PLM goes better with buy-in feature image

PLM Adoption Goes Better with Buy-In

| Product Lifecycle Management | Food & Beverage
Posted By: Selerant

At our 2022 User Conference, we heard from long-time PLM for food & beverage champion, implementer and system owner Gordon Conkling. As the former (now retired) Lead Business Process Specialist at Welch's, Gordon was responsible for ensuring a successful PLM launch. In this series he shares key takeaways in driving adoption. 


Gordon knows it can be challenging to select the best product lifecycle management (PLM) solution for your company. There are a lot of options on the market, teams within your organization may have conflicting priorities, and, of course, there are budgetary factors to consider.

Taking time to engage with stakeholders across your company early in the PLM selection process can help ensure that you wind up with the best possible solution for your business needs and that the rollout is successful and smooth.

Think of your new PLM as a blank slate

“Management often wants to stand up new software as fast as possible,” notes a former product manager at a global food and beverage company. “But if you take new software and lay it over the top of a broken process, what you have is a broken process with new-looking software.”

The fact is, technology alone is not enough to fix the issues impeding growth and competitiveness at your company. Improvement also requires top-down support, a detailed review of existing systems and processes, and a willingness to embrace positive change.

Across the board improvement is easier during times of transition

The weeks or months you invest in upgrading or switching to a new PLM may represent an ideal period for growth and robust process evolution.

“I’ve seen PLM implementations where folks have gone out and they just went around to different users and said ‘okay, what do you do today?’” says the product manager. “And they didn’t write it down. And they didn’t engage folks to ask, ‘what could we do to make things better for you?’”

That’s not the way to get the most bang for your buck. The reality is that there comes a time in most PLM implementations where those launching the solution must choose between embracing the process for improvement or skipping the hard work of gathering input and just hoping all goes well.

Fortunately, there are proven ways to engage team members and build deep and lasting support for a new PLM.

Choose your action items carefully

Make sure you have a clear focus on your driver—your original reason for the software upgrade—and share your rationale with all involved.

Use a process such as Value Stream Mapping (VSM) to dig deep into current operations and find out:

  • Your current resource requirements.
  • The strengths and weaknesses of the solutions people are using now.
  • How much of staff’s current time is value added vs. dead time?

Ask everyone involved in formulation—from product developers, to regulatory experts, to finance staff—to weigh in on what they need from the new PLM and ensure that your solution will be as inclusive and encompassing as possible.

Gaining support for transformation is easier when you have the right tools.

Global food and beverage manufacturers need to pay attention to myriad rules and requirements in order to remain competitive, and Trace One Devex PLM makes the task easier all around. Because Trace One Devex PLM is cloud-based, it’s simple to support production efforts at multiple locations from a centralized platform.

As new Trace One Devex PLM users discover, it’s relatively easy to get internal stakeholders to move away from the status quo and adopt a new PLM once they grasp all that Trace One Devex PLM for Food & Beverage has to offer—including linear and intuitive tools that reduce the time needed to confirm data accuracy and stay current on required template changes for compliance documentation.

Interested in finding out how Trace One Devex PLM can help your company? Schedule a demo today.