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September 21st, 2020     5 MIN READ

7 Reasons Food and Beverage Producers Need to Put Digital Transformation on the Menu

Are delayed timelines and miscommunications causing you to miss windows of opportunity for product launches? Or, maybe slow time to market is making you lag in the market? It is time to consider if your product development technology is holding you back. Do you have any product development technology beyond spreadsheets and emails?  (If not – spoiler alert – you need PLM!)

Food and beverage is a non-stop, fast paced industry that requires agility and speed. Inefficiencies and mistakes due to decentralized data and outdated, siloed workflows lead to wasted time, poor product margins, limited growth and a lack of agility.

Digital transformation with Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions unlocks the power of full visibility and control over the complex processes involved in creating and delivering products for own-brand or retail-partner private label lines. Centralized, real time product information, efficient collaboration with retailers and suppliers, and easily manageable formulation evolution and ingredient origin tracking give food and beverage producers the edge they need to compete in a global marketplace.

This is what Centric Software® PLM for food and beverage brings to the table!

Here are 7 signs that you should explore a PLM solution.

1. Product innovation is being held up by data chaos

For food and beverage producers, product development and innovation can be frustratingly complicated. Information is typically in multiple systems or on people’s computers. Versions upon versions of documents fly around and no one really knows which one is right – queue numerous emails, hours of time-consuming data entry and a high risk of error. With information scattered, R&D and merchandising teams have no clear way of seeing which products were successful in the past or what your competitors are offering. Products are thus not market or consumer lead.

Take this as a red flag that change is needed. PLM for food and beverage streamlines product development by centralizing all product related data to eliminate multiple spreadsheets and tedious administrative and data entry tasks. Increase efficiency and cross-team collaboration to drive faster and more effective innovation of high-quality and high-value products.

2. So many iterations on packaging alone!

Getting packaging through from brief to box is a job in itself, with too many long email threads, meetings and phone calls. It’s also a major slowdown for product development. Not only is it a huge point of frustration but it’s costing an arm and a leg with multiple rounds of edits for designers and stacks of samples. This is a clear sign that it’s time for an intervention and an opportunity for improvement.

Empower efficiency by generating packaging briefs using a library of templates such as material types, dimensions, symbol images, colors and more.  Connect package designers directly to Centric PLMTM with Adobe® Illustrator Connect and 3D Connect. Centric PLM connects product and packaging briefs to allow automatic product data updates for fast and accurate RFP creation. Localize labels with location specific regulatory requirements and in multiple languages and more.

3. Time to market takes an age… and then some

A host of complex workflows across R&D, sourcing, design, finance and all other departments working on different schedules that don’t match up have you feeling like you are drowning and things are crawling? Want to run instead of crawl?

Sounds like it’s time to reevaluate and harness the power PLM to reduce time to market by managing workflows for teams across departments for vastly improved efficiency, team communications and reduced data errors, increased product margins and customer loyalty by always being quick on the mark.

4. Product margins are melting away faster than an ice cream on a hot day

No matter how hard you try to claw them back, product margins are pushed down by unexpected costs from guesswork-driven decision making, untracked supplier costs, duplication of work and misinformation. It’s time for digital transformation with PLM for food and beverage producers. Centralize your data into a single digital space with PLM, empowering dynamic, data-driven decision making through model costing and sourcing scenarios, easy cost what-iffing and always up to date costing information that reflects fluctuations in the price of raw materials, warehousing, shipping and changing tariffs, etc.

5. What, where, how and how much? What is your product offer?

When it comes to product portfolio management, a lack of visibility into the overall product lifecycle creates inefficiencies throughout. Planning, new product introductions, rebranding/updates, product development and portfolio optimization for core lines and bestsellers across different locations, channels and seasons are much more complicated and often long winded than they need to be. Plus, the overwhelming amount of information often leads to inter and cross team stress as well as mistakes – it is impossible not to make a mistake when you simply don’t have the right information and the right system. You’re not wrong in thinking there must be another way.

PLM for food and beverage producers empowers teams with full product development and assortment visibility in one digital space. Create what-if scenarios for how products are carried over from season to season and how to package products for local holidays, seasons and/or channels. Drive improved product portfolio management and optimization of manufacturing to reduce overproduction of core products.

6. Who dunnit? Formulation evolution and traceability edition

Do we still have palm oil in this product? Where is the cocoa sourced for this line? Which products have been affected by a given supply issue? Tracking formulation changes and traceability of ingredients is near on impossible potentially causing big risks for compliance issues. Gain full visibility into all aspects of operations from concept to consumer with Centric Food and Beverage PLM to make better decisions, faster and track products throughout the complete lifecycle.

PLM for food and beverages consolidates all of your product related data into a digital ‘single version of the truth’. This empowers teams to trace ingredients for products to back to the country where they’re grown through tracking supplier outsourcing. PLM also enables quick location of ingredients used across products for more efficient sourcing, tracking or substitution, and tracking of formulation changes over time for each product including historic actions documented through all development processes as formulations evolve.

7. A new allergen? Tracing & tracking.

Regulation changes and compliance issues are challenging, and especially not big ones that affect multiple products. It’s time to transform outdated and inefficient ways of working. PLM revolutionizes product compliance by reducing the risk of liability in a highly regulated product development environment and increasing agility in reacting to compliance regulation changes.

Food and beverage PLM empowers management and maintenance of proper allergen data to meet regulatory requirements, maintain customer safety and inform increasingly health-conscious customers. It also facilitates efficient tracking and implementation of compliance changes and streamlined quality and compliance checks with mobile apps and templates directly connected to PLM that are accessible by all team members in real time. This ensures regulations for safety, handling, storage, type of container and labelling requirements for weight, nutritional value and allergens are met.

 

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