Customer’s Voice: How Devex PLM contains costs

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Editor's note: This is the ninth 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

Launching Devex PLM in 8 Months

Integrating Devex PLM into a Single System

Using Devex PLM for Quality Assurance

How Devex PLM Improves Innovation

Creating Cross-functionality with Devex PLM

Using Devex PLM to Improve Project Work Efficiencies 

How Business Process Reengineering Improved Workflows

Finding a financial fit

To ensure profitability, one global beverage manufacturer relies on Devex PLM to evaluate cost and respond to market changes. This careful examination of products, materials, and ingredients allows the brand to prosper.

“We can quickly add new product criteria and perform analysis,” says a Senior Research Scientist in charge of new product development. “One of the most important points is cost. With Devex PLM, we can immediately determine materials and ingredients (M&I) cost.”

Certain attributes, like cost, can be used to define items in Devex. These key parameters are an important part of the innovation process, reducing time to market and supporting profitability. Clear naming and attribution along with instant access to insights empowers the company to make correct decisions.

“The worst thing is to create a new product, it tastes great, you send it to bench top, but then realize you can’t afford it,” notes the Senior Scientist. “This information makes our business very efficient.”

The benefit of being upfront with cost

It didn’t used to be so simple. Formulas and developers were spread out across multiple sites, which made it difficult to perform precise analysis of products. It was easy for errors to enter the equation.

“All of this used to be done on different spreadsheets,” says the Senior Scientist. “It not only took longer, it was hard to make sure everyone was using the right calculations.”

Today, collaboration and knowledge sharing are key to the company’s success. Devex gave the company a powerful tool to guarantee cross-functional accuracy, which allows them to tabulate cost with greater accuracy.

“From a product development perspective, we control materials and ingredient costs; you need X amount of dollars per case per item,” says the Senior Scientist. “Using Devex, we can get up-to-date costs from Purchasing right away.”

Access to this kind of information speeds everything up. Profitability can be immediately factored into the new product process, with Devex calculating formula costs using current values.

“The developer can look at the header and see if we meet the M&I cost set by Marketing,” notes the Senior Scientist. “If not, we can adjust the formula to make it right. It’s fast. We don’t want to go to bench top unless we know we can afford the product.”

Future-proofing existing products

Devex also improves the efficiency of annual product specification analysis. In order to maintain quality standards without increasing cost, the company needs to regularly audit products and ingredients.

“Every year we need to check where ingredients go in every single product,” says the Senior Scientist. “We want to find out if it makes sense to replace an item or product. It’s the only way to maintain a consistency.”

The careful examination of products, including M&I cost, used to be a company-wide effort, but Devex greatly reduces the time and resources required to evaluate.

“It used to take a whole team weeks and weeks to do this analysis,” notes the Senior Scientist. “Now I can analyze the entire product line myself, all in a matter of days.”

This extends to profitability.

“The cost function allows us to evaluate cost-savings from our desk,” comments the Senior Scientist. “If changes to the product make it more expensive or won’t move the needle much, we can find that out quickly.”

Access to historical data also contributes to specification and cost management. Devex creates visibility to attribute trends and previous formulas, making it easy for the company to compare products over a timeline.

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“If you want to look at the history of something, it’s right at our fingertips,” says the Senior Scientist. “We can see why a product has changed.”

The company also uses Devex to quickly adjust formulas for new markets, allowing it to safely expand coverage with confidence.

“We can copy an existing formula over, then update the regulatory requirements and proper unit measurements,” notes the Senior Scientist. “This allows us to calculate the cost of moving forward in a new country without having to start from scratch.”

Tying success to technology

Devex PLM has made it much easier for the company to evaluate new and existing products.

“I can’t imagine not having Devex,” says the Senior Scientist. “I say this once a week, sometimes multiple times a day.”

By maintaining an accurate database of attributes, including cost, Devex allows the company to gain automated insights into formulas. This intelligence is critical in containing costs, improving speed to market, and maintaining profitability.

“Long gone are the days of disparate spreadsheets; everyone knows the calculations are right,” says the Senior Scientist. “Product development has become faster, and thanks to Devex we have one source of truth.”

Tags: Product Lifecycle Management Food & Beverage Product Portfolio Management Product Formulation & Recipe Management Blogs Case Studies