Product requirements are often dispersed through divisions and business units in the food and beverage industry. With little enterprise-wide visibility of product specifications and separate data being held in various languages for different countries, it is difficult to collaborate. These methods become inefficient and result in high production costs and poor quality when the goods are not produced according to industry standards.
Furthermore, manual specification management leads to delays and problems with change control. This is where the need for product lifecycle management arises.
What is Product Lifecycle Management?
Product lifecycle management (PLM) is the process of managing a product as it progresses through its stages like production, release, growth, maturity/stability, and decline. The product life cycle management helps businesses make informed decisions from pricing and promotion to growth and cost-cutting. PLM is a tool that facilitates both production and marketing of a company’s product.
The PLM software industry’s growth has been powered by sectors like food and beverages, fashion, retail, finance, and government. With its advent, utility firms, building companies, petrochemical companies, and infrastructure companies have become significant industry players.
The PLM market’s importance can be anticipated because it is expected to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.7 per cent to $56.3 billion by 2021, as projected by CIM data.
Product Lifecycle Management for Food Industry
Like any other industry, food and beverage companies have to deal with a unique set of challenges.
The most common of these challenges are:
- Increased regulatory requirements
- Educating and Informing customers
- Forming diverse supply chains
- Implementing solutions for the high demand for innovation
- Keeping up with competitors in this disruptive and ever-changing world.
A product lifecycle management (PLM) approach that combines product data and processes into one coherent product record will resolve a range of such issues. The most advantageous solution that a PLM provides is insights into the company’s product data and supply chains.
PLM software can solve the problems mentioned above by helping a Food and Beverage company to:
- Ensure Quality and Compliances: A PLM can help a company ensure its quality, protect the customer, and implement regulatory enforcements. This is done by controlling specification compliance with testing procedures such as product cuttings and sensory tests. By incorporating compliance screening into new product creation, companies can avoid rework and recalls.
- Manage Data: A PLM can keep track of all activities and decisions inside each product. This helps to maintain data traceability from materials to finished goods using a linked data model. It can reduce commodity costs by streamlining specifications. It can also help to avoid specification duplication by reusing existing requirements.
- Better Market the Product: A PLM can reduce the time to market a product by streamlining packaging and marking. This supports the effective reuse of designs while saving time and money. With PLM, a company can maintain a single “version of the facts” for the entire packaging bill of materials, establishing brand trust with consumers.
- Implement Innovation: A PLM is useful to reduce the number of trial-and-error iterations and the costs associated with them. Moreover, a web-based interface allows companies to manage projects across several departments and locations. This helps in implementing innovation and interdepartmental collaboration.
PLM can make the vital difference between success and failure in the marketplace. It provides an integrated approach to the most fundamental processes that affect the food and beverage industry’s product management.