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ERP System's role in Handling Hazardous Chemicals with Compliance


  • The chemical manufacturing industry is under severe scrutiny for ecological and environmental reasons. Chemical companies are required to maintain various documents such as safety data sheets and hazard labels with pictograms.
  • The hazardous chemicals produced or used by the industry need to be tracked and managed to meet the rules and regulations set forth by OSHA.
  • The right ERP systems can help companies in collating and systemizing the records of these hazardous chemicals for proper usage and disposal in a responsible manner.

Chemical Manufacturers – Managing Compliance

The chemical manufacturing industry has an expectation and in many cases even a mandate to work with added responsibility when it comes to the usage, transport, and disposal of hazardous chemicals.

Out of the more than 80,000 chemicals currently used in the United States, most haven’t been adequately tested for their effects on human health.CONTRACT RESEARCH ORGANIZATIONS GLOBAL MARKET REPORT

Chemical manufacturers are an integral part of the overall chemical value chain, and the overall supply chain from ‘raw materials to finished products’ needs to be maintained with additional hazard visibility. How would these manufacturers manage compliance and adhere to proper documentation of hazardous chemicals? The answer lies in an ERP software system that can facilitate record maintenance, compliance, and visibility. A reliable ERP system has become the need of the hour for chemical companies – to act proactively and to avoid environmental or human mishaps.

The ‘One Microsoft Ecosystem’ with the embedded ‘Integrated Chemical Management’ solution will provide a comprehensive solution to aid all the needs of a chemical company – Supply Chain, Finance, Manufacturing, Quality, Document Management, or Chemical Data and Documents.

FIGURE 1Digital Business Transformation with One-Microsoft Ecosystem

Let us look at some of the ways compliance is achievable through the Microsoft ecosystem:

01.Being proactive instead of reactive:

Business processes would be simplified for bulk chemical or toll manufacturers if they could regulate hazardous substances from the point of inventory receipt through a purchase order or a manufacturing production order. Better management of dangerous materials is possible by an integrated chemical management system within ERP software. This unified system can automatically overlook the formulations, spot the hazardous substances, and evaluate them for their further use. This way, manufacturers will get to know the risk levels involved regarding the usage and distribution of chemicals. Identifying these hazardous substances at the beginning stage also allows manufacturers to act proactively rather than working reactively, leading to better safety.

02.Developing a Prototype/ Standard Operating Procedure for Worker Safety

It is important to note that manufacturers have found that even if they have implemented safety procedures in place for the wide range of chemicals used, mishandling and mismanaging the chemicals will jeopardize workers’ safety. Working with hazardous chemicals is inevitable for chemical companies making it business challenge to handle production and distribution of finished products. Microsoft Dynamics 365 integrates natively into Sharepoint and One drive, which are Microsoft’s document management systems. These integrated tools in the Microsoft ecosystem provide the ability to develop a standard operating procedure or prototype process to handle chemicals – avoiding chemical hazard accidents and enhancing workers’ safety on the shop floor. 

03.Facilitating Better Equipment Maintenance

Record maintenance for the equipment used in chemical plants is a tedious task. Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps in keeping a record of equipment maintenance and marking them for preventive/ proactive maintenance. These maintenance call-to-actions are system generated and can be automated, leaving minimal scope for manual errors. Chemical manufacturing companies can thus form a thorough strategy for equipment maintenance, repair, and operation.

FIGURE 2How an ERP System Helps in Managing Hazardous Chemicals

04.Systemizing Record Maintenance

The vast range of chemicals used by manufacturing companies need to be labeled for their chemical composition, risk factors, expiry dates, safety procedures, and other special instructions. There has to be a consolidated record of all these chemicals, their quantities, distribution, costs, etc. Such a humongous task is prone to different manual errors within legacy systems. Microsoft Dynamics 365 along with Integrated Chemical Management can maintain chemical data (for individual chemicals and on a consolidated level) through easy excel updates or interfaced updates.

Chemical companies can be assured of safely using,
distributing, and disposing of the hazardous chemicals through an automated workflow for adding and editing chemical data.

05.Meeting Compliance Standards

As mentioned earlier in the article, the world over, the laws are getting more stringent regarding compliance and regulations for hazardous chemicals. Chemical companies ideally look for an ERP solution that helps meet the local as well as international requirements, to function with least regulatory hassles.


70%of participants pointed compliance as the single largest priority for their company

80%of them cited monthly obligations to create, print, or affix workplace labels to containers in their inventory as a challenge

Per the 2017 Hazard Communication Survey

Microsoft Dynamics 365 with an embedded chemical management solution that can house chemical data, print GHS compliant labels, and Safety data sheets will be an ideal choice in order to reduce GHS related compliance issues.

To conclude, one could reasonably say that an advanced ERP system such as the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERPs can become the backbone of record maintenance for hazardous chemicals. The chemical industry can benefit from this sophisticated software system and function seamlessly while also helping with environmental and personnel safety. Microsoft’s Chemical manufacturers Supply Chain solution provides a cutting-edge system to ease record maintenance, streamline the overall chemical supply chain, inventory, and warehouse management processes; and create a platform for productivity and growth.

Key Takeaways

  • An ERP system with chemical data is necessary for the chemical industry to manage OSHA and GHS compliance from within the system.
  • Microsoft’s integrated ERP software in conjunction with integrated chemical management solution is capable of smooth record-keeping of hazardous chemicals, print GHS labels, and safety data sheets.
  • Ultimately Chemical manufacturers need to ensure compliance along with environmental and worker safety with the help of the right ERP system.
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