The Food & Beverage industry is growing at an unprecedented rate. With new players entering the arena each day, the need for optimizing product development rises. Companies reap multiple benefits when processes and activities involved in new Product Development and Product Management stages are controlled and made operationally efficient.
But what does optimization mean in the Food & Beverage industry?
Optimization encompasses all operational areas from raw material procurement to transportation. Optimizing the product development cycle in the Food & Beverage industry equates to instituting strict measures to assess, control and direct the way ingredients are sourced, processed, cooked, stored and transported.
In order to manage the product development lifecycle, companies across the world are using software such as SpecPage’s SpecPDM application. SpecPage is one of the world’s leading providers of innovative software solutions, catering exclusively to the needs of the global Food & Beverage industry.
SpecPDM allows managers to store product-pertinent data in a centralized location. This data can be accessed, edited and used by anyone with access to the application. Everything from ingredients lists, to recipes, to organic certifications can be uploaded into this software. SpecPDM enables managers to effortlessly access extremely important information at any stage of the product lifecycle. So how will SpecPDM specifically help a company optimize product development?
Using Product Development Management Software to Optimize Operations
It’s been observed companies using product management software find it easier to push forth changes to their operations. Here’s how these software applications play a pivotal role:
- Streamlining Processes
Software applications like SpecPDM help streamline the entire product development process by enabling collaboration between teams. Although R&D and product development teams tend to use the application extensively, this software allows all departments to access information at any stage of the product development process. In the end, this makes product lifecycle management a more transparent and efficient process.
- Inventory Management
Product management applications like SpecPDM allow companies to record details pertaining to ingredients used, chemical formulas in development, and numerous others. Apart from record-keeping, these applications help companies pinpoint materials needing replacement with higher quality standards. Additionally, potential contaminants can be identified when products undergo quality tests and in turn, the suppliers of these contaminated items can subsequently be identified with ease.
- Adherence to Global Compliance Requirements
Product development software helps companies adhere to regulatory requirements. Maintaining past records of regulations helps managers keep track of all necessary compliance requirements. Regulations related to ingredient usage and labeling requirements can also be complied with.
In the common instance government regulations are altered – non-adherence to these policy changes places companies at risk of being penalized by regulatory bodies for non-compliance. Users of applications such as SpecPDM can avoid such pitfalls, by easily updating legal information in the system. These critical updates then serve as the compliance basis for all future product development projects.
- Easy Transfer of Knowledge
Managers use information and data they produce from the initial stages of the product development process to plan for future stages. Product management software allows companies to share this product-pertinent knowledge amongst other users, spread across various divisions.
- Set Standardized Procedures
The best way to optimize product development is to set standardized operational procedures. Product management applications help managers analyze how various processes work and help eliminate costly steps. They also help companies chart clear rules for product development and product management.
- Automated Workflows
Automation of workflow and processes are simplified when companies utilize product development software. Processes such as activity scheduling, order management and inventory tracking can all be easily automated in SpecPDM. A supplier’s performance can also be tracked and analyzed as information supplier’s provide is included in the database.
- Reduce Costs
Product management applications allow users to chart various aspects of the new product development process. This aids managers in preventing costly errors which can potentially damage the credibility of the company itself. Thus, by reducing potential errors, the associated costs with rectifying these errors are drastically reduced.
- Calculation of ROI
Applications such as SpecPDM have been designed to calculate Return on Investment (ROI) to allow companies to capture their ROI for future products. Conservative improvement percentages are used in the system, which help calculate potential returns. By inputting all operational data, companies can analyze where the majority of their expenses are originating from. This guides managers in pinpointing specific ways to eliminate wasteful spending and to ensure they only partake in those activities offering better returns.
A great advantage of this software is how it allows managers to account for expenses and savings they can make within each stage of product development. Within a matter of a few weeks, managers can estimate potential costs and savings for the organizational long-run.
A Source of Competitive Advantage
Changing the way operations are managed has become the greatest need in the market. With so many competitors springing up, any advantage a company can procure will help them get acquire new customers. Optimization in product development and product management will help companies find better, more efficient ways to do business. From environmentally-friendly resources to doorstep delivery, everything can handled efficiently by the company.
Optimization also allows companies to pass cost benefits to their customers. Successfully optimizing operations helps companies better manage overhead costs. Seasoned and more established organizations are strategically able to pass these cost benefits to customers, while new players in markets often have multiple start-up costs. Deploying an application such as SpecPDM can help level the playing field.
Particularly in the Food & Beverage industry, key activities such as recipe management, a source of competitive advantage, becomes easier to manage. Using these applications, managers can access a centrally-controlled repository of information, helping them track recipes, formulas and ingredients lists with ease. Alterations to formulas can be designed and determined within the software itself, thereby streamlining all operational activities and saving valuable time. Using specific data recorded in the software to create a framework for recipes leads to a measurable reduction in time to market.
Improved Operational Efficiency
Optimizing product development directly translates to an increase in ROI. Applications such as SpecPDM reduce much of the manual labor involved in maintaining internal data. Duplication of information and redundancies are largely eliminated during data management and the integrity of your product data remains intact.
Optimization of product development is the lifeline which sustains key players in the Food & Beverage industry. Companies must be willing to commit as an organization if they desire to experience the greater returns and benefits.
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