Resin Price Visibility Protection in Plastics Manufacturing

What did you pay for the resin (PP, PS, PE, PET, PVC, etc.)? It’s like something out of a James Bond movie…

Whether it’s for competitive reasons or some sales guy who’s trying to negotiate a better deal, pricing is a sensitive subject and what you’re paying for a raw material that makes up a significant portion of the cost of the finished good is absolutely a trade secret since any savings goes directly to the bottom line.

And, while resin prices have declined in general since 2015 and has remained pretty stable recently, this lull will not continue forever and keeping visibility to a minimum is essential to helping maintain competitiveness.

While it is understood that finance and accounting will need access to this pricing, there are many that don’t, including:

  • Receiving Operators for Purchase Orders
  • Purchase Requisitioners (engineers, production planners, etc.)
  • Sales (more indirectly by casually asking those roles above)

In any ERP system, resin pricing is generally visible in many forms/screens and not essential to that job role. This can absolutely be considered a Trade Secret for Plastic Manufacturers given the extremely competitive nature of the industry and limiting exposure to it, is important.

ERP systems generally have role-based security that does a fine job of constraining use and visibility within a system to more modular tasks. Simply blocking a single field is not that difficult. Specific field level security based on user and product is not as easy to constrain since it is a combination of attributes determining visibility. Ellipse Solutions has enhanced Microsoft’s ERP (Dynamics 365 or also known previously as Dynamics AX) to protect – as an example – resin price visibility and includes a “lock” symbol along with a hover-over comment to notify the user that the field is protected.

Purchase Order Form with Resin Pricing Protected:

Purchase Order Form with Resin Pricing Protected

 

Totals on Purchase Order (Price values are zeroed out):

Totals on Purchase Order (Price values are zeroed out)

Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise Edition remains a world class ERP system for Plastic Manufacturers. Ellipse Solutions has worked in this industry for over 10 years to help customers succeed by enhancing it in subtle ways that drive value. Click Here for more information about our expertise in the plastics industry.

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