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Chemstar Customer Case Study

Chemstar accelerates new product development with data-driven project scoring in Alchemy

As an innovative provider of environmentally friendly, high performance starch-based polymers, Chemstar made a strategic decision to accelerate new product development and expand into new applications. To achieve this, they would need to shorten their new product development process and grow their R&D and sales teams. In 2018 Chemstar digitized their project workflows in Alchemy and implemented a data-driven project scoring process.

Chemstar can now track the entire process, from a new customer request all the way through product development and delivery, with Alchemy’s dashboards. The quantified insights into the end-to-end process enables executives to continuously improve the innovation process and make tough trade-off decisions about which projects to pursue. Using Alchemy, the company is seeing faster velocity on projects because everyone is on the same page and it’s no longer possible for things to fall through the cracks.

“Alchemy streamlines communication between commercial and lab teams. Even more important, the leadership team can monitor the full portfolio of projects and make data-driven keep/kill decisions.“

- Joseph Feldman, VP Sales & Marketing, Chemstar

Chemstar at a glance

  • Global HQ in Minneapolis, MN
  • Family owned and operated for 50 years
  • Specializes in developing custom starch-based polymers for demanding applications
  • Growing their R&D and sales teams to expand market reach
Customers

Success highlights using Alchemy’s project scoring software for new product development:

  • Use project scoring in Alchemy to drive priorities and resource assignments. Use Alchemy to rank the full portfolio of projects, with appropriate data-driven criteria for different project types. For example: can now score customer enhancements based on strategic value and technical feasibility, while evaluating foundational chemistry projects on different criteria so they don’t penalize efforts that aren’t certain.
  • Executive team can balance short-term, customer-driven revenue from enhancements against the longer-term strategic bets on foundational chemistry using criteria that supports the trial-and-error nature of innovation.
  • Chemists live in Alchemy, managing their tasks and sprints through the software.
  • Sales people can access Alchemy anytime for quick visual updates of each project and customer request.
  • Leadership team looks at capacity, time allocation, bottlenecks in the process, project scoring and portfolio review in Alchemy.
  • Now have baseline project data as foundation for more agile new product development process.

Alchemy makes it easy to have different processes for different project types. We have configured different workflows in Alchemy for platforms vs. foundation chemistry vs. customer projects and can now monitor all projects end-to-end.

- Joseph Feldman, VP Sales & Marketing, Chemstar

The Alchemy dashboards and reports enable us to balance our portfolio from a strategic, time and resource stand-point. The visual project views quickly show when there’s a bottleneck so we can address it.

- Joseph Feldman, VP Sales & Marketing, Chemstar