What, exactly, is the cloud and why do I care
Cloud computing is the delivery of services – from applications to storage – over the internet, with a ‘pay-as-you-go’ feature. Rather than owning the hardware and infrastructure headaches, cloud participants enjoy access to all of their data via licensing and subscription agreements.
Food and beverage producers are moving to cloud-based options for product data management in droves – a few of the reasons are:
- Infrastructure challenges are eliminated, no downtime for maintenance or updates that freeze production
- Upfront costs are drastically reduced
- Scalability is enhanced
Reliable reports indicate that global spending on cloud-based services will reach $260B in 2019 – it is growing faster than any other technology. From software-as-a-service (SaaS) to platform-as-a-service (PaaS), the benefits are prolific. However, while the industrial community has integrated cloud adoption, the formula-based food and beverage manufacturing industry has been a bit slower to embrace this IT trend.
Cloud efficacy for F&B producers
Surveys of industry leaders indicate that nearly half of U.S. food manufacturers currently employ some type of cloud-based solution – and producers who employ cloud-based PLM designed specifically for their industry have a much smoother transition, achieve rapid results and far more sustainable growth.
The adoption and implementation of cloud-based PLM and PDM reduces operations complexity, and requires far less start-up and execution costs.
Adopting innovative cloud-based PLM is transformative – but it must begin with the awareness and understanding that there are definitive solutions to address the challenges that formula-based F&B manufacturers face. The first step is gathering information and educating team members – IT organizers, R&D, QM, food engineers, administrators, and technology groups. Quite often, the c-suite more easily understands the benefits in the investigative stage of adoption, because of the holistic, rapid return on investment.
PLM cloud options provide flexibility – food producers can scale up or down at will, using only the resources that they need for each particular product or project. Once deployed, the cloud expense shifts from a capital expenditure to an operating expense.
Integration is key
Cloud-based PLM integrates seamless with existing systems. PLM integrates with ERP and MES, providing a unified, cohesive, streamlined solution process that adds value throughout the life of the product of project.
Analyzing the advantages of the cloud
Many manufacturers have resisted on premise PLM process solutions because of the cost – but cloud-based SpecPDM offers exceptional benefits for a small fraction of the initial outlay. And the return is enormous – PLM has been proven to be the single most essential tool to increase revenue and ROI 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 pantry shelf
The right process solution
First-to-market advantage provides unique opportunities for small to mid-sized manufacturers who seek to compete with larger, well-established brands – so employing PLM designed 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 – this business approach requires best practices and Industry 4.0 solutions. PLM that was initially designed for aerospace, electronic or automotive industries and is being repurposed for food producers may not scale or support rapid rollouts as well or as quickly as PLM designed for the F&B industry.
SpecPage customers who opt for cloud-based SpecPDM can immediately 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. SpecPDM in the cloud delivers growth potential and significant economic and operational advantages for food producers.
SpecPage cloud-based PLM was designed exclusively for F&B manufacturers; it doubles the efficiency for research and development and food engineers, leading to substantial revenue and ROI increases while reducing recalls and simplifying audits with automatic compliance checks.