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chemicals working capital
Reducing Working Capital in Your Chemical Supply Chain

Supply chain executives play a key role in helping their companies reduce operating costs and control expenses. In recent years, when economic circumstances have been challenging, CEOs have demanded cost reductions and savings. Their focus has also expanded to include creating profitable growth using working capital as the key metric.

Managers of chemical supply chains responded by taking the lead in delivering working capital improvements through reduced raw material investments and inventory management. The first step is to gain a top down view of the supply chain and use technology to find and improve the most common areas of working capital improvements. Three of the leading areas of focus are:

  • Improving Forecast Accuracy
  • Reducing Inventory Levels
  • Optimizing Distribution Plans
Improving Forecast Accuracy
Improved forecast accuracy provides a better understanding of the true demand for each SKU. In order to achieve better accuracy you need better collaboration from your internal knowledge base. This collaboration can be facilitated by the WAM Supply Chain Solution. It enables your key stakeholders to focus on the important details, easily share information and arrive at a consensus. Customers can also be included in the collaborative process to achieve more accurate forecasting. Our flexible forecasting tools combine both collaborative forecasting and statistical forecasting which provide you with the information needed to develop timely, accurate forecasts.
Reducing Inventory Levels
Historically, organizations used abundant inventory as a buffer, to compensate for weakness in the supply chain – inability to predict demand and a lack of visibility. Proper inventory levels keep your entire operation running smoothly. When you optimize your inventories—so the right products in the right amounts are in the right place at the right time—you’re able to provide reliable deliveries to your customers.

The WAM Supply Chain Solution provides an interactive inventory targeting tool. It calculates inventory components at every stock point. It compares historical forecasts to actual sales data and models all the processes that contribute to inventory, allowing you to quickly identify problem areas and make adjustments that decrease inventory without reducing customer service. You can identify the level of inventory which allows for uninterrupted production but reduces the investment in raw materials - and minimizes reordering costs – increasing working capital levels. At each point in the supply chain, you get the information you need to determine optimum inventory levels and redeploy the excess to improve service at high-priority locations.
Optimizing Distribution Plans
With ever increasing numbers of products and delivery points, an efficient distribution network is vital to controlling inventory costs. The WAM Supply Chain Solution optimizes the supply chain network by finding the economical way to supply each customer, such as changing distribution locations to support more frequent service, changing transportation modes to reduce costs, packaging changes, or improving forecasts to reduce overall inventory levels. The result is a cost-effective distribution system that minimizes inventory costs while maintaining acceptable customer service levels.
Reducing Working Capital Using the WAM Supply Chain Solution
Our customers use the WAM Supply Chain Solution to support collaborative and statistical forecasting, glean supply chain analysis and control inventory levels. They are reducing working capital requirements and positioning their products for maximum profitability.
  • A worldwide leading producer of specialty polymers and films used our solution to improve its inventory mix by 50%
  • A globally-distributed specialty chemical producer used our solution to reduce its inventory levels by 20%
  • A chemical producer for consumer packaged products achieved a 15% inventory reduction within four months of implementation using our solution
Achieving these metrics is only possible after careful consideration of the impact of change and improvement throughout your organization. No two companies will benefit from the exactly same approach.

If your organization is focused on reducing working capital levels, we suggest beginning with an analysis of your existing planning environment. The WAM benchmarking program can quickly help you acquire this analysis. Through our benchmarking program, we continually evaluate process industry companies and help pinpoint where and how they can drive improvements in their supply chain. Together, we analyze the company's current planning process, workflow and supporting technology. Participants learn the best practices of high-performing industry leaders and receive individualized assessments of their supply chain planning landscape with improvement suggestions for key areas of their processes.

As a supply chain professional, you must focus your energies on achieving best-practice goals. How do you initiate an enterprise-wide effort to improve customer service, inventory, scheduling? By proactively engaging in successful strategic and tactical planning. The WAM Supply Chain Solution helps you make smarter decisions based on profitability, attain global supply chain visibility, support for collaboration and assists in determining the right safety stocks to meet customer service levels. To make the critical decisions that you must make on a daily basis, you must have accurate, timely data and planning technology that understands how your company operates. Let us show you how WAM's supply chain planning solution can provide you and your team with the right data and the right time and place.