655 Campbell Technology Parkway,
Suite 200
Campbell, CA 95008 USA

Phone: +1 408 574 7802
Fax: 1 408 377 3002


What is Product Formulation Software?


Product formulation software gives teams immediate access to the product data required to develop products quickly, safely and cost-effectively. Formulation software hosts accurate, relevant and up-to-date information regarding raw materials, costs, previous formulation, R&D documentation, regulatory text, manufacturing processes and more.

Effective formulation management is key to efficient and successful product development. Using the data generated by product formulation software gives producers and manufacturers the opportunity to improve their formulation processes, ensure regulatory compliance, provide full raw material traceability, generate healthier margins and drive faster, more efficient product innovation.

Teams responsible for formulation management use product formulation software to optimize raw materials, control costs, launch new product variations and speed time-to-market.

Now we know what product formulation software is, let’s dig a little deeper into how it powers a more sustainable product formulation process and increases innovation.

What is a Formulated Product?

Formulated products are all around us from the cafes and restaurants we dine in, to the beauticians and hospitals we visit. According to the European Formulation Network, ‘a formulated product is composed of at least two ingredients which are selected, processed and combined in a specific way to obtain well-defined target properties’.

Food & Beverage, Cosmetics & Personal Care, Cleaning companies, to name a few, are the types of industries that develop formulated products based on specific industry targets. Taking food as an example, these targets might be nutritional, usage of certain ingredients and adherence to specific origin, organic, allergen, religious or sustainability claims.
While the products we use every day such as mayonnaise or a bottle of soda may seem very simple, each product started its life as a brief from a business to a product formulation team bringing a new formulated product to market.

This leads on to product formulation…

Product formulation is the development phase or bringing a formulated product to market. Product formulation teams are tasked with getting the formulation of the new product right so that it meets the product targets as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Product formulation is a critical step in new product development with teams required to understand how raw materials and different processing techniques behave and interact to deliver the properties required by the product brief.
If a formulation is not understood proficiently and small changes are needed in the raw materials, the formulating process or processing environment can have a negative impact on the quality and performance of the product.

Which Industries use Product Formulation Management?

Industries such as Home, Cosmetics & Personal Care, Agricultural Technologies, Chemicals, Food & beverage all have one thing in common…They all use product formulation management to power the successful development of new and innovative products.

From the matte lipstick that doesn’t smudge to the laundry detergent that washes whiter at lower temperatures. Every new formulated product needs to be carefully managed from conception to retail.

Read more to take a deeper dive into a few industries that use product formulation management and why.

Top 3 Industries That Use Product Formulation Management:

Beauty Product Formulation

Moving at the same hectic pace as the fashion industry, manufacturers of formulated beauty product brands cannot afford a misstep with their products so quality and safety are their number one priority.

Any beauty product, especially skincare products that cannot back up its claims or causes an adverse reaction will be exposed on social media. Leaving product development and marketing spend wasted and hard-earned brand reputation in tatters.

Discover more about beauty product formulation software.

Food and Beverage Formulation

As with any product created for human consumption, food and beverage products are sold into one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world. So it is no surprise that compliance and safety are of the highest importance to food and beverage companies worldwide.

Adding to this, the food and beverage industry has one of the most complex supply chains in the world. This means ensuring every new item is up to scratch is a logistical challenge to say the least. Formulation software gives food and beverage formulators a raft of essential and invaluable data to inform rapid, safe and successful new product development.

Read more about how food formulation software helps food and beverage companies achieve their compliance and safety goals.

Fragrance Formulation

Fragrance chemistry and formulation is highly specialized. In-depth knowledge of the various substances used and how they interact is required to produce the desired scent. Fragrance formulators must consider strength of smell, compatibility of ingredients, the effects of light and heat on product stability, and even how the product reacts with the proposed packaging.

As a scent is applied to the skin, it is critical to understand how this can impact the formulation of the required scent profile. Different elements of a scent react differently on exposed skin. Some evaporate rapidly while others linger for longer. Understanding the relationship of these properties is critical to successful fragrance formulation.

Facing similar challenges to formulators of food and cosmetic products, in terms of safety and compliance, the fragrance sector is also increasingly driven to create fragrances from natural ingredients to respond to consumer demand for sustainable products.

The International Fragrance Association provides government-approved standards that guide its members in the creation of safe and enjoyable fragrance. Effective formulation software for this sector will seamlessly plug into these standards, providing fragrance formulators with immediate access to a vast database of safe and approved fragrance ingredients.

What are the Key Challenges in Product Formulation Management?

Product formulation management is very complex. Each sector has its own unique challenges but generally speaking, product formulators must:

  • Control costs
  • Meet the various requirements of different teams, from marketing and quality to compliance and legal affairs
  • Stay ahead of the rapidly evolving demand for new products and emerging trends
  • Satisfy the market’s insatiable appetite for continuous innovation
  • Meet sustainable manufacturing targets
  • Stave off competition
  • Comply with strict regulatory conditions

Therefore, to be able to manage this process they need product formulation software to align with their company objectives.

Why is Product Formulation Software Important?

Regardless of what sector, every stage in product development represents a financial risk. Design, development, manufacture and launch all require significant investment before a single cent has been earned in revenue.

Product formulation software allows brands and manufacturers to minimize this risk by providing a single source of truth about each product at every stage of its lifecycle from marketing brief through to end of life.

This accelerates product development time and allows manufacturers to get more innovative products to market, faster while minimizing cost and reducing error.

How can Centric Software Help to Optimize Product Formulation and Development?

Centric Software, is the leading product lifecycle management (PLM) solution, that is the key ingredient in future-proofing product development. Centric PLM features both robust formulation development and management capabilities. Allowing product developers, the ability to experiment with formulation options, see new product possibilities quickly and optimize new products around specific cost and targets.

Not only does Centric’s formulation modules enable users to enhance their formulation process, but it also allows them to reinforce regulatory compliance, full raw material traceability ensuring healthier margins and future product innovation.

Currently, Cosmetics & Personal Care and Food & Beverage, brands, retailers and manufacturers use Centric PLM as a single source of truth. All product data from receiving raw materials through to formulation, packaging & labeling to product launch, every process is centralized in Centric PLM in real-time. This allows businesses to streamline communications to quickly and easily formulate, develop and manage a continuous flow of innovative, compliant, quality products that
maximizing product margins and minimizing errors.

As Centric PLM is an agile cloud-based solution, it ensures seamless integration with other business tools allowing the product to be accurately costed, forecasted for production, and then manufactured and managed into retail and beyond, providing businesses the ability to innovate and streamline their strategy.

The top six benefits of using product formulation software such as Centric PLM.

1. Ensure safety and compliance

For many sectors, safety and compliance are the most important aspects of product development.

With this in mind, product formulation software empowers users to:

  • Gain full visibility into all product-related data
  • Easily track and implement compliance changes
  • Identify products affected by changes, contamination or non-compliance
  • Streamline quality control
  • Connect to industry specific databases to flag any blacklisted ingredients or formulas
  • Communicate in real-time to share formulation data between suppliers, marketing, R&D, quality and regulatory teams
  • Automatically adjust existing management processes to ensure product compliance, accurate labeling, and authentic documentation

2. Streamline traceability

Justifying product claims, proving provenance or meeting consumers needs for ethically sourced products requires the power to track and trace raw materials to their origin.

With this in mind, product formulation software empowers users to:

  • Trace products to where they were sourced, see how they were processed and ensure suppliers followed compliant practices
  • Detect products impacted by contamination or non-compliance
  • See where affected products are in the cycle
  • Remove affected products before they hit the shelves to protect brand integrity

3. Improve quality management

Consistently managing quality across all the various departments involved in product development is challenging.

With this in mind, product formulation software empowers users to:

  • Unite all quality management data within the system
  • Give every product development team member access to real-time data at their fingertips from any time zone
  • Pull quality data directly from formulation specification templates
  • Enforce quality regulations throughout the product development chain

4. Ensure transparency and accuracy of claims and label information

Brands and producers must tread carefully when promoting the formulation and benefits of products. 100% accuracy in labeling is essential. Failing to do this correctly puts their reputation and business at risk.

With this in mind, product formulation software empowers users to:

  • Automatically ensure packaging reflects true and accurate claims
  • Automatically update product specification templates if product formulations change or new products are developed
  • To meet local regulatory labeling requirements in multiple markets and languages

5. Manage complex product portfolios

Many sectors are driven by trends and seasons. So brands and manufacturers are expected to continuously update product assortments quickly.

With this in mind, product formulation software empowers users to:

  • Allow R&D teams, product engineers and external suppliers to access and rapidly analyze product-related information in one central, real-time hub
  • Clarify product performance quickly and decide to re-order or re-formulate in an instant
  • Pull formula information seamlessly allowing products to be tweaked quickly to meet new targets
  • Automatically update all changes to any formulas

6. Turbocharge innovation

It’s a competitive world out there. So companies must constantly create new, engaging products and invest in the business processes that allow them to innovate at pace.

With this in mind, product formulation software empowers users to:

  • Optimize product development
  • Streamline business operations
  • Liberate and connect teams with a single source of actionable truth, accessible from anywhere
  • Maximize product margins
  • Ensure product quality and safety
  • Respond to market demands
  • Anticipate and set new trends


Examples of Product Formulation Software in Action