The food and beverage industry has never provided more options to consumers than now. That means there’s never been more competition for manufacturers. According to Research and Markets, the global value of the food and beverage (F&B ) industry reached a whopping $5.9 trillion in 2019. By current estimates, it will grow to more than $11 trillion by 2030.
There’s a lot of money to be made in the market, but this massive opportunity for F&B manufacturers is also a curse. The urgency to create new products and release them to market has reached a breakneck pace — even as food safety and labeling regulations tighten around the world, demanding greater care in sourcing, quality, and transparency.
Product lifecycle management (PLM) software is a lifeline for companies struggling to keep up with the speed of today’s market. By tracking a new food or beverage offering from the conception phase to the packaging, marketing and eventual retiring of the item off the shelves, a PLM system stores the entire product lifecycle in one location.
These platforms can help manufacturers meet compliance, create more transparency, and manage the massive amounts of data demanded by both consumers and regulators. It can even help streamline one of the biggest challenges for manufacturers: bringing new concepts to market
The growing complexity of product attributes and regulations translate to a growing volume of product data. PLM software allows manufacturers to digitize all product data and store it in a single system, eliminating data silos. This gives every user access to the complete history of a product’s development, including recipes and formulas, ingredient sources, test reports, and more, allowing the work of each department to organically build on what came before, without
any info getting lost or overlooked.
Traditionally, research and development teams had to manually test every single ingredient combination and formula and carefully adjust variables until the desired outcome was reached. With PLM, users can easily run virtual simulations on base recipes and their variations to improve a formula in a fraction of the time. When final testing is conducted in a real kitchen or laboratory, the recipe can already be close to perfection, only needing a few tweaks that simulations couldn’t address.
In addition to centralized data management, PLMs can also house end-to-end workflows. Each department can map out tasks in the form of checklists for complete clarity and visibility about who needs to do what and by when.
When each task is completed, automations can alert the next user in the workflow that it’s time to make their contribution. Best of all, any supporting documents needed for their leg of the journey are readily available in the system, without the need to hunt it down or send an email request.
Every regulatory agency, distributor, retailer, and other third party needs detailed product information in certain formats and submitted through specific channels. Doing this manually can be almost as time consuming as testing recipes. Since PLM systems digitize all product data, users can develop form templates for each third party they need to submit information to and send it at the push of a button.
A PLM system is one of the most important tools F& B companies can have in their arsenal — but not all of them are created equally. Revalize brings together the widest array of capabilities in the market into one comprehensive, end-to-end platform, and even offers a specialized solution tailored to the needs of F&B manufacturers.