Infosys - Chemicals Industry Enterprise Mobility Applications


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The Chemical industry has positively been influenced by the advancements in mobile technology. Mobility enables organizations to stay connected in real time making them more productive.

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Infosys - Chemicals Industry Enterprise Mobility Applications

  1. 1. Impact of Mobility in the Chemical IndustryAtul AgrawalAdvances in mobile technology have significantly influenced the chemicalindustry. Their effects are observed on all components of the supplychain including procurement, manufacturing, distribution and selling.Organizations embracing mobility transform into lean, flexible and quickdecision makers. Mobility enables the organization to stay connected real-time, become more productive in the use of working capital, establishbetter links with suppliers and customers and offer employees a flexiblework environment and modern lifestyle. However, the success of mobiletechnology depends on correctly identifying business requirements andneeds as well as the technology selection and adoption to meet these needs.Paper was submitted to World Chemical Congress 2007, Glasgow Feb 2006
  2. 2. IntroductionThe business scenario for chemical companies is transforming very rapidly. The prime mover behind the same is therelentless pressure by the market to shed flab, be flexible, improve customer focus, reduce product development cycleand remain profitable. The business need is clearly identified to improve speed and efficiency of the business processes.Implementation of mobile computing technologies is expected to help companies achieve an adaptive and flexible supplychain. The paper explores opportunities and solutions in making the traditional chemical industry processes and applicationsmobility enabled.MobilityMobility technologies can be used to keep the mobile elements connected to the business process. The mobile elementsinclude man, material and machinery. The business application needs necessitates information sharing with these elementswhen they are mobile. For example, the business manager may need to be alerted about a business criticality when he is ona business trip and there are options to provide him the business data or information on the devices, which he would becarrying like cell phone, PDA or Laptop.The mobility technology includes the following: • Mobility Devices • PDAs, TabletPCs, Cellular Phones, Smart Phones, Laptops and Notebooks • Network Technologies • Wireless Local Area (Legacy, 802.11b), Wide Area (GPRS, CDMA-1X, CDPD, Mobitex) • Network enabled Services • Messaging & Alerts (SMS, MMS, E-Mail), Location (GPS, E-OTD), VPN • Mobile Computing • WinCE.NET, PocketPC, PalmOS, Symbian, Legacy (DOS, TCAL) • Smart Instrumentation • RFID devices, Infrared sensors, Barcodes Scanning, Biometrics, Telemetry devices, Wireless transmitters • Mobility Middleware • Thin-Client Interactive Architecture – browser and device specific Transcoding • Thick Client Disconnected Architecture - store & forward data transfer & synchronization • Voice Recognition Architecture • Mobile Application Technologies • Thin Client Applications – WML, XHTML, Microsoft .NET Compact Mobile Internet Toolkit • Thick Client Applications – Microsoft .NET Compact SDE, J2ME, PalmOS specific SDK • Voice ApplicationsMobility Applications in Chemical IndustryMobility technologies have emerged as very powerful enablers for a lot of business applications. These applications are usefulin all areas including enterprise management, supply chain management, manufacturing management, asset management,sales management, emergency management etc. These all application areas are very critical for the chemical industry and arebenefited immensely by mobility technologies.2 | Infosys – White Paper
  3. 3. Supply Chain Transformation with RFIDThe supply chain processes which can benefit intensely by mobile computing include product handling and inventorymanagement, warehouse management, inbound and outbound logistics, distribution, etc.RFID (radio frequency identification) provide a very good opportunity to transform the supply chain. The RFID tags can beput on bags, packages, pallets and containers, which can be identified and tracked during receipt, movement and dispatch.This information can be used for improved package visibility, real-time status report, improved inventory management andimproved reusable container /pallet recovery and reuse.Another big opportunity is real-time tracking of trucks and tankers. This real-time tracking can be real-time information ofvehicle movements, real-time delivery conformation, dynamic rescheduling of vehicle movement, notification of deliverydelay or failure etc. Please refer Figure 1. Real-Time Information of Vehicle Automatic receipt and accounting of Movements, Real-Time Delivery raw materials, Chemical, Catalysts; Conformation, Dynamic Re- Real-time information about scheduling of Vehicle Movement, inspection and quality control,; Automatic GRN generation Notification of Delivery Delay or Failure Supplier Customer Inbound Inbound Internal Internal Product Product Outbound Outbound Warehousing Warehousing Logistics Logistics Movement Movement Handling Handling Logistics Logistics Remote monitoring of RFID enabled packages for chemicals/ catalysts / additives and Products for identification, movement tracking, usage tracking etc. Product packages tracking through Product inventory and stock Real-time tracking and identification packing, quality control and management; Package location of material; Automatic consumption storage; Product return and identification; Package accounting; Material segregation; management; Package recycling; information updation; Automatic Abnormal movement Inspection and quality control accounting during product dispatch information updationManufacturing Effectiveness with MobilityManufacturing effectiveness can be increased with the adoption of mobility devices. The operators can use handhelds for fielddata gathering. RFID enabled chemicals and catalysts bags can be identified, tracked and accounted. Wireless transmitters canbe used for on-line data transmission from fixed or portable field instruments.Mobile Asset ManagementAsset management can be improved in multiple ways with mobility technologies. The equipment and spare parts can befitted with RFID tags. Thus the equipment can be identified, their location can be tracked and confirmed, RFID data can beupdated and removable parts can be tagged for tracking during removal and reinstallation.3 | Infosys – White Paper
  4. 4. The performance of the maintenance technicians can be improved by providing them with handheld devices. While on a fieldtrip, they can record asset performance data like motor temperature, lubrication levels, abnormal sound etc. They can also getmaintenance job details and maintenance procedures on the handhelds and update the maintenance job details as well. SeeFigure 2. Equipment Maintenance • Maintenance procedure access • Job update • Work permit clearance Equipment Monitoring Remote Asset Management Mobile • Data from remote assets • Field data logging on handheld • Equipment tracking Asset • Maintenance service Management management • Data update on RFID tags Spares/ Consumables Management • Spare part tracking • Consumption reporting • Automated stock-takingSales Force AutomationThe sales executive when on move cannot access their company network to access the application; however they havean innate need to do so. Mobility can help them in meeting this challenge. They can access the application like e-mail,product availability and price data, order status, payables status to improve the quality of client interaction. In an advancedapplication scenario, they can analyze the client requirements and suggest a solution including a quotation.Please refer figure 3. Customer Product Data Inventory Quotation Data Position Mobile Computing Pre-Sales Information Sales Executive on the move Post-Sales Information Mobile Computing Order Status Delivery Receivables Complaint Schedule Handling4 | Infosys – White Paper
  5. 5. Real-Time Emergency Response SystemThe emergency response can be critically improved by adoption of mobility technologies. The emergency response team ischaracteristically on the field during an emergency response. If they carry mobile/portable devices on which the informationrelated with the incident /event, critical emergency response data like MSDS, medical data and contact details for responsibleroles etc. They can also do real-time coordination of the emergency response. Please see figure 4. Emergency Response Team • Co-ordination Team • Fire and Safety Team • Medical team • Support teams Monitor Mobility Solution Challenges Diagnose • Mobile devices on wireless voice and data networks • Team members on the move Advice • Critical data storage on mobile devices • Real-Time Response Need Control • Data and application availability on mobile devices • Unavailability of plant systems Evacuate Emergency • Process Upset • Operations Emergency • Spills and Leaks • Fires • Exposures • AccidentsAdoption of MobilityThe applications of the mobile technologies can be categorized as following: • Application Enablement through Technology Adoption • Business Process Improvement through Improved Software Applications • Reengineered business processesThe application enablement can be achieved with little investment and with mature and proven technology adoption. It doesnot impact the business process significantly and thus the business benefits are also moderate.More advanced technology adoption is needed for business process improvements. But more importantly, the projectmanagement methodology needs significant investments. The returns on investment are also significant.However the maximum benefits are achieved through adoption of innovative or reengineered business processes. This needsto be significantly investment both in terms of project management and technology expenses. This helps a company toobtain competitive advantage in the market. The associated risks are unproven technologies, change management and marketacceptability.5 | Infosys – White Paper
  6. 6. Application Business Process Business Process Enablement Improvement Reengineering Supply Chain Transformation Sales Force Mobile Asset Automation Management Return on Investment Mobile Executive Emergency Response System Mobile Internet Connection E-mail InvestmentRecommended ApproachThe mobility adoption should be treated as any other project and the focus needs to be clearly the business needs and thebusiness value proposition. The key steps are following: • Business Imperatives The adoption of mobility should typically be driven by the business imperatives. The business imperatives could be competitive positioning, project benefits of real-time information availability or business process innovation. • Business Case The business imperative should then evolve into a business case like any investment decision. The focus of the perceived benefits should be business processes not technology benefits. An assessment is needed whether the existing applications be modified or enhanced or needs to be replaced by new applications. It is important not to make technology choices upfront. • Project Management The success of the business case is contingent on effective project management. The scope of the project should be limited to technology but on the business process. The active participation of business users even for ostensibly technology driven project improves the odds of success significantly. As-is and To-be business process mapping would provide the right value proposition. It is quite possible that the earlier perceived mobility needs may not be validated fully. After establishing the mobility needs like other technology needs, technology choices should be made. The user inputs for the ease of use, technology comfort and relevance to their activities provides a very useful input to effective project implementation. The successful project completion would pose an effective change management challenge and this should be provided for. • Benefit Analysis The benefit analysis provides very useful estimates for benefits achieved as well as business imperatives fulfilled. It should be based on user feedbacks, application utilization numbers and enhanced business value. The exercise can also provides a useful inputs to business imperatives by identifying other potential improvement areas as well as by proving project success.6 | Infosys – White Paper
  7. 7. Business Imperatives • Real-Time Information Availability Benefits Benefit Assessment • Competitive advantage Business Case • Innovation • Enhanced value analysis • Application Enhancement • Application utilization or Replacement • User Feedback Technology Maturity • Mobility Needs • Devices • Infrastructure • Applications Project Initiation Project Completion • Business value focus • End user testing Project • Business process focus • Change management Implementation • User Imperatives • Business process reengineering • Technology choices • Pilot implementations Figure 6 - Recommended Approach for Mobility AdoptionConclusionMobility technologies are becoming a critical element of real time information solution for modern enterprise. There aretremendous benefits of mobility for chemical industry as well. The adoption of these technologies bring benefits like real-timecollaboration, real-time decision making, critical data availability on the move, mobile asset tracking, faster response frombusiness users and improved business application use through multiple choice application interfaces. About Infosys Many of the worlds most successful organizations rely on Infosys to deliver measurable business value. Infosys provides business consulting, technology, engineering and outsourcing services to help clients in over 30 countries build tomorrows enterprise. For more information about Infosys (NASDAQ:INFY),For more information, contact visit© 2012 Infosys Limited, Bangalore, India. Infosys believes the information in this publication is accurate as of its publication date; such information is subject to change without notice. Infosys acknowledges the proprietary rights of thetrademarks and product names of other companies mentioned in this document.