Customer’s Voice: Launching Trace One Devex PLM in 8 months

| Product Lifecycle Management
Posted By: Trace One



Editor's note: This is the second post in our "Customer Voice" series where we capture and bring to you the direct voice of our customers to demonstrate their areas of PLM ROI. View the other posts below:

Gaining and Maintaining a Competitive Advantage


A single source of truth

A global beauty and cosmetics company needed to replace 19 of its existing systems in order to better manage its product lifecycle.

“We had two options, clone what we used to have or go with a whole new system,” says the senior Director of New Product Development in charge of operationalizing the PLM solution. “New processes and new products were being put in place, so we needed one system to do all of this.”

Instead of trying to force legacy systems to work, the company decided to leverage a new PLM solution.

“It was hard, but the right thing to do,” adds the Director of New Product Development.

Making big moves on a short timeline

Still being charged for all 19 older systems, the faster the cosmetics company could move to a new system, the earlier it would save money.

“There were 22 different vendors, we narrowed it down to 3,” recalls the Director. “Trace One had the highest scores from a user experience standpoint, but we had a difficult timeline. It all had to be done in 8 months, and we had to give a 90-day notice on our old system, so there couldn’t be any delays.”

Working closely with the experts at Trace One, the company felt confident that Trace One Devex PLM could fulfill its needs and be rolled out in the strict window.

A blueprint for successful implementation

Every implementation is different, but the stars aligned on a few key factors which made it possible for the company to onboard Trace One Devex PLM in such a short period.

“It starts with hiring the right team,” observes the Director. “Get the right people and then you can focus on the bigger tasks.”

And some of those tasks were ambitious.

“Once we started, requests were coming in from all over the company to change processes or make other adjustments; we had to reduce scope,” says the Director. “We were looking at 19 million lines of data, but we also had single products with 12 different names in the system. Data migration was tough but reducing scope and whittling some of these products down from 12 to 4 names had a big impact.”

Having the right partner helped as well.

“Trace One came in with the right amount of urgency, flexibility where needed, and enough rigidity to get the job done,” comments the Director. “Trace One Devex PLM was selected because 90% of what we needed was out-of-the-box, so little customization was required.”

Lessons learned at breakneck speeds

Implementing a new PLM system comes with quirks and a learning curve, but the company was able to resolve issues without disrupting their schedule.

“A lot of it is managing resources,” says the Director. “You set up a single location, clear calendars, and tell people what needs to change.”

And as the Director of New Product Development noticed, flexibility is easier said than done. “Everyone is open to change until they have to.”

But there were good reasons to embrace this PLM reset.

“Being 90% out-of-the-box meant we had to stay on track,” says the Director. “Trying to make too many customizations in Trace One Devex PLM would have brought us back to some of the legacy problems we were trying to move away from.”

In order to resolve some of these challenges, the Director had to maintain continuous communication throughout implementation. This meant lots of one-on-ones.

“Information doesn’t always flow how it should,” notes the Director. “Addressing resistance gets people onboard.”

The bright light at the end of a long tunnel

While certain challenges, like data migration, were difficult at the time, the big picture benefits of reducing 19 legacy systems to Trace One Devex PLM made it worth it.

“You do it for the future of the company,” says the Director. “It’s foundational.”

As the 8-month implementation wound down and the company adjusted to its new PLM system, it became clear the right choice had been made.

“When we went live, we had some promoters and some detractors,” says the Director. “Within a year, everyone was convinced we went with the right software and partner.”