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“ I will use three phrases to summarize the cooperation between Centric and us: 1. stable software platform, 2. strong and professional team, and 3., excellent customer service. ” — Mr Luo Zhiyan, CIO at SNS Food Co. Ltd
“Our main business is customizing compound food seasonings for catering chain enterprises, and facing the ‘Three Many’ challenges of ‘many projects, many products, many customers’. Moreover, the high demand from our customers for ‘Fast and Precise Responses’ has increased year by year. This complexity makes our existing workflow difficult to cope with. We need a software solution to handle these tasks, which is why we initiated a PLM project.”
Ms. Zhang Min, Co-Founder and General Manager of SNS, discusses the reasons for seeking a PLM solution, saying, “In order to better serve catering chain enterprises, it is crucial to build an agile R&D system. Specifically, we need to capture market demands with agility and be able to precisely and quickly transform customer requirements into a product. This is what we have been continuously developing over the years—an approach to digital and agile R&D.”
Chengdu SNS Biotechnology Co., Ltd. (SNS) was jointly established in Chengdu in 2007 by the founders, Mr. Zhu Junsong and Mrs. Zhang Min. With a background in the food industry, they have adhered to the original intention of ‘Safe, Natural and Savory’.
After years of development, SNS has become a leading enterprise in compound seasonings for the catering industry, serving numerous well-known restaurant chain enterprises such as Haidilao, Dalongyi and Xiaolongkan. SNS undertakes over 700 R&D and application projects annually, with a product range exceeding 4,000, and caters to more than 6,000 clients.
In November 2020, SNS came into contact with Centric Software, and both parties had a fruitful initial exchange. Centric’s focus on customer satisfaction matched up seamlessly with SNS’s core values. Centric’s dedicated team, mature software and professionalism, along with their profound understanding of the industry, left a deep impression on SNS. As a result, SNS decided to collaborate with Centric.
Ms. Zhang Min stated, “Centric impressed us in two ways in particular: one is the service tenet of ‘Satisfying the Customer,’ and the other is their numerous successful cases in various consumer goods segments. We believe that success in other industries can also guide our industry, and hope that under the guidance of these successful cases, the chances of success for the SNS PLM project become even greater.”
SNS has been continuously building a digital ecosystem in recent years, which can be summarized as ‘Three Systems, Two Platforms and One Cloud.’ PLM belongs to the Agile Supply Chain System, serving as the platform for managing all master data. It is also the most crucial source of foundational data for other information systems.
SNS has been collaborating with Centric since 2021 and has completed two phases of the PLM project implementation.
Describing their previous way of working, Mr. Luo Zhiyan says, “We have a large number of individual products and formulas. Managing this extensive data manually is actually very complex, and it’s also challenging to ensure the confidentiality of formulas and the structured storage of data. In terms of collaborative R&D, we often relied on people to push things forward, which is contrary to our principle of ‘Fast and Precise Responses to Customers.'”
Following the first phase of Centric PLM implementation, SNS achieved several results, including the structuring of product data, standardization of R&D and digitalization of pricing decisions.
Mr. Luo Zhiyan expressed his delight, saying, “Currently, there are two quantifiable achievements from the PLM project. Firstly, our product development cycle time has been shortened by 38%; secondly, a product quotation can be completely accomplished within one day.”
With Centric PLM in place, SNS’s collaborative efficiency has significantly improved, and the goals of ‘Digital R&D’ and ‘Agile R&D’ have been widely implemented in daily work.
“PLM has added so much convenience to my daily work. It not only enhances data standardization but also saves my research and development time,” shared Ms. Tan Chunmei, an R&D engineer at SNS.
“Previously, when creating formulations, we had to manually calculate nutritional components and check ingredient lists in spreadsheets, which was time-consuming. Now, with PLM, it can automatically calculate nutritional components and generate ingredient lists. We only need to make small adjustments, saving me a lot of time and simplifying my work in this aspect.”
“The PLM system also serves as an information exchange platform for SNS, connecting the product development, basic research, cost estimation and production teams. It has not only enhanced the accuracy of SNS’s data but also significantly improved control over risks and costs.”
The partnership between SNS and Centric has created a benchmark case for digitalizing R&D in the food industry. From business consultation to blueprint planning, and then the implementation and realization of the first and second phases of the project, both parties have achieved success with a consensus of ‘satisfying the customer’.
SNS’s pursuit of ‘Fast and Precise Responses to Customers’ includes the quotation process, and Centric has also collaborated with SNS in this regard. Mrs. Zhang Min notes, “As we run through it now, just in this one process, our key users, such as the sales team, are very satisfied. This is because the quotation process has become more accurate and efficient.”
Mrs. Zhang Min, reflecting on the partnership, says, “The entire Centric team is very professional and dedicated. When we initially implemented the software, the Centric team, consisting of seven or eight individuals, embedded themselves in our company for several months. They conducted multiple rounds of business surveys, solution discussions and system training with all our key users. This was crucial to ensure the success of the entire project. We are very happy with our choice of Centric.”
Today, SNS has established the foundation for standardized and agile R&D. In the future, SNS aims to harvest more insights through standardized and consistent operations. They also seek continuous optimization, innovation and expansion, ultimately realizing end-to-end digitization across the entire value chain.