Savvy food and beverage manufacturers know that our industry is constantly reinventing itself. More than 30,000 new products are introduced by food and beverage producers every year. According to the USDA, the new products are primarily snacks, bakery foods, sauces, dressing and condiments.
The greatest challenge for manufacturers is to shift quickly to meet consumer demands – while decreasing costs, adding value and empowering enterprise-wide innovation.
It can be difficult to maintain speed, flexibility, quality and innovation while keeping an eye on bottom line costs and net profitability…so many, if not most of these product will fail.
In order to meet the demands of the market – sourcing and ingredient cost fluctuations, ever-changing regulatory compliance, fickle consumer requests – manufactures must be agile, have a strong R&D team and a plethora of variations, recipe twins, and reformulation options.
This is a tall order, and achievable only by digitizing and optimizing data to unleash both innovation and productivity.
The Millennial factor
Corporate identity and integrity have come under tremendous scrutiny from Millennials. They want the same features and benefits as previous generations – but they also demand ethical sourcing for all ingredients, ethical treatment for animals, environmentally conscience manufacturing processes that encourage Eco-sustainability, adherence to best practices for child labor, and organic/nonGMO products in biodegradable packaging.
In order for products to jump from grocery store shelf to consumer shopping cart, manufacturers must juggle ideas, research, product development, packaging, distribution and global regulatory compliance – all while innovating and giving these finicky customers what they want to eat – faster than ever before.
Scale and complexity
Digitization automates and revolutionizes processes, improves analytics and the vital reports that drive crucial growth and directional decisions.
Digital product data management (PDM) and product lifecycle management (PLM) deliver authentic transparency and traceability, and reduce time, effort and reformulation due to human error.
But many manufacturers have resisted on premise PLM process solutions because of the upfront cost and scalability challenges. Cloud-based software offers exceptional benefits for a small fraction of the initial outlay – and the tangible return is substantial.
Digitization unlocks data to optimize the product lifecycle process. It has been proven to be the single most essential tool to decrease cost and increase revenue for food manufacturers. The reasons are simple:
- Accelerated time to market for new products beats competitors to the punch
- No scrapped, partial, lost, fragmented or untraceable documents mean saving time – and money
- Less staff time spent on data entry errors and updating BOM spreadsheets means more time for innovations and new product development
- Data is available to shareholders on demand – which reduces redundancy
- Increased product quality with transparency and traceability from idea to grocery store shelf
First-to-market advantage provides unique opportunities for small to mid-sized manufacturers who seek to compete with larger, well-established brands – so employing digitization that was designed and created by a company that works exclusively with the food and beverage industry provides a huge advantage.
Integrating people, processes and information supports innovations and collaborative product creation. Organizations that digitize with cloud-based product data management can leverage the user-friendly, flexible environment to go live – pilot, organize and add data for a rapid, secure start.
Functionality is crucial for rapid scalability, faster implementation, accessibility and collaboration as well as supplier integration.
Digitization delivers growth potential and significant economic and operational advantages for food producers, like doubling the efficiency for research and development and food engineers.
This leads to substantial opportunities to decrease costs and increase revenue and ROI increases while reducing recalls and simplifying audits with automatic compliance checks.
Food and beverage producers who move to digitization find that internal infrastructure challenges are eliminated, no downtime for maintenance or updates that freeze production.
Digitizing with product data management and product lifecycle management process solutions delivers a common data repository platform that creates visibility, transparency and traceability throughout the supply chain.
SaaS and cloud-based options drastically reduce upfront costs and scalability is greatly enhanced.
SpecPage’s SpecPDM is a strategic set of process solutions that enables food and beverage manufacturers to respond to market changes and disruptors faster, and with enhanced flexibility.
Image: Digitization © Dusan Petkovic/shutterstock.com