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Decisions, Decisions: Optimizing Assortment Plans and Product Portfolios with Centric Food and Beverage PLM


Which SKUs are the most profitable? Which ones can be varied? Localized or rebranded? How much should they cost? ? What’s the best way to adapt products for different seasons, holidays and regions? Do products comply with regional regulatory requirements and is evidence current? These basic product assortment and portfolio questions are at the core of decision making for any player in the food and beverage business, from small-batch specialty producers to large multicategory retailers all driving to increase product margins and ensure compliance.

Centric Food and Beverage Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) provides a broad overview and deep-in-the-details visibility into product development from concept to replenishment and boosts workflow efficiency by connecting all teams in one digital space, giving food brands, producers and retailers the critical, up-to-date information they need to address these fundamental decisions.

For multicategory retailers, Centric PLM™ assortment planning makes it easier to:

  • Increase product introduction success
  • Optimize assortments to drive business growth
  • Support private label development
  • Drive product margins

For food producers, manufacturers and brands, Centric PLM product portfolio management is the solution for:

  • Managing your product portfolio efficiently
  • Updating seasonal, holiday and themed products
  • Selling in multiple regions
  • Driving product margins

Food and beverage retailers: optimize assortments and balance product mix

With nearly 50% of new product introductions failing to meet sales targets and the chance of boosting sales with a major hit, optimizing assortments to increase new product introduction success is critical for both multicategory and specialty food and beverage retailers.

Centric Food and Beverage PLM contains powerful digital tools that centralize assortment plans to gain visibility and establish targets, track progress against seasonal plans, identify poorly performing products and continuously optimize assortments with real-time, one source of truth information. Merchandising and product development teams can strategically design product offers, run ‘what-if’ cost scenarios, automatically calculate how product costs affect margins and pricing to align assortment strategy with financial goals.

Getting a broad overview of the product mix is crucial to identify overlaps and potential holes that could be filled with new products or rebranding. Balance budget, premium and specialty brands, improve decision-making and see complex product mixes across branded and private label assortments with Centric’s assortment planning tools to pinpoint development opportunities.

Executive, top-level views roll up financial and business targets for each season, which can be broken down by department, product line or other criteria to get an increasingly granular view of cost breakdowns. Using Centric PLM, decision-makers can reconcile these views to finalize a solid, realistic financial plan.

Along with big-picture views, Centric PLM is capable of taking a deep dive into the details. Get a fine-grained picture of what’s selling and what’s not to reduce time to market and inventory shrinkage, optimize inventory turns and maximize price per square foot while quickly reacting to recalls and compliance changes.

For multicategory retailers working with suppliers on private label development, Centric is also the conduit for collaborative product-related decision-making. Boost private label product development by directly connecting R&D and product developers with merchandising and planning teams to sourcing teams and suppliers to instantly share the most up-to-date product information, RFQ responses and assortment plans.

Food and beverage producers: manage product portfolios effectively

For food producers, national brands and multicategory retailers that work with suppliers to develop private label food and beverage products, Centric Food and Beverage PLM provides tools to plan, optimize and manage complex product portfolios that can be quickly adapted according to seasonal, regional or market demand.

Centric PLM makes it easy to identify and iterate on popular base products that can be themed and updated for different seasons, holidays and markets. Repackaging the same basic box of chocolates for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter and Halloween, or altering those chocolates with different fillings, shells or decorations, for instance, can be managed from a central hub with unparalleled visibility into every aspect of the base product and its possible variants.

However, product catalog management is about much more than repackaging. Because Centric Food and Beverage PLM puts the product at the heart of the digital ecosystem, everything product-related, from formulation to sales data, can be viewed and updated in real time by connected internal and external teams. From Centric PLM, food producers and brands can launch new recipe development for variations on popular products, make decisions about discontinuing or altering failing products and constantly innovate to maintain new product introductions.

Expanding into new markets or geographies is made easier with a central platform to define local market commercial offers and vary labeling, language, copy, artwork and nutrition information for regional markets and regulatory requirements. Centric’s open API integration with databases such as USDA and CIQUAL makes it possible to rapidly research ingredients and potential compliance issues directly from Centric PLM. Competitive analysis and research to identify opportunities in different markets are streamlined with powerful PLM-connected mobile apps that enable users in the field to quickly and easily capture competitive information and product testing feedback from the market as inputs across relevant product lines.

Because Centric PLM is a collaborative solution that can be easily opened up to vendors and integrated with other enterprise solutions such as Product Information Management (PIM) and Enterprise Resource Management (ERP), it eliminates data silos and barriers between regional and departmental teams. Decision-makers gain a much clearer picture of the product portfolio as a whole and identify opportunities to optimize existing products, streamline duplicate or similar products and increase the success rate of new product introductions.

For businesses facing challenging decisions about what to sell or produce more of, what to drop, which seasonal products have the best chance of success and whether localizing a product for a new market is worth the additional cost, Centric Food and Beverage PLM provides both a broad and deep view of assortments, financial targets and product portfolios. However, Centric PLM is not just an analysis tool. With the ability to instantly act on product-related decisions through a powerful and centralized real-time product lifecycle management hub, Centric gives teams visibility and active control.