Most companies look at business growth as a positive sign of things to come. However, it's often easier said than done, especially when a business hasn't properly invested in its infrastructure to strengthen its supply chain and logistics management.
Chemical Industry Provides a Spark
For instance, Zacks Equity Research recently highlighted increased activity in the U.S. chemical industry. Citing data from the American Chemical Council, the news source explained every region saw growth based on the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index, which rose 0.6 percent in April. Building off a March increase of 0.2 percent, chemical production is helping to feed manufacturing industries throughout the U.S. Zacks reported the chemical industry has a profound impact on manufacturers, including those involved in aerospace, motor vehicle production, construction supplies, plastics, rubber products and many others. In fact, the chemical industry is connected to roughly 96 percent of total manufacturing output.
The ACC indicated production was evenly distributed through a variety of categories, such as synthetic coloring agents, industrial gases and adhesives, among others. As promising as current gains have been, the ACC anticipates even stronger growth for the rest of the year. Domestically, the Washington, D.C.,-based trade group predicts chemical production will move up 2.5 percent as agricultural, automotive and housing markets will likely continue to demand higher output. Although this should be welcome news for both chemical producers and manufacturers, it will likely result in a more complicated supply chain. As a result, a significant number of companies will likely need to update their data collection systems.
Converting Positive Production into Growth
Business growth is one reason outlined by the RFgen white paper "8 Signs You Need an Automated Data Collection Solution." According to the report, businesses dealing with a rapidly increasing flow of raw data and information need to have a solution that will provide flexibility in response to advanced production and distribution demands. This requires an investment in software and equipment that will bring greater visibility to a company's supply chain.
RFgen recommended business owners react to increased activity by looking at the existing organizational processes and, as a result, creating more streamlined workflows. When a company fails to integrate necessary technology in a timely manner - or even in anticipation of business growth - it puts itself at risk of bringing activity to a grinding halt. For example, if a plastics manufacturer depends on a manual data collection system, they won't likely be able to rapidly take advantage of new chemical production distribution channels. By integrating barcode technology into the business' supply chain, it will be able to better manage materials intake because all data is collected automatically once it's received. This means chemical products can be pushed into manufacturing processes with fewer obstacles, which likely results in more streamlined production.
Citing data from Korn/Ferry International, RFgen explained roughly 70 percent of business executives said technology has significantly benefited their companies as they moved to improve efficiency. At the same time, automated data collection solutions are scalable to fit the needs of businesses according to market demands. Flexibility is the cornerstone of a healthy supply chain, and ADC is the foundation.