In many cases, packaging is the first thing consumers see, so it’s critical for the design to make a memorable first impression. For food and beverage manufacturers, packaging also fulfills legal requirements by providing necessary food labels and nutritional information. Brand guidelines, competing ideas from stakeholders, and regulations all impact the final package design. How do manufacturers track all of this information and create a cohesive, effective final product?
That’s where product lifecycle management (PLM) software comes in. Here’s how it can help food and beverage manufacturers overcome design challenges.
PLM is a process for managing the evolution of a product all the way from ideation to retirement. The process is especially useful for managing the vast amounts of product information that’s generated during each of these phases, including packaging design.
With so much product data to manage, and workflows involved in each phase of the process, developers created specialized PLM software platforms to help manufacturers do this more effectively. The software creates a single source of truth for all product data and makes it easy to collaborate with other stakeholders throughout the lifecycle.
Imagine you are a pasta manufacturer and you wish to develop a new package for your penne. Your marketing team prioritizes the design of the package and has a number of questions to answer:
Meanwhile, your production team will be concerned with the actual properties of the package:
Both departments need to answer these questions to meet their teams’ specific needs, while also making sure to incorporate the required legal information and labeling. Collaboration between every department is key to make sure all needs are met, within budget, and happening within the allotted project timeline.
With a PLM system in place, every department’s data is easily accessible by other stakeholders to maximize project visibility. Anyone can simply log into the platform to see the ingredients that need to be listed, current notes on design ideas, the latest packaging mockup, and anything else needed in decision making. Users can even automatically export ingredients lists into packaging designs so there’s less chance for human error. If any design changes are needed for legal, production, or other reasons, it’s easy to communicate the request through the PLM so nothing gets lost in an email or meeting note.