Disruptive Innovation for the F&B Industry

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Staying ahead of the consumer trends curve in the food and beverage industry requires intuitive innovations from research and development teams and the ability to swiftly pivot production.

A new product launch that aligns with trends, like smaller portion sizing, environmentally conscience sourcing, organic and plant-based foods that add authentic value to consumer’s lives can offset the value declines that occur as formulations run their course and come to the end of their lifecycle. This strategy also applies to disruptions that occur when consumers make more educated product choices.  

When it comes to food and beverage manufacturing, there are two basic types of innovation, and understanding the difference is key for the success of both the process and new product development. 

In order to effectively compete, manufacturers in the food and beverage industry need modern process solutions. The landscape has changed drastically; the industry calls upon manufacturers to define and meet consumer expectations, avoid quality breaches, and increase food safety, as they struggle to compete for market share against niche and private label brands. These challenges leave little time or resources for the creation and development of innovative new products. 

Food and beverage producers must employ process solutions that allow them to capitalize on innovation drivers in order to sustain profitability and develop strategic competitive advantages. 

Many organizations waste vast resources – time, money, and capital – trying to achieve the advantages that a comprehensive, integrated product lifecycle management process solution effortlessly delivers. 

Product lifecycle management software is the foundation of research and development, formulations, and comprehensive supply chain management. PLM delivers rapid response to changing trends via cloud-based deployment, quality control, global regulatory compliance, transparency, traceability, and connectivity in the supply chain.   

Influencers

Consumers with a passion for healthy foods that are sustainably sourced has led to clean, comprehensive labeling practices.  As the industry is reshaped to reflect the demands of consumers, savvy food and beverage manufacturers are responding with technology, like PLM software, to support rapid new product launch, agile pivots based on quality data and increasingly crucial relationships with their customer bases.  

According to a recent survey, more than 40 percent of millennials eat a diet rich in plant-based foods – but they do not consider themselves vegetarians or vegans.  They also report choosing organic foods and consider them integral to their personal eco-sustainability and small carbon footprint belief system. 

Sustainable profitability lies in three simple, yet key actions:

  • Increase innovation – there is no greater competitive advantage
  • Optimize intellectual assets, data and historic product and process knowledge
  • Reduce product development cycles and speed-time-to-market

The most advantageous solution is a comprehensive, end-to-end product lifecycle process software.  Spreadsheets, status quo data silos and isolated processes do not deliver the leverage that manufacturers need to create and launch new products quickly and efficiently.

Supply chain innovation

But research and development, quality control, quality assurance and advanced marketing teams are more in-tuned to process innovation. The teams that discover, plan, conceptualize and design new products understand the need for product lifecycle management process solutions. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to drive the creation of new products and generate new ideas when working from scores of email messages and out of date spreadsheets across multiple departments.  

When product design, simulations, validations, packaging, and compliance are performed in silos, efficiency and innovations are limited to concurrently manage the development cycle one step at the time, with little to no collaboration or investment from other shareholders. 

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Disconnected design and manufacturing processes contribute to a lack of traceability – this compromises innovation, production, efficiency, compliance, food safety and speed-to-market.   

In order to improve food safety and product integrity, manufacturers must boost data accuracy and access. Product lifecycle management software reduces the development cycle and speeds time to market, while reducing the risk of regulatory compliance obstacles and ensuring secure food safety. 

A modern solution for food manufacturers

Selerant has a proven PLM software solution, used worldwide to support the food and beverage industry. Devex is a modern solution that captures data at its source in product development and supports formulation, recipe twinning, derivations, recipes, and package management.

Multiple checkpoints ensure data is clean and accurate for traceability and transparency. The core processes of Devex PLM software delivers repeatability, consistency, and reliability of integrated data – which improves efficiency and reduces risks. 

Devex does more than just track schedules; it links formulas, recipes, graphics, and compliance to allow project managers to evaluate the quality of the data, leading to advanced quality control and quality assurance. Automatic real-time compliance checkpoints are built in, project management capabilities are embedded so once data is captured and managed, it is easily leveraged for substantial return on investment.    

First in class functionality combined with ease of use alleviates many of the integration obstacles that manufacturers experience with other PLM software. Seamless integration with enterprise resource planning (ERP) and manufacturing execution system (MES) software unifies data management, promoting rapid new product development, innovation, specifications and formulation management, compliance, and packaging. 

Devex PLM saves food and beverage producers time, resources, and overall implementation costs by leveraging state-of-the-art templates, documents and configuration tools that are integrated with Selerant’s proven passion for excellence.   

The innovation ecosystem consists of both product and process innovations.  Product innovation is simply the ability to create and advance products – ideation, concepts, trials, and simulation – and is generally understood best by an organization’s c-suite.  This is simply because the c-suite is generally more focused on revenue/return on investment, and products produce all revenue. 

The benefits of process innovation are more often embraced by research and development, quality control, quality assurance, food safety, food engineers and technologists, production, labeling and packaging teams. 

They understand that email is not the most effective mode for communications, and data retrieved from excel spreadsheets is nearly always inaccurate, incomplete, or obsolete, which hampers new product innovation.  The time that these teams spend trying to validate data often negates their ability to achieve crucial first-to-market status, or innovation.  

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