Digital Transformation in the Paint and Coatings Industry
Digital transformation is impacting all aspects of global business – across every industry. One strategy that many paint and coatings companies are now incorporating is cloud software that provides everything companies need to accelerate chemistry development, sales and service. The solution includes:
- A customizable lab notebook that is designed for chemistry and makes it easy to capture all test plans, products, trial formulas, chemical structures, test results and lab reports in a structured and searchable database.
- An integrated digital lab that connects data from lab instruments and other software into a lab notebook automatically so companies can speed execution in the lab, reduce manual data entry, and ensure correct procedures are followed at all times.
- Sales and services collaboration tools that accelerate the commercialization of formulas by keeping everyone involved in the development, sales and service processes up to date, and automating many of the back-and-forth steps between teams.
Alchemy provides cloud software purpose-built for the specialty chemicals industry. The chemistry acceleration software includes everything paint and coatings companies need to run a fully digital lab so they can increase lab capacity, accelerate chemistry innovation and grow sales. Many companies see this software platform as the foundation for their digital transformation strategy. They now collect all of their formula and test data digitally, automate processes between lab, sales and service teams, and build up the high-quality dataset they need for AI-driven predictive chemistry in the future. Following are three case studies specific to the coatings industry.
1. Chromaflo Accelerates Time to Market and Responds Faster
Chromaflo, headquartered in Ohio, has been developing colorants since 1929. The company has over 700 employees serving customers across six continents. Its core values are quality, speed and service. As an early adopter of technology, Chromaflo’s technical group now uses Alchemy’s chemistry acceleration software to track projects, formulas, materials, testing and feedback for their new development and technical service requests.
In the first few months, Chromaflo found better accuracy tracking their time to market, has impressed customers with faster turn-around times, and now has consistent reports at the end of every project.
“Alchemy provides so much more than our previous systems. It makes it easy to track work across our core processes, so we can shorten individual steps and accelerate our time to market,” said Jerry Powers, Product Development Manager, at Chromaflo.
Success highlights include:
- Replaced old lab notebook systems with Alchemy in February 2019.
- Technical service teams use the new cloud software to track and manage thousands of color match requests and related lab work each year.
- Now capture all formulation and test data inside Alchemy where it is easy to filter and search to accelerate the process of hitting an exact match on future color requests.
- Automates calculations, process steps and approvals to accelerate the end-to-end tech service process.
- Streamlined approvals process for custom formulation work.
- Plan to expand the company’s use of the software platform to new product and technical service teams across North America, Europe and APAC.
- Plan to integrate Alchemy with Salesforce for a closed-loop tech service request and lab process that seamlessly connects the lab and sales team functions.
2. DCC LANSCO Improves Agility and Shortens Cycles
DCC LANSCO supplies the coatings, inks, plastics and construction markets with pigments through a large network of sales representatives, supported by in-house sales and technical teams. The company has been in operation for over 100 years and has a long history of innovation. Its digital transformation strategy is off to a great start at the Rhode Island Technical Center. Within the first two months of launching its integrated digital lab using Alchemy’s chemistry acceleration software, DCC LANSCO saw dramatic results.
The company’s technical service team was more agile, turning requests from sales around faster, and is able to provide comprehensive reporting for all projects completed in its U.S. technical center at the click of a button. The tech service lab team still follows its exact same process, but all formulation and test data are captured electronically in the cloud software.
In addition, data is pulled directly from the lab’s spectrophotometer into Alchemy, significantly reducing time-consuming data re-entry.
According to Jadel Baptista, Technical Director at DCC LANSCO, “Running a digital lab with Alchemy is the first step of our digital transformation strategy. Some of our originally reluctant users are now championing this solution to others because it is so easy to use, automates time-intensive manual processes, and captures all of their tests electronically.”
Success highlights using the digital lab solution include:
- The North American technical service team has reduced paperwork, stopped the duplication of lab work, and now has an electronic database of all lab tests and work in one place.
- The teams didn’t have to change the way they work at all, and they now have all of their lab work captured electronically in the software platform, instead of in spreadsheets and buried deep in hard-to-find files.
- DCC LANSCO is now running an integrated digital lab, with measurements from the lab’s spectrophotometer now coming directly into the integrated digital lab solution.
- The company has taken its technical service to an even higher level: they now respond to customer requests even faster and provide comprehensive Sample Evaluation Reports directly from Alchemy.
- Save 50% of the time to create each Sample Evaluation Report.
- The company plans to extend Alchemy to all of their technical service labs globally.
3. Hauthaway Measures and Improves its Chemistry Innovation Process
Hauthaway is no stranger to innovation and re-invention. In business since the mid-1800s, Hauthaway has a centuries-long culture of helping customers overcome challenges with innovative chemistry. The company has evolved over the years, from manufacturing protective coatings for leather shoes, to making polyurethane polymers and compound finishing materials for customers in the automotive, biomedical, construction, maintenance and textile industries.
Embracing modern digital technology is just one more way Hauthaway is transforming their business and ensuring they provide best-in-class customer service for the next century.
“Alchemy helps us get new chemists up to speed faster. When starting a new project, chemists can search and reference what’s already been done on similar projects using Alchemy,” said Ted Johnson, General Manager, Hauthaway.
Success highlights using the chemistry acceleration software include:
- Weekly meetings used to require pulling information from four different systems. Now all data comes straight out of Alchemy.
- Until using this software platform, past formula, test and technical data was trapped in paper notebooks and rarely referenced. Now, instead of starting from zero every time, chemists can filter and search through past tests and analysis to jumpstart their new project.
- New-hire chemists can get up to speed more quickly by leveraging all project, formula and test information available in the cloud software.
- Replacing each of the standalone legacy systems by moving these processes and data into Alchemy (CRM, ISO compliance, project management, sample management, customer complaints, etc.).
Digital transformation is poised to make its mark on the paint and coatings industry. It’s good to see early adopters in our industry embracing cloud technology to accelerate their innovation and service.
For more information, visit www.alchemy.cloud.