Editor's note: This is the fifth 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:
Sourcing sweet ideas
In the world of high-end chocolate, one global confectioner knows the influence of strong formula-based product lifecycle management on innovation.
“In chocolate, no one is afraid to give you new ideas,” says the Product Lifecycle Manager responsible for overseeing the new product process. “Sure, you can come up with something that sounds great, but in practice, where are we going to source it from? Is this something consumers like? Does it resonate beyond a small group?”
Good ideas are a challenge, but in order to be successful, they need to be replicable at an economical cost.
“Where Trace One Devex PLM comes into play is it helps to enable all these elements that go into true product innovation,” says the Manager.
Life before Trace One Devex PLM
Previously, new product development and approval was hard to track.
“Anyone can initiate a project,” says the Manager. “But we used to have a very loosely defined system for approval. Lots of briefs, offline meetings, conversations, and emails that all funnel into the system.”
In addition to communication issues and non-standardized practices, too many team members were off doing their own thing.
“There was lots of chaos,” observes the Manager. “Everyone was on a different page and siloed.”
To help improve management of the innovation process, the company relies on Trace One Devex PLM.
Innovation starts with good decision making
“We use Trace One Devex PLM in the product planning and development phase because it takes everything in and lets us see how to commercialize it,” says the Manager.
In addition to breaking down silos for cross-functional accountability, as a single system, Trace One Devex PLM is able to create a standardized practice with regular check-ins. This makes the new development process consistent, with clear roles and responsibilities.
Trace One Devex PLM also provides valuable insights into projects
“We can track base business versus new product development projects,” says the Manager. “By looking at innovation as a total percentage of sales, we can look at projects and see where new products come into play.”
By breaking down the entire new development process into different categories within Trace One Devex PLM, including market or brand, the company can precisely execute and measure performance.
“We have intelligence now,” says the Manager. “We can look at ten items in a project, see individual items that aren’t profitable, and then drop them. How did we do versus plan?”
Using Trace One Devex PLM not only standardized processes, but it also empowered new products to market with greater speed and success. The consistent environment allowed for more automation, including task assignments and reminders to keep everything on course.
“Regular check-ins from let us know where we are in development,” says the Manager. “We have more control now to see if we’re on budget.”
With stronger collaboration, better visibility, and faster approval, the company sees major improvements to their new development process.
“Innovation is about generating ideas and using resources sufficiently to deliver a valuable product to customers in an economical way,” says the Manager.