(17a) Digitalization Strategies in an Age of Rapid Change

Authors: 
Colegrove, L. - Presenter, The Dow Chemical Company
McBride, E. - Presenter, The Dow Chemical Company
As with many large chemical producers, Dow has launched a wide ranging strategy towards achieving significant value through implementation of developing technologies that will speed decision making, make work safer, and improve reliability. A common thread in all these initiatives is the unification of IT and analytics into the digitalization of the work place. Digitalization, in its most classic form, simply means turning information into a computer-readable format that can be easily rendered in a variety of formats. A digitalization strategy, therefore, means planning for the use of that information from inception, through storage, to end-user, all sitting upon an appropriate digital thread. In manufacturing in general, applications are as limitless as humans can find practical use, but in the chemical industry there are particular areas that Dow has identified as key for extracting the value we seek. We will discuss Dow’s broad initiatives in two areas: Business / Supply Chain, and Manufacturing / Engineering, as well as featuring the formation of two key capabilities that will support this strategy – Dow’s Chicago-based Digital Marketplace supporting our commercial strategy, and the newly opened Houston-based Digital Operations Center supporting our M&E strategy.