We wanted to spend some time talking about the current status quo in the order-to-cash and procure-to-pay processes within the petrochemical industry.
Interactions between buyers and sellers in our industry typically rely on tools and techniques that have been around for decades and they have not changed very much – for good reason! The standard sales process is fairly simple: when a buyer needs raw material to produce a product or provide a service, they will contact the manufacturer or distributor of that product primarily by phone, email, or fax, get a quote, or several, work out the terms and try and come to some sort of an agreement.
The only issue with this process is that it is time consuming and convoluted, and well let’s face it, a solution that doesn’t take into account the innovations of our modern day and age. For some people, the idea that customers would prefer a digital distribution channel over the physical experience, challenges their core assumptions about sales, marketing, and the degree to which customers always need personal contacts to make a purchase.
For those of you who remember the Omnexus’ and the Chemconnects of the world, that’s what I’m referring to. These are companies that were digitalizing the petrochemical marketplace, but, for one reason or another (market neutrality, timing, financing, etc.), they are no longer with us today. And, of course, a few companies have their own portals, which is a great start in digitalization, but, not enough.
We get it though; you may be asking – why change? Well, stay tuned for Part 4 where we talk about two main catalysts of change that we are going through right now:
- 2. The benefits of digitalizing.