The Specialty Chemicals Industry Is Unique

The specialty chemicals industry has the most complex intersection of innovation and commercialization processes of any industry we have evaluated. What drives this complexity?

  • Innovation is Scientific. Product development is hypothesis-driven and non-linear with iterative cycles of formulating, characterization work, and testing until formula meets technical and functional specifications. There is ambiguity around what is technically feasible and how long it will take. This iterative innovation process is unique at every company, and unique for every type of product.
  • Commercialization is Customer-Driven, Time-Consuming and Costly. Business is won or lost based on meeting technical and functional specs. Often technical service and sales teams interact directly with customers and lab staff to vett fit for use. This back and forth between the lab, technical service, sales and customers is fraught with inefficiencies. Accuracy and speed matter in this process. Whoever gets the best sample to the customer first has the highest chance of winning the business. Every 1% improvement in your conversion on sample to sales drives top line revenue and disproportionately drives bottom line profit since you are able to generate more revenue on the same cost base.

A Gap in the Market Exists

Up to now there hasn’t been software tailor made to accelerate innovation at chemicals companies. Most software was built for traditional industries with straight forward product development and sales processes. See below:

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There isn’t great software that facilitates the non-linear workflow of lab projects and chemists. Here is an overview of common legacy software running in labs and their primary drawbacks:

  • ELN - legacy electronic lab notebook software is difficult to customize, wasn’t built for workflow automation, lacks intersected search, and it is difficult to re-use data contained within.
  • LIMS - laboratory information management systems primarily track samples, not projects or people.
  • Custom applications generally are not enhanced regularly enough to keep up with actual operations and they become less relevant and therefore less used over time.
  • Project management software - require manual data entry because actual status is buried in multiple disconnected systems.
  • CRM software isn’t designed to facilitate a spec-driven sample evaluation or customer co-creation which makes it difficult for sales to collaborate with the lab teams.

New Era of Innovation in Specialty Chemicals

But what if you could accelerate innovation and speed up your commercialization process? How many new formulas could you develop and sell to customers? How much more business could you win?

We’ve identified 3 trends ushering in a new era of innovation in the chemicals industry and see the ability to innovate quickly becoming the primary criteria for success in the next 10 years. Faster innovation isn’t just important for the bottom line, it will determine your place in the market.

Accelerating Innovation and Commercialization

That’s why we built Alchemy – to help specialty chemicals companies accelerate innovation and commercialization so you can speed time to market and win more business. We have built modern cloud software for lab, technical service and sales teams. Our Alchemy Chemistry Acceleration Software includes four products built on a very flexible platform specifically for the chemicals industry.

Alchemy products include:

  • Customizable Electronic Lab Notebook that makes it easy to capture all your test plans, formulas, characterization work, test data, analyses and lab reports in a structured and searchable database.
  • Integrated Digital Lab that connects data from your lab instruments and other software to your customized ELN automatically, so you can speed execution in the lab, reduce manual data entry and ensure correct procedures are followed at all times.
  • Collaborative Sales & Service accelerates the commercialization of your formulas by keeping everyone involved in development, sales and service up to date and automating many of the back-and-forth steps between teams.
  • Configuration Software that enables your internal teams or Alchemy’s staff chemists to build libraries of custom applications to facilitate development and service delivery.

Together, they make it easy to take steps toward digitalizing all your lab operations. The Alchemy platform:

  • Is Easy to Customize to match your exact processes, use your own ontology and build your own data model that matches your chemistry and product types.
  • Automates Workflows create digital best practices and generally eliminate manual steps, so that chemists can spend their time on chemistry and nothing falls through the cracks.
  • Makes Reporting Easy with online reports and dashboards that give you visibility into every project, person, and process.

Alchemy Customers are Already Moving Faster

Below are just a few examples:

  • Chromaflo accelerates time to market and responds to customers technical service requests faster.
  • Circle-Prosco streamlines its custom formulation processes while complying with IATF 16949/2016.
  • DCC LANSCO improved agility and shortened technical service and quality control cycles with Alchemy’s Integrated Digital Lab software.

We look forward to helping every chemicals company accelerate innovation and improve service delivery. Click here for more information about our product suite.

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