The pressure is on for health and beauty brands, retailers and manufacturers to innovate new products at warp speed and assess current product assortments flawlessly. How do you establish bestselling products that will survive multiple seasons and rise to cult status? How do you manage your formulated product lines for cosmetics, fragrance and personal care alongside your non-formulated health and beauty accessories? How do you concurrently focus on consumer-driven trends, quality and sustainability to outpace the competition?
Keeping up with an accelerated marketplace while maintaining innovative, new product development and excellent formulation quality while controlling product margins is best achieved by employing a single, digital solution to optimize product portfolio management (PPM) and retail assortment planning. Banish hundreds of outdated spreadsheets, overwhelming email chains, PDFs, PowerPoints and disconnected software solutions for good. Keep reading to find out how.
First, let’s deconstruct what product portfolio management strategy is. Next, we’ll dive into how a Product Lifecycle Management System (PLM) solution empowers you to perfect and optimize your product portfolio management.
Deconstructing Product Portfolio Management
PPM is a dynamic, complex, data-driven process. It empowers health and beauty brands, retailers and manufacturers to determine which products make the cut for development, how to pinpoint the optimal price and define product updates and refreshes needed to make assortments more alluring to customers and meet market and trend demands.
A prime example of the complexity of product portfolio management is the opportunity presented by different seasons and holidays. How do brands and retailers respond to maximize sales potential and update existing product lines to meet consumer demand? Let’s consider a brand with a bestselling formulated product such as a bath scrub. How can they leverage the popularity of that item, strategically theme and package it with non-formulated accessories like a gift bag and exfoliating bath mitt and create an on-trend gift set to boost margins and drive sales across regions and channels?
Retailers are also seeking the perfect health and beauty product mix to drive business growth, support new product introduction success and power private label development.
To expertly execute PPM, give the following questions careful consideration:
- Which SKUs are most profitable?
- What’s the best way to adapt products for different seasons, holidays and regions?
- Can bestselling products be relocated to or rebranded for new markets?
- Are we meeting the product needs of all of our target markets?
- How much should these products cost?
- Do our products comply with regional regulatory requirements?
After diving into these questions, teams will have the clarity to inform their product portfolio management strategy. The decision to optimize a product through an update, modification or discontinuation becomes clear.
Refining Your Product Portfolio Management
While customers are often driven by emotions, influencers and trends when making purchases; PPM is driven by data. Numbers including sales performance, projections, price points and margins must be rigorously analyzed. And, marketing data such as the overall product offering, packaging, branding, target markets and competitor information are also connected to perfecting product portfolio management. When assessing multiple products, across several regions and channels, this can seem like a monumental task especially when information and data visibility is concealed in scattered and disconnected systems.
Enter Product Portfolio Management Software
To perfect product portfolios, health and beauty brands, retailers and manufacturers need a robust PPM software solution. Innovative digital technology powers end-to-end product development efficiency with full visibility and control of costs, supply chains and workflow from the initial idea all the way to when it’s ready for retail. Most importantly, digital solutions give product portfolio managers and assortment planners real-time data to inform business-critical decisions.
A Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution is the linchpin to mastering large-scale product portfolio management. PLM enables all categories of health and beauty brands, retailers and manufacturers to have full visibility throughout the entire product lifecycle. It offers robust analysis, reporting and team connectivity to ensure decision-makers are armed with the information needed to make strategic and profitable, product decisions.
Scale Up Product Assortment Planning with PLM
PLM drives digital transformation for retailers by being the ‘single source of actionable truth’ for everyone involved in decision-making. PLM is the hub for product-related data and seamlessly connects with other systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Product Information Management (PIM), Digital Asset Management (DAM), e-commerce, packaging software and many more.
Because PLM is the central hub for all product data, health and beauty brands, retailers and manufacturers can rapidly manage workflows, estimate and track costs, streamline supplier communication, update and carry over bestsellers and swiftly adapt products for new seasons. The complete workflow and process management offered by PLM gives laser-like visibility into decisions impacting the bottom line. Decision makers can align financial and operational targets per season to reduce time to market, optimize assortments and set informed revenue targets.
To optimize your product assortment, ensure your digital PLM solution is equipped with portfolio management and assortment planning capabilities. By delivering real-time data and connecting key players throughout the workflow, users have 100% visibility across the entire product lifecycle. Another key benefit is that teams can create multiple “what if” cost scenarios that vary product design specifications, packaging, suppliers and more to understand the implications for cost, time, formulation and compliance.
For retailers entering into the potentially lucrative private label and supplier co-created product development space, a digital PLM solution is a must to streamline operations. PLM connects R&D with product developers, formulation, purchasing, compliance, legal, packaging, labeling and quality to ensure data-informed decisions are made on product development and assortment planning.
The retail transformation ushered in by PLM radically improves decision-making by making it easy to see complex product mixes, identify private label development opportunities and increase product margins while expanding into more markets and more channels with more product variety.
Simplify Complex Product Portfolios
The health and beauty industry moves fast and real-time insight on product performance can make or break brands, retailers and manufacturers. Streamlining complex portfolio management is a superpower of PLM. Product Portfolio Management capabilities in PLM give industry players the ability to plan, optimize and manage product portfolios to speed time to market and adapt to consumer demand and market trends quickly.
Connecting sales and product performance data to narrow the focus on the right products for development, reduces confusion in the market by eliminating replicated products and reduces rework by leveraging existing products. Brands and retailers can easily identify revenue opportunities by updating carryover and bestsellers.
Step into More Markets with PLM
PPM is critical for health and beauty brands, retailers and manufacturers wanting to expand into new markets and geographies. With expansion comes complexity and the risks of costly duplication and redundancies are real. New geographies can pose challenges including operating in different languages, adhering to regulations and adapting to different market trends and consumer preferences.
The holistic, centralized PLM platform ensures 100% visibility across the product development chain and makes it easier to manage large, complex portfolios and eliminate barriers between departments and regions. Business critical activities such as defining local market commercial offers, adapting labeling, language copy and formulation information and ensuring regulatory compliance is streamlined with PLM.
Harnessing the power of a digital PLM solution with robust portfolio management capabilities is the key to streamlining workflow, perfecting product assortment and maximizing sales performance.