Experts define Chemical Management as a process which tracks chemical products from procurement through to final disposal. Many different people and processes will interact with a chemical product throughout its life cycle; keeping track of it all can be quite a hassle. Is all that effort worth it?
How Does a Chemical Management System Help You?
At first glance, keeping tabs on your chemicals may seem like so much busywork. What advantage is there to be had in comprehensive chemical management?
As it happens, there are many advantages to adopting a system. Here are just a few of the major ones:
Every country has regulations concerning chemicals. These regulations fall under a variety of categories, but generally are concerned with workplace safety, community health, or environmental sustainability. Chemical regulations require you to track quantity and usage rates of each product. Oftentimes these regulations require some kind of hazard assessment or analysis of the chemical properties.
Failure to stay up to date with these requirements can result in regulatory fines (which are no joke).
Regulations aren’t the only cost driver in chemical management; there are a lot of administrative costs too. If you want to avoid unnecessary costs and risks, you’re going to need to actively manage your chemical inventory. This means keeping track of quantities in storage, shelf life, and checking for incompatibilities. With a large enough chemical inventory, this process can be quite complex and time-consuming.
Material Reuse, Recycling, and Waste Reduction
Do any of your processes leave a residue that still retains useful properties? Have you ever thrown out an empty container without collecting the residual product? Reusing or recycling your used chemical products can open up many opportunities to cut costs, but it is not without risk. Chemical residues often have hazards and properties which may not be properly communicated. Consolidating your chemical “leftovers” also raises difficulty in tracking the shelf life of the resulting mixture. Without a system in place to manage these challenges, you might not be able to fully take advantage of potential cost savings.
Another opportunity presented by a good chemical management system is the ability to evaluate product substitutions. An existing chemical might be “good enough”, but is it the best possible fit for your process? If not, your company has a chance to improve profitability.
Without a systematic approach, it’s unlikely any superior substitutes will be found. Even with a system in place for finding and evaluating alternatives, the process can take hours of expert analysis to complete. If you want to maximize your returns on a product substitution, you’ll want a system with as much automation as possible.
Exploiting Opportunities in Chemical Management
Clearly, there are many opportunities for improvement to be found in building a chemical management system. Despite this, it’s important to note the challenges inherent to such a system. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution for Chemical Management; you need to build your system to match your processes.
Quantum has over thirty years of experience as a chemical management solutions provider. With our help, you can find the right system for your challenges – and your budget.