Bringing products to market to meet the growing demands of customers is becoming increasingly complex. For many firms in the food and beverage sector, years of internal research and testing lead to product launches that meet lukewarm success– and negligible profits. Equally damaging are the great ideas that aren’t pursued, leaving incalculable profits unrealized. Many are rethinking how they develop and launch new products using the best possible formula, while maintaining full compliance with all regulatory requirements.
A reported 70 – 85% of leading US companies currently use a staged approach to product development. While a staged approach isn’t new, the use of modern information technologies to support the approach is still a new concept to many. It is quickly becoming a best practice, though, as technology can dramatically make processes smarter and faster, improving the likelihood that a sellable, profitable, and high-quality product hits the market on time.
Consider this five-stage approach:
1. Ideation: Stakeholders explore the need for a new product. Will it re-energize a tired product portfolio or make use of existing raw materials? Will there be demand for the product?
2. Product Definition: Engineers scope characteristics, such as formula, usage, appearance, and properties. Marketers will re-assess revenue potential based on the product’s preliminary design.
3. Product Plan: Engineers will now plan production, considering if they have the assets required, the source material, timespan from development and testing to production, market and distribution.
4. Product Testing: This stage is highly quantitative, driven by R&E models, prototypes, and trial batches. Experiments should be run to digitally or physically validate predevelopment theories and refine cost estimates. A “go” decision at this stage triggers a handoff from development to production and alerts all support functions to prepare for launch.
5. Make and Deliver: Production now begins with initial batches and are compared to design specifications for quality, regulatory compliance, etc. Answers to questions on market reaction, efficient production runs, and product characteristics under market conditions inform additional development decisions.
A staged approach to process industry product development allows executives to reevaluate product concepts as they become more refined, within context of real-time business conditions. And leveraging advanced IT solutions with integrated stage-gate functionality allows manufacturers to evaluate product parameters, digitally model product features, assess market trends, and analyze emerging ideas. This means product development proceeds at the accelerated pace that today’s markets require. Furthermore, a staged approach ensures that product development knowledge is captured throughout the process, whether the product is developed or not.
Despite an inherently uphill battle, product development teams in Food & Beverage companies can thrive with the help of the right approach and technology – and the infrastructure to properly support them.
Achieve a single source of the truth with solutions like Infor Optiva and you’ll be able to:
- Increase efficiency
- Lower unit costs through formula and specification management
- Improve collaboration throughout your organization
- Easily meet all customer and regulatory compliance requirements
- Eliminate or combine parallel work
- Automate workflows
Infor is an enterprise software provider and strategic technology partner for more than 90,000 organizations worldwide. Infor software is designed for progress. Our software is purpose-built for specific industries, providing complete suites that are designed to support progress – for individuals, for businesses, and across networks. We believe in the beauty of work, the importance of relationships, and the power of ideas to drive significant positive change.
About Infor Optiva
Infor Optiva is a product lifecycle management (PLM) solution that seamlessly integrates with your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system—giving you a cohesive platform that works with a single product record for unifying all data and processes across your entire organization—no matter how dispersed and complex.