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IR Smart Class: Here’s how PLM helps F&B players

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With an effective PLM solution in place, food retailers and manufacturers can optimise new product development, drive cross-team collaboration, and make better, more strategic business decisions

New Delhi: The food and beverage industry relies heavily on technology at every stage—from raw materials to customer relationship management.

Aside from food technology, popular software solutions used in the market today include product data management, enterprise resource planning (ERP), manufacturing execution systems, supply chain management, customer relationship management and product lifecycle management (PLM).

While the debate rages on about whether ERP is better than PLM, Silicon Valley-based Centric Software has demonstrated the benefits of PLM with several of its clients.

According to Centric, PLM helps get more returns, overcome challenges and empower C-level executives in the F&B industry.

What is PLM?

According to Centric, PLM is a transformative solution that supports all critical aspects of product development for the food and beverage market. With an effective PLM solution in place, food retailers and manufacturers can optimise new product development, drive cross-team collaboration, and make better, more strategic business decisions.

How PLM works

Being an enterprise solution, PLM works by connecting people across the product development chain to streamline operational efficiency, speed time to market, reduce costs, cut waste, improve product quality and drive innovation.

Teams don’t have to rely on multiple email communications, numerous spreadsheets and siloed data management systems to oversee new product development, cites Centric on how PLM is different in operations.

F&B brands and manufacturers can use PLM to bring products to market faster while ensuring customer safety and compliance with regulatory standards. Anyone involved in product development –from R&D, Procurement and Specifications to Packaging, Quality and

Compliance – can leverage PLM to boost efficiency, drive innovation, and accelerate new product creation that meets market demand.

What are its benefits?

PLM can provide a quick return on investment (ROI) and can increase income and sales by almost 10%, reduce operating and logistic costs by 20%-40%, reported Centric Software. Furthermore, it helps introduce new products to the market in less time. In terms of efficiency, overall productivity can go up by 50% with a 20% decrease in supplier queries after the initial product brief, the company added.

Who uses PLM?

Brands like Big Lots, Wicked Foods, SNS, Milarex, and Modern Gourmet Foods are some F&B, retailers and producers that use PLM.

What they say about it

“With Centric PLM, we anticipate taking only minutes to search data about ingredients. Whereas now, the same process could take hours, as you need to open multiple files,” said Milarex, a seafood company.

“Ultimately, Centric felt like a good fit operationally, strategically and culturally with the right balance of experience, flexibility and expertise for our needs. It will allow us to function in an organized and efficient way that is not just comprehensive but also intuitive and very user-friendly,” said Wicked Foods, a plant-based foods brand.

With PLM, businesses can replace outdated systems and spreadsheets with features like assortment planning, portfolio management, formulation, nutritional analysis, sourcing and

“We’ve saved between $70,000 and $100,000 a year in project management time simply by having a collaborative system and a single, actionable version of the truth,” said Modern Gourmet Foods, a gourmet food and gift industry brand.

How does PLM empower C-level executives?

An important aspect of using PLM is that it helps C-level executives with strategic decisions, acquisition, increasing efficiency, speed and future innovations.

Strategic Decisions: The areas where PLM helps drive strategic decisions and business outcomes include: supplier chain visibility for leveraging supplier quotes, product performance insights for timely decisions, eliminating poor performers before they go to market and running multiple ‘what-ifs’ with the costing scenario function.

Talent Acquisition and Retention: Retaining existing employees reduces recruitment and new hire training costs.

Return on Investment: Used efficiently, PLM helps drive the ROI of businesses. Statistics by Centric Sofware show the following:
● Reduced time to market —15 to 50%
● Reduced COGS —5 to 15%
● Increased sales —5 to 10%
● Increased productivity—10 to 50%

Team Efficiency: With next-gen PLM, users can optimize and personalise their workspace, which improves productivity and efficiency, as well as user adoption and employee well-being.

Speed of the Employees: PLM helps you get products to market faster by enabling quick, informed decision-making, setting deadline reminders, and freeing up team members’ time so they can focus on doing their jobs without missing key deadlines.

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