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Why Saas PLM is Necessary For Remote Work

A decade ago, adopting SaaS seemed like a luxury. Today, we know SaaS solutions are integral to running any type of company — especially with hybrid work-from-home or fully remote operations.

Product lifecycle management (PLM) software has allowed food and beverage manufacturers to speed up innovation cycles, improve collaboration, and streamline data management. But, companies that aren’t using a cloud-based SaaS PLM aren’t able to reap the full benefits of the technology. If you’re still using an on-site PLM to manage recipe data, packaging
design, and other aspects of your products, it’s time to upgrade to a cloud-based solution.

What Is SaaS PLM?

Product lifecycle management (PLM) is a type of software that helps your company digitally manage:

Many PLM systems offer the above functionality. However, not all of them are tailored to the needs of your specific industry. And not all of them rely on the same systems architecture. Many legacy PLM systems are on-premise, meaning the software was installed in your local network. Therefore, in the ’80s and ’90s, your company had to host the solution, and it needed to be installed on all local devices.


More and more software companies started offering a SaaS model by the 2000s, and by the early 2010s, SaaS became widely adopted in more modern industries, with traditional industries continuing to increase their adoption rates every year of the past decade.

What SaaS PLM Is Not

There’s a common misconception that keeps food manufacturers from experiencing the strategic benefits of a SaaS PLM. This misconception is that SaaS PLMs are not secure. This simply isn’t true. &nbsp SaaS PLMs manage DevSecOps and utilize data encryption, multi-factor authentication, and other measures to keep their products secure for remote access. These companies run continuous automated security testing and also manually conduct penetration tests to attempt to hack into their own systems. &nbsp Unfortunately, the security misconception began over two decades ago, and today cloud security is just as secure, if not more so, than on-premise software.

The Differences Between SaaS PLM and On-Premise PLM

SaaS PLM and on-premise PLM share the same purpose, but are fundamentally different. Here’s how:


Because SaaS PLM products are hosted in the cloud, they can be accessed remotely. Anywhere employees are (whether at home or traveling), they can log in and access the projects they have permissions for, based on the account level, whether that’s administrative or something else. Meanwhile, with on-premise solutions, it can be difficult or impossible to access the software when away from the office.


While cloud technologies and on-premise software can be equally secure, they approach security differently. With firewalls, VPNs, antivirus software, and physical security measures, on-premise security must typically be managed by the internal IT team. Meanwhile, cloud providers manage security for their customers using data encryption, multi-factor authentication, and other security measures. Cloud security is typically more affordable because the vendor is managing it for a large number of customers, so it’s more scalable.


There are a lot of factors that account for why SaaS applications are more affordable than on-premise software. As mentioned above, one of these is security. It is cheaper for manufacturers to pay for their SaaS provider to manage security (holding to specific SLAs), than it is to handle this in-house for on-premise solutions.


Also, rollout and implementation is more affordable for SaaS, which drives down the initial and overall costs of the application. Because SaaS apps are more scalable, they also tend to be priced lower. But of course, there is variability in SaaS pricing, and critical enterprise solutions can be similar in cost to their on-premise counterparts.


Unlock the secrets of PLM and take control of your product development journey. Click now for our comprehensive ‘PLM for Manufacturers’ guide!


Unlock the secrets of PLM and take control of your product development journey. Click now for our comprehensive ‘PLM for Manufacturers’ guide!

Why SaaS PLM is important for remote work

Here are the advantages that food manufacturers experience when switching to a SaaS PLM:

Continued Innovation and Competitive Advantage

With an unprecedented number of workers now operating out of their homes all around the world, companies that didn’t already have widespread cloud computing were majorly stalled.

Meanwhile, food manufacturers that use a SaaS PLM can continue to innovate new recipes and work at the same rate of execution they did before. In fact, with less distractions, workers might even be more productive than ever.

Ingredient Sales and Application Engineering

For manufacturers that make and sell ingredients to food brands, they can continue to operate as usual while working remotely.

With remote-access SaaS, the technical sales team and application engineers can continue to:

Technical sales representatives who sell ingredients often travel as part of their work. Even when the rest of the company isn’t working remotely, they will still need remote access to do their jobs as efficiently as possible. Providing remote access to employees in certain roles can provide strategic advantages, regardless of the global climate.

Moving Forward With Supplier Contracts

Even when the world isn’t required to work remotely, unoptimized processes can slow everyone down. Supplier contracts are often handled in a series of back-and-forth emails, with changes made to Word documents that can be challenging to keep track of.

By using a PLM with robust supplier management features, your team can move forward with specifications management, legal agreements, timelines, certification requests, certification storage, and other regulatory compliance requirements.=

The absence of a streamlined process means that innovation slows. During remote work, the lack of a SaaS PLM means supplier relationship management either halts (for new contracts) or plods forward at an inefficient pace.

Cheaper, More Optimized Information Labor Processes

A SaaS PLM can have a positive impact on a variety of processes, such as product innovation, sales, and supplier contracts. For example, product information needs to move from the testing phase, to the development phase, to the packaging and consumer information phase.

Without a SaaS PLM, the process of moving this product information along can be extraordinarily complex and messy. Employees are downloading and uploading different documents, and version control is all but impossible.

However, with a SaaS PLM employees can collaborate on the same product information spec and make direct changes, which can be approved or disapproved by the appropriate admin. As the product moves through various stages, so does the information. While working in the cloud, everyone can instantly see the most accurate and current information. Depending on the workflows in place for your various products, there are countless other ways a SaaS PLM can speed up processes.

Implementing SaaS PLM For the Remote Work Era

The strategic business advantages of SaaS PLM are clear. But what can you do if your company has already gone remote and you don’t have a system in place yet? SaaS PLM is easy to implement remotely and doesn’t require in-person meetings with the vendor. To have the most success with remote PLM implementation, work with a vendor that’s experienced in remote rollout and has tailored their PLM solution to your industry, which will speed up the process. SpecPage by Revalize is easy to implement and purpose-built for the needs of the food and beverage industry.
Schedule a demo to see for yourself.

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