ensuring all updated devices are compatible and can be integrated into a complete network.

Leading the Conversion Change

Some companies appoint “change champions” to lead their company into the smart factory 4.0 era. These people are often tasked with making the technology updates relevant to workers.

Change champions, which Deloitte’s research suggests, should be from the top-down (e.g., upper managers) and bottom-up (e.g., factory workers), help gain employee buy-in.

Their chief focus is answering the question, “What’s in it for me?” from individual workers’ perspectives. For example, change champions explain how mastering automation gives workers the ability to head off potential problems before they occur. Fewer problems in the production process mean greater output—and likely more sales—which benefits the entire company.

Change champions also explain to staff how they will benefit by gaining the new skills smart factories require. Additional training equals more skills and that translates to more opportunities for improved pay and job security.

Chemical Plant Automation Devices

One step existing factories must take to become smart chemical plants is updating equipment. For example, valves that factory workers open and close manually should be replaced by semi-conductor enhanced valves that do it automatically.

Among the many chemical treating instruments required to provide a smart factory technology with the information it needs are:

  • Smart pressure transmitters equipped with microprocessors and semiconductor pressure sensors that can directly measure pressure in pipes.
  • Microprocessor-equipped differential pressure transmitters to measure flow rates, pressure and liquid levels of gases, fluids and steam.
  • Flowmeters for measuring gas, steam and liquid, including vortex models that permit correcting temperature and pressure.
  • Level transmitters equipped with microprocessor sensors for measuring levels in liquids.
  • Control valves such as eccentric three-way rotary valves for mixing or dividing fluids.
  • Temperature controllers to ensure temperatures are within a device’s operating range and notify personnel of potential equipment problems before they occur.

The combination of electromechanical devices such as these with monitoring software lets workers watch conditions on the smart factory floor from literally anywhere: an office in the plant or a laptop on the beach.

Computerized positioners lets trained workers know the deviation between a set valve opening and the actual valve opening. This knowledge helps workers detect signs of impending valve failure before it occurs.

Creating A Roadmap to Success

Companies wanting to update their factory to a smart chemical plant may want to follow a path similar to this one:

  1. 1.Map a smart manufacturing strategy based on each firm’s specific industry dynamics. Be agile and able to change direction when real values begin emerging.
  2. 2.Create a smart pilot project with proofs of concept that demonstrate the project’s value to the company. Embrace failure and learn from mistakes.
  3. 3.Define the required capabilities using a scalable data model. Ensure the technology used in one area communicates with that used elsewhere.
  4. 4.Identify smart manufacturing insights appropriate to the company, such as cross-functional data analytic teams. Share information between teams to avoid duplicating efforts while gaining additional insights.
  5. 5.Institutionalize new approaches to prevent older, less efficient methods from creeping back into the updated operations. Show the staff concrete examples of how the technology upgrades are making a proven difference in the chemical plant operations.

Figure: 2 Creating a Roadmap to Success

Roadmap to Success

Key Takeaways

  • Converting an existing factory to a smart chemical plant requires time, effort, money and patience. Factory owners and managers must overcome barriers on the way to achieving their goals.
  • One of the most important tasks is appointing Change Champions at the top (executive) and bottom (factory worker) levels who work together to get the entire workforce on board.
  • Advancing into the Industry 4.0 era means updating devices to provide a constant flow of data. Companies should create a roadmap showing how they will move from their current position to be a smart factory.

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Chemical Industry Productivity Challenges

How Chemical companies overcome productivity challenges

How Chemical companies overcome productivity challenges 700 500 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Agility is a synonym for growth in today’s business environment, and chemical companies are continually attempting to be agile in processes, operations, and outcome to keep up with the changing times.
  • Conventionally, many chemical companies have adopted the reactive model, which is now adversely affecting their overall productivity and market responsiveness.
  • Adapting newer technologies to leverage the maximum out of the infrastructure and fortifying their IT network is essential for chemical companies to improve their output.

Today, the chemical sector has entered a phase of adoption: adapting newer technologies, transformative business models, and more. These changing times create excitement and uncertainty amongst the chemical companies who are continually looking to enhance their market share by driving productivity. While many chemical companies have invested heavily in better, newer IT infrastructure, they have not succeeded in leveraging this infrastructure to its maximum potential. On the other hand, other companies are still wary of going the digital way, creating uncertainty among decision-makers in chemical companies.

According to PWC’s 23rd Annual Global CEO Survey, 33% of chemicals CEOs are not very confident about their company’s prospects for revenue growth in the next 12 months.

It is evident that chemical companies are facing challenges when it comes to improving productivity and growth rate. By looking at how chemical companies can overcome these uncertainties, one would first need to comb through the chemical industry pain points when it comes to driving productivity.

The Chemical Industry Challenges in Improving Productivity:

1.The Steep Fall in Oil Prices:Commodities prices are the catalysts in deciding the outcome rates of the chemical companies. The year 2020 saw an unprecedented decrease in oil prices, causing chemical companies across the USA and the globe to suffer low productivity rates. The soft commodities prices have also caused a massive imbalance in the raw material’s demand patterns, resulting in a disrupted product lifecycle for many chemical companies. Outcomes are getting hit across the board due to affected oil prices.

2.Difficulties in Adapting to Newer Technologies:Adapting newer technologies and tools is not only a smart move but an inevitable one for the chemical companies. The need of the hour to build a robust IT infrastructure can generate and analyze data, automate operations, and streamline the supply chain. However, many chemical companies are still not at an advanced stage of going digital and cannot make use of the latest technologies. Lack of skilled, knowledgeable professionals and consultants also leads to often misguided judgments, causing productivity to take a hit.

3.Lack of Real-time Visibility to Different Stakeholders:Chemical companies involve multiple stakeholders, many of whom are geographically separated. The production process involves changes, call-backs, and unexpected challenges at any point in the chemical product’s lifecycle. However, with legacy systems and reliance on manual intervention, there is a lack of transparency and complete visibility to all the stakeholders involved – leading to process delays, communication gaps, and operational glitches. All these negatively impact the rate of productivity.

4.The Snowball Effect of Covid-19 Pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the business outlooks for the year 2020 in the first quarter itself. Borders had to be closed, transportation had to halt, travel stopped, and plants shut. Supply chains globally were disrupted; operations across chemical plants either slowed down or stopped. The slowdown had a massive effect on the productivity in the chemical sector. Even as the world is slowly starting to open up again, there are still skeletal workforce issues, lack of investments, and demand discrepancies that will continue to haunt the chemical companies.

Figure 1:How Modern ERP Systems Enable Better Productivity

How Modern ERP Systems Enable Better Productivity

The Way Ahead: Overcoming the Chemical Industry Challenges with Digitization

The chemical companies need to embrace technology to keep up with the changing times. Opting for data analytics and automation will streamline challenges in operations management and help maneuver efforts to increase productivity. A healthy IT infrastructure with robust enterprise resource planning (ERP) and management capabilities such as the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations can serve as the one-stop solution for various chemical company challenges.

Figure 2:ERP in Chemical Industry: The Benefits

ERP in Chemical Industry: The Benefits

Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP helps in keeping track of the budget, managing changing prices and adjusting actuals accordingly, collating and analyzing data from chemical plants and top floor, and many such enterprise management functions. Your chemical company will have a systematic tool that keeps track of orders, bill of material, production processes, supply chain, booking, and revenue that helps immensely in anticipating plausible glitches and avoiding them with proactive measures.

There is no doubt that chemical companies will thrive with the adoption and utilization of technology in its prime. The decision-makers in these companies can bring transformation and enhance productivity by investing in the future and making the right choices of welcoming the change.

Key Takeaways:

  • Changing times call for change in attitude, and the chemical companies will need to integrate this change in every facet of product development to be effectively market-responsive
  • With a robust ERP system and other cutting-edge technologies, the chemical companies can plan and act upon increasing their outcome rate.

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