Why You Should Switch From Spreadsheets to PLM Solution | Trace One PLM

Posted By: Thomas Corbino

Rapid retail transformation has inspired global companies to evolve beyond old tools.

Specifically, spreadsheets are versatile and pervasive, yet retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers now find these tools insufficient for product lifecycle management (PLM) processes. Now these companies seek new ways to nimbly adapt their private labels to global market factors like rising competition, inflation, omnichannel expenses and consumer expectations.

That’s why more retailers and manufacturers are turning to PLM software to manage and accelerate product development. PLM software accommodates the entire product lifecycle, with effective collaboration and resource monitoring to boost productivity and operational effectiveness.

Let’s examine why global retail companies are evolving beyond spreadsheets to PLM solutions to develop remarkable private labels consumers love.

Superior collaboration

Now that private label teams work from home or the office, across functions and across the globe, effective collaboration is essential.

Teams often share spreadsheet files across multiple communication tools, including email, Google documents, Dropbox and Slack. Using numerous tools can lead to siloed information and redundant work, making communication less collaborative.

In response, PLM solutions offer a single, centralized communication hub that’s designed to promote collaboration. PLM solutions make it easier for private label teams to share information because all members are connected to the same platform – wherever they work.

Retail companies across Northern Europe (including the UK, Ireland, Sweden and Finland) can adopt PLM solutions to unite their efforts as they develop sustainable private labels for grocery, pharmacy and beauty.


Increased efficiency

Consumers have come to expect speed and responsiveness, putting pressure on companies to move faster. Also, companies now urgently seek new ways to save time and reduce costs as global supply chain disruption affects PLM processes.

Spreadsheets can limit private label teams’ productivity by spreading PLM information across multiple files. Using spreadsheets to manage multiple products adds time, effort and complexity, especially when a team needs to make changes across several files.

Since global retail has moved online, PLM is evolving, too. By digitizing retail processes, PLM solutions boost efficiency by integrating, organizing and streamlining private label efforts. These tools make it easier to keep track of multiple products and eliminate redundancies, freeing up time for retail teams to focus on private label innovation, quality and speed-to-market.

As inflation soars in North America, retail teams could switch to an efficient PLM solution for faster turnaround times as they develop value-tier food private labels to satisfy growing demand for affordable groceries.


Greater accuracy

While mistakes are inevitable, different tools have different effects on retail data accuracy.

As flexible, open-ended office tools, spreadsheets involve manual effort, which inevitably leads to errors. In fact, one study found 88% of spreadsheets contain errors like double data entry, incorrect formulas and formatting errors, which can be hard to detect. Spreadsheets also face issues with out-of-date information, as well as version control concerns when multiple users edit shared files without keeping the entire team apprised of their changes.

Instead, PLM solutions are user-friendly tools that can protect accuracy and improve data integrity because users always have the latest version of the team’s work. Private label information is continuously updated and synchronized across all users.

PLM solutions can help private label teams protect their data accuracy as increasingly discerning consumers in South Africa demand high-quality snack foods during the pandemic.

Built for retail

Spreadsheets are generic communication tools that can accommodate diverse industries. Yet spreadsheets are now too simplistic for retail’s evolving needs. Spreadsheets’ blank cells act as non-standardized databases, which can lead to inconsistent PLM reporting for decision makers.

Conversely, PLM solutions are designed for retail-specific purposes, including relevant private label development product requirements. Compared to spreadsheets, PLM solutions are more sophisticated, robust and effective at handling vast amounts of retail data.

Standardized data settings allow teams to deliver consistent reporting and a superior user experience, which can improve retail agility at every stage of the private label lifecycle.

Using a PLM solution can help companies adapt their private labels to keep up with the latest beauty trends in China and Japan, including luxury anti-aging skincare lines.


Reduce risk

With cybersecurity threats on the rise, retail companies must now consider how to protect sensitive business information.

Spreadsheets increase retail companies’ security risk when users share PLM files by email. Email makes spreadsheets more susceptible to cyber threats, as confidential PLM details could be intercepted, shared or compromised.

By contrast, PLM solutions are secure, as they eliminate the need for email-based file-sharing. Also, these centralized communication hubs limit access to authorized users only.

Using a PLM solution can protect the security of confidential information, including pricing and proprietary data on private labels for plant-based proteins, a booming CPG trend in India.


PLM solutions strengthen private label success

To keep up with retail complexity, more global retailers and manufacturers are replacing spreadsheets with PLM solutions. Overall, these tools boost productivity and competitiveness by improving private label collaboration, efficiency, accuracy, retail relevance and security.

Trace One’s PLM software lets brand owners get remarkable products into consumers’ hands faster. By unifying product processes, personnel and data, Trace One Product Lifecycle Management software offers a user-friendly, integrated framework to share information throughout the product lifecycle. Using Trace One PLM software can help retailers and CPG manufacturers improve product development, cost effectiveness and lead time for new products. As a result, this PLM solution can help retail companies develop new products and get to market faster.

Learn more about Trace One Product Lifecycle Management