Case Study

How PLM replaces inefficient, manual processes with a Single Source of Truth (SSOT)

At the 2019 Trace One User Conference, one project manager for a major global bakery shared the long list of manual processes previously handled by the use of Microsoft Excel and Word files which the company left behind in its transition to Trace One Devex PLM. Almost immediately, this company reaped the efficiency gains that automation provides.

Enhanced progress accuracy

"At one point I was able to make six different changes with immediate feedback. I knew it was going to be right. I would never have done that many changes that late in the process before Trace One Devex PLM. This capability is really powerful. That rapid feedback is so helpful."

Untitled design (29)

The challenge Disjointed processes and communication channels

Because many calculations or manual workflows were both complex and performed regularly, the company created workflows within Trace One Devex PLM to standardize them. 

Prior to implementing Trace One Devex PLM, the PM says, formula developments were housed in Excel files, or random file types that a particular food scientist preferred to work in.

There was even a hard-copy binder room. The PM stated: “There was this room full of binder notebooks that each food scientist created. When someone left the company, you’d have no idea what they did.”


The solution Using PLM to automate processes and workflows

Once Trace One Devex PLM was deployed, the PM joked with food scientists familiarizing themselves with Trace One Devex PLM. She said, “I don’t want to see another binder in this room. Scan it, then attach it in the docs panel [in Trace One Devex PLM]. No more binders!”

A PLM platform streamlines operations by replacing wasteful manual processes with more efficient, standardized processes, and by replacing fragmentation with a single source of truth.

Untitled design (34)

The outcome Enhanced efficiency



The company utilizes Oracle for database management and Genesis for regulatory labeling. Prior to Trace One Devex PLM, every formula stored in the database was manually duplicated in Genesis. When a change was made, the Genesis entry had to be updated, too. “Then someone would write a macro in Excel to create the ingredient listing,” the PM said. “All that went into a Word doc. Now, it’s all done in Trace One Devex PLM.”

Product specs

The company maintained an in-house database for all product specs. “We had a monthly meeting to approve or reject changes to specs,” the PM says. “That’s all been replaced with a project workflow. There’s no more email, there’s no more Excel, there’s no more updates to a spec database. Everything’s been moved into Trace One Devex PLM.”

Untitled design (35)

A new way to collaborate Optimized project management

Perhaps the biggest—and most welcome—change Trace One Devex PLM enabled has been the streamlining of  project management. “Every time we do another phase or change request, I always sneak something in for the project,” says the PM. “We’re either modifying the workflows, adding workflows, or changing the order. We’re about to add another panel to the project because we’re getting so much product-related information.”

This PM knew that replacing manual processes would speed things up. However, until she saw Trace One Devex PLM in action, she didn’t realize how much email communication and Excel communication for new products went around the business. She said, “Why are we still doing it this way? Let’s just add a new field to Trace One Devex PLM and be done with it.”

Untitled design (13)

Centralized communication Eliminating reliance on Excel and email

This company used to have Excel files where people signed off on tasks as new products were being developed. They conducted a bimonthly meeting with upper management to gate vote on whether something was a go or a no-go. This meeting no longer happens. Said the PM, “All of it is done through the workflow. Tons of email correspondence that happened around projects and important information is now all housed in a Trace One Devex PLM project and a workflow.”

Managing ingredients is the same story. The PM stated: “We had stuff in Word, in personal files. We had some stuff in Oracle. We had some stuff in a document management system. Again, everything is now in Trace One Devex PLM. All of the Oracle pieces transfer over from Trace One Devex PLM to Oracle. We don’t have to do any of that hands-on stuff in Oracle."

Untitled design (36)

Tangible benefits A Senior Food Scientist’s take

Following the PM’s overview presentation, this company’s Senior Food Scientist then explained the benefits of the migration to Trace One Devex PLM from her perspective. "[Before Trace One Devex PLM] we’d type in data and calculate what the cost per pound was, said the senior food scientist. “I found that I wasn’t keeping up with that important aspect. I’d be three periods behind and my overall cost wasn’t quite as accurate as I wanted it to be.”

Trace One Devex PLM, she says, enhances accuracy. She states, “Formula calculations and costs update every single day. It’s great! At one point I was doing something for schools, and I was able to make six different changes with immediate feedback. I knew it was going to be right. I would never have done that many changes that late in the process before Trace One Devex PLM. This capability is really powerful. That rapid feedback is so helpful.”

More Client Testimonials