Is innovation eluding your team
Organizations do not intentionally shed their commitment to innovation, rather, they lose the culture of entrepreneurial innovation, one date at the time. Often this happens as the company begins to grow; research departments that were once agile – quick to take chances and pivot to innovative new products – are suffocated by fear of product launch failure.
A clear example – largely unavoidable for producers that do not employ product data management process solutions – is internal gaps in interdepartmental communications. These gaps are created by the inevitable delays and fragmented communication associated with emailing colleagues, and spreadsheet data that has been revised on one team member’s platform, but not others. Documents stored in siloed data bases do not have the accessibility that a central repository delivers to all authorized stakeholders.
The F&B industry is exceptionally competitive, and product-specific profit margins are razor thin. Research and development teams are on the front line of innovation – and they could use some help.
Variations and reuse
An article in The Economist magazine proclaimed that “any enterprise that fails to replace 10% of its revenue stream annually is likely to be out of business within five years.” This illustrates how crucial new product development innovation is to the success of your organization. In fact, cutting-edge new products establish and maintain your brand’s position in the marketplace. Customer satisfaction and retention are dependent on your ability to develop exciting new products and/or variations that keep customers coming back for more.
Leaders in the food and beverage industry know that every time they scrap a product or process, they lose money. The best possible scenario is to keep track of each idea, trial, and simulation so that they can share the data and build on it – instead of starting from scratch each time a team member picks it up.
When they are isolated or siloed, stakeholders in research and development, procurement, ingredient sourcing, quality control, packaging, product marketing and sales cannot operate at maximum capacity. Approval processes and essential data sharing are delayed – and crucial information can be lost or marginalized when producers work with archaic spreadsheets and group email communications – leading to a total loss of efficiency and innovation.
There is no greater return on investment than a comprehensive product lifecycle management process solution. PLM transforms the entire organization by digitizing and integrating product information to define, execute, unify, measure and manage key product and workflow related processes.
PLM provides unlimited opportunities for innovation – via comprehensive data management – that free R&D from spreadsheet and data entry errors:
- Recipe ingredients, data and base calculations management
- Rapid recipe development, trials, simulations, variations
- Traceability for real-time formula calculations when components and formulations change
- Immediate search and replace capabilities when recipe formulation changes
- Differential and cost rate calculations on demand
- Taste and assessment reports per variation for each recipe
Cost, nutritional values, production, transport, vertical and horizontal simulations and testing are available for each individual variation – saving time and money and helping the R&D team prioritize innovation.
Accurate data – no more silos
Disruptive technology, like IIoT, blockchain and smart contracts, are no substitute for the pure innovation derived from your current data.
Nearly all F&B producers have information silos – unless you have a PLM process solution, they are unavoidable – and silos stifle innovation. Common silos include formulation spreadsheets, raw material specification documents, product formulation project chain emails, isolated product information databases, ERP and MES.
To stimulate innovation, the first step must be to gather isolated data and store it in a single, central, integrated data repository – a comprehensive product data management process solution, like SpecPDM.
SpecPDM is the only out of the box data management system exclusively designed for food and beverage manufacturers, and is available via on-site subscription or SaaS. The out-of-the box application ensures rapid, seamless implementation across all departments – getting producers to profitability faster than any other process solution.
PLM integrates data, thus closing the gaps so that organizations can operate at optimal capacity for innovation and comprehensive production processes.
Industry and market disruptors
Enthusiasm for the ‘next great idea,’ like blockchain, the distributed digital ledger for sharing information securely across different organizations, is totally understandable. But industry leaders should take a more cautious approach when deciding if the latest technology can help them innovate.
Not every emerging technology is a good fit for every industry, although blockchain shows great promise for food producers. Often, the greatest dilemma is finding ways to use the technology to boost revenue, increase productivity and product quality, streamline costs, create and support innovation and deliver a better customer experience. These are the specific areas where PLM shines.
PLM process solutions deliver data access to authorized shareholders on demand – data and workflows are moved from siloed, independent platforms to a single, secure repository that ensures superior data integrity, production management, quality control, ingredient sourcing, allergen and nutritional facts accuracy and comprehensive regulatory compliance via country for global distribution.
Global market reports
Global market reports for 2018 indicate that the food and beverage products industry will exceed $5650 billion by Q1, 2019. There is a seismic shift toward natural ingredients – including organic products. This shift is largely due to consumer demands to reduce and eliminate artificial flavors, colors and additives. These reports emphasize the need for manufacturers to innovate and pivot to meet the needs of consumers in a rapid, comprehensive manner – this is only possible with an end-to-end data management process solution.
The competitive landscape is fierce, and producers will need to create dynamic strategies to flourish and achieve sustainable growth. The answer lies in innovation – and innovation is determined by product and process data management.
Access for shareholders is crucial – whether they are working on desk tops or mobile devices from the production floor – they must have fluid workflows between departments for greater efficiency and cost effective business practices.
Food Safety with PLM
Food safety must be a top priority for recipe and formula-based manufacturers. The financial consequence of a product recall can be thousands of dollars – but the cost of lost consumer trust could bankrupt an organization. The best way to achieve food safety is via specifications management from the original formation, or the idea of the concept.
Employing a comprehensive PLM process solution allows producers to leverage their data and provide superior food safety and compliance for global distribution. PLM delivers transparency and traceability for R&D, QC functionality – which optimizes regulatory compliance and audit initiatives.
Product recalls are one of the greatest hazards that food producers face. Reports from reputable research organizations indicate that the cost of food contamination exceeds 55 billion dollars annually – and that does not include lost sales or damage to brand loyalty. These challenges demand top-down, vertical and horizontal tactics that feature data as a strategic asset and establish best practices to develop an engaged culture for compliance.
Innovation delivers global competitive advantage
Leadership, vision, insights and creativity drive innovation. In order to achieve stellar success, your organization must embrace the best possible tool to create and nurture innovation – innovation for your people, products and processes – this is the only way to deliver the products that consumers demand. To realize and sustain growth and profitability, internal innovation gaps must be closed and full circuit communication and functionality for all data must be achieved. Comprehensive product data and product lifecycle management process solutions allow you to leverage innovation for a global competitive advantage.