, April 27, 2023
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ChemTreat, Inc. provides water treatment services to a wide range of industries. By adopting Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management and Dynamics 365 Finance, ChemTreat realized enhanced data visibility and insights, improved inventory and manufacturing processes, and now provides better, more intentional, and proactive customer service.

For ChemTreat, reliability and trust are paramount. Since 1968, ChemTreat has been helping customers optimize the efficiency and performance of their water treatment systems. Delivering dependable water treatment solutions to industries as diversified as datacenter services, food and beverage, chemical processing, pharmaceuticals, and power production means ChemTreat can leave nothing to chance. So, when the company wanted to better integrate its processes, improve its supply chain, transform its operations, and deliver even greater reliability for customers, its decision to adopt Microsoft Dynamics 365 was only logical.

The search for new efficiencies

Supplying water treatment products and services demands high visibility on vital supply chain data and fast, responsive management. Historically, ChemTreat had managed operations through an in-house, custom-coded, desktop-dependent system that required additional workflows, supporting spreadsheets, nightly downtime, and new customization for any emerging requirements. ChemTreat wanted a less laborious, more efficient system that could keep pace with technology changes in the industry and the company’s increasing growth.

“We were having challenges connecting to the latest and greatest solutions our partners were bringing to the table,” recalls Katie Journigan, Director of Business Systems at ChemTreat. “We needed tools that would keep up with the growth of our business both domestically and internationally.”

From reactive to proactive

ChemTreat needed a new platform to manage enterprise resource planning workloads. But its bold vision and commitment to continuous improvement led the company to think even bigger—to develop and build new, more proactive capabilities across the organization. It wanted tools to expand finance and operations visibility and drive sustainable and scalable growth. ChemTreat sought to attract, nurture, and support supplier relationships while delivering more engaging employee experiences to attract and maintain talent.

The company determined that with a combination of Dynamics 365 business apps (specifically Finance and Supply Chain Management) and Microsoft Power Platform components, it had the flexibility, configurability, and ease of customization to automate its finance and operations processes. This automation offered the added value of providing a consistent, company-wide source of truth across ChemTreat’s various departments and broad spectrum of finance and process manufacturing workloads. The company turned to the FastTrack for Dynamics 365 team to help guide and speed the implementation. ChemTreat also worked closely with Alithya, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, to deploy Alithya EDGE for Operations—an integrated solution built on Dynamics 365—plus other key tools for taxation and banking.

Key Benefits Realized by ChemTreat

  • Vastly improved data visibility and insights
  • More resilient, agile, and proactive supply chain management
  • Improved inventory, manufacturing, and distribution processes 
  • Better communication and collaboration between departments and the field sales team
  • More agile, intentional, and comprehensive customer service

Solving supply chain challenges

Now that it uses Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, ChemTreat is realizing its greatest transformational value in the ways it manages its supply chain operations proactively.

In the past, ChemTreat tracked incoming materials and some manufacturing processing with manual spreadsheets. This led to missed opportunities, stockouts, and instances of overproduction and underproduction.

With end-to-end supply chain visibility that encompasses its vendors, its stock, and its customers, ChemTreat can clearly and instantly see what it’s spending, on which vendors, and directly tie those expenditures to customer consumption and demand. That helps ChemTreat be more proactive and improve planning.

“For example, with the direct data visibility we generate in Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, we can now proactively identify raw material shortages in our chemical processing supply chain,” says Journigan. “Dynamics 365 helps us get ahead of challenges, identify potential customer impacts, and determine the best path to the best service.”

Now ChemTreat executives, managers, and team leaders can make smarter decisions and deliver better customer service. Automated Dynamics 365 notifications not only alert the right people when materials are running low, but they also offer a full view of supply chain options and data-informed suggestions so that supply chain teams can stay ahead of any disruptions. With better supply chain visibility, ChemTreat can proactively plan for and address potential shortages and disruptions, then offer alternate products or solutions to keep customers up and running—a capability that is becoming more and more valuable.

“By using Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, we’re getting better supply chain outcomes, with half the time and effort,” says Journigan. “The automated alerts always present key supply chain suggestions just in time, and we no longer have to rely on people with limited views working from limited spreadsheets.”

The enhanced business intelligence is enabling more proactive chemical manufacturing and management practices as well. ChemTreat can be far more strategic in chemical manufacturing and batch size, and it can preemptively propose alternate chemistries and potencies for customers to balance forecasted stockouts. And, with the implementation of new warehouse barcode-scanning capabilities, ChemTreat is gaining even greater intelligence and control over its chemicals and batches.

Transformation in action

ChemTreat deployed Dynamics 365 Finance enterprise-wide to manage workloads such as accounts receivable, collections, fixed assets, general ledger banking, reconciliation, and taxes. Supporting its digital data platform with Dynamics 365 Finance capabilities has fundamentally altered how ChemTreat does business by placing organizational data at the fingertips of its field sales team.

“In our previous system, the data would refresh once a night, so orders placed or changes made wouldn’t register for our sales team to see until the following day,” says Journigan. “With Dynamics 365 Finance, we make sales data, purchase orders, pricing updates, and everything else visible to all areas of the business within minutes.”

Now that ChemTreat field sales team has the information they need to be more agile and responsive, they can deliver better value for customers. Sales representatives place their own orders directly, from wherever they are, by using a digital ordering tool integrated with Dynamics 365 through an API, which facilitates complete account management. The representatives now place up to 80 percent of their own sales orders and can devote more time to customer service and less to labor-intensive back-office processes.

The company also extended the impacts of its Dynamics 365 data by using Microsoft Power Apps and Power Automate to build a new cloud-based pricing application.

ChemTreat can quickly and accurately update pricing for its 700-strong field team from anywhere, at any time, to maintain pricing integrity and improve field team flexibility.

With comprehensive Power App templates, ChemTreat can create user-friendly apps that embed directly into Power BI reports and provide on-demand data. Using Power Automate makes it easy for the company to upload current data into visuals that tell the story behind key metrics. Power Automate triggers are used to refresh data daily to keep all information current without having to manually configure a refresh for many datasets.

Greater visibility, greater customer value

Ultimately, the functionality of Dynamics 365 has cascading value for ChemTreat and is leading to increasingly transformational capabilities and work practices. The data consistency and reliability are giving rise to stronger, more proactive, and more collaborative processes. ChemTreat now identifies and manages business process problems and challenges well in advance and uses its new insights to enable more real-time collaboration within the organization, both departmentally and between the field team and office staff.

With increased data connectivity and visibility, ChemTreat departments are no longer siloed and now trace and manage their impacts across the organization. The company has used Dynamics 365 to eliminate data errors, streamline processes, and increase discipline across departments by making people and decisions interdisciplinary.

“Using Dynamics 365 has helped us deliver smarter, better product and service options more quickly and provide first-rate, end-to-end customer value,” says Journigan.

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