Converter Interviews Inform Supply Chain Challenges
To help our employees better understand what converters and plastics executives need in their supply, the Shell Polymers team spent hundreds of hours interviewing converters across the country. These interviews helped us hone in on what converters wished to see from polymer producers, so they can try to overcome their common supply chain challenges. Thanks to these conversations, we’ve identified several areas converters would like to see changes, including:
- Streamlined supplier/customer communication
- Greater flexibility to meet changing demands
- Access to cutting-edge technology and technical expertise
- Consistent polyethylene supply
- Transparent logistics processes
Converters told us there’s an opportunity to make issues like delayed deliveries, last-minute orders, or operational hiccups - an unfortunate reality for the industry - more manageable by proactively communicating updates and incidents with them so they can respond accordingly. That’s why at Shell Polymers, we’re leveraging decades of team experience and the latest technology to build a business that emphasizes transparent communication and keeps customers in the know.
Enabling Supply Chain Visibility with Advanced Technology
These are exciting times for converters. With recent advancements, more technologies are becoming available that enhance competitiveness through increased productivity, reduced maintenance and labor costs, greater efficiency, extended equipment life, and more.
Not only does the latest technologies enhance production processes, it also unlocks data that enables suppliers to access previously-untapped operational insights, providing customers with more information on their orders - from development to delivery.
According to Forbes, “Transparency offers a host of benefits, from material flow tracking and schedule synchronization to an improved capability to balance supply and demand. Using these digital supply network innovations, businesses are driving supply chain efficiency and improved customer satisfaction and ultimately spurring increased demand.”1
Shell Polymers is integrating a robust notification system that proactively keeps customers up-to-date on the status of orders. This helps to reduce last-minute surprises and provides visibility into our operations. It’s just one of the ways Shell Polymers leverages technology to increase supply chain transparency.
In the wider Royal Dutch Shell Group, blockchain is being used to improve product tracing and transparency. In 2017, Shell set up a blockchain department that is exploring and building blockchain applications globally throughout the company in areas including exploration and production, mobility, and renewable energies.
Capgemini explains that “the transparent consensus mechanism of blockchain makes it possible to verify the validity of transactions and how information has been modified or created in the process.”
To help its customers from unwittingly buying counterfeit products, Shell Lubricants adopted a blockchain platform that tracks lubricants from production to customer. As the products move between parties, each can confirm they are receiving genuine products, and Shell can track and monitor supplies worldwide more securely and easily.