Why one of the largest food manufacturers in the world decided to implement a global PLM solution

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To meet the needs of its customers, one of the largest agricultural manufacturers in the world needed a simple way to manage PLM data around the world.

“We’ve been talking about the digital journey for some time,” says the Director of R&D Shared Capabilities. “What does it mean for R&D? A better way to serve customers, a competitive advantage, secure data, a way to deliver with speed and agility, and a system to collaborate.”

But it wasn’t just R&D, other teams within the company had PLM needs, as well. With over 160,000 employees in 125 different countries, the company needed a way to work in unison. That’s why the company started implementing Devex PLM.

A digital journey towards global harmonization

In order to address changes in the industry, the company needed a professional solution to manage global product development. Something that improved confidence with data and would allow a distributed team to work in unison.

“The food industry is changing quickly,” the director says. “Things are faster than ever, there’s more demand from customers. We need to take what we know and put it into the context of our customer.”

Implementing different ideas across different geographies meant the company would need the right capabilities and tools. Something that captured and reported data across the lifecycle.

“We have a lot of formulation technology that used to be hard to access,” reflects the director. “To scale with customers and bring our knowledge to bear, PLM gives us products faster.”

Harmonizing product data across several teams, regions, and plants meant the company could do a better job of taking ideas and making them a reality.

“We have more than 50 plants that we’re developing for,” notes the director. “We’ll have over 28 global product development teams working in the tool. We needed one system that is traceable and we could access quickly. That’s why we implemented with Selerant.”

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Success through collaboration

As the company works closely with Selerant to roll out Devex, they’re identifying what’s possible with a global team.

“I’m amazed at what we did without a PLM tool, but now that we understand how products can be managed, we are on a really good path,” the director says.

Not only is Devex improving product innovation, it’s helping to improve operations by using previously hidden data to create change. Working with teams in so many different regions has presented opportunities to give everyone those benefits.

“We’re encountering different languages, cultures, and holidays,” the director says. “Our business language is in English, but we’ve built training materials for all of our users to make it easy to understand and adopt the tool.”

The close partnership with Selerant has helped the company implement a harmonized global PLM solution with great success.

“We can lean on them and how they’ve dealt with an implementation in the past,” the director says. “The framework of the tool gives us 80% of what we need, we just have to layer on what we need to be successful.”

Getting better all the time

As the phased implementation of Devex moves across the company, teams and stakeholders with different responsibilities are leveraging the solution for their own PLM needs. Because of the size and scope, the entire rollout will take three years, but for the Director of R&D Shared Capabilities, this is all part of the plan.

“It takes time and effort to build, test, and learn,” says the director. “You have to take the journey in steps. Be realistic about how fast you can get to one place. It’s a fun journey, and I feel like we’re making good progress.”

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Where Devex has been implemented, the company suddenly has access to data that they never really had before. Engaging these insights in a harmonized fashion allows the company to have confidence in its decisions.

“We used to be at the point where we’d be exhausted by data and didn’t know what to do with it,” notes the director. “Now we can collaborate globally in a secure environment.”

This global approach is empowering teams across the company to learn from each other, accelerating speed to market, and enabling R&D to streamline innovation. It’s all possible because Devex gives them a centralized environment to work from.

“As we build knowledge and experience, we build our skillset,” remarks the director. “Now that we have a platform, we can get better. That’s why we’re working with Selerant.”

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