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Digital Ecosystems

Chemical industry not advancing rapidly enough

According to a study conducted by EY, companies in the chemical industry see opportunities for cost savings, data economy, and automation through digitalization. Yet, there are clear gaps between potential and implementation.

11 Jul. 2019
Chemical industry not advancing rapidly enough (Photo:Ernst & Young GmbH)

Compared to other industries, the German chemical industry was relatively late to jump on the digitalization bandwagon, in 2015, to be precise; it has, though, featured high on the agenda ever since. This is the finding of a long-term study conducted by consulting firm Ernst & Young , for which 101 companies were surveyed.

However, there are still gaps between potential and implementation: 69% of companies believe that digitalization can have a significant impact on their sales, but only 26% are already well advanced in digitalization in this area. The figures are similar for customer service (66%:26%) and logistics (63%:24%). Companies are already reaping the benefits of faster turnaround times (47%) and healthier finances: Digitalization has enabled 44% of companies to cut their costs by an average of 12%, and they expect to see even more cost savings in the future. Companies also see great potential for improvement in data analysis (49%), automation (34%), and data management (32%). They cite skills shortages, inadequate technical infrastructures, and security concerns, such as cyberattacks and data leaks, as the biggest barriers to digitalization.