Editor's note: This is the fourth post in our "Customer Voice" series where we capture and bring to you the direct voice of our customers to demonstrate their areas of PLM ROI. View the other posts below:
Documenting the whole picture
In order to manage a wide variety of suppliers, one of the largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef, and pork leverages Devex PLM to keep everything on track and efficient.
“Some of our products are made in five different locations,” says the Associate Director of Food Safety and Quality Assurance responsible for product lifecycle management. “We’re dealing with different equipment footprints, ingredients, and workflows. How do you manage this?”
Optimizing this massive effort requires precision and exact formulas. It also necessitates modern quality management technology and practices.
“It’s critical to define items very descriptively, all in a way that our partners can mix a product correctly,” observes the Associate Director. “A lot of small details make a difference in finished product attributes and yields. Costs will go up if we don’t follow manufacturer attributes.”
Keeping information complete and consistent as it heads to the plant floor requires careful oversight. Any change or update to a formula needs to be carefully orchestrated. This is especially true for new products.
“If we make good new products, customers will come back because we have brand,” says the Associate Director. “The process of making changes is product lifecycle management. We use Devex PLM to eliminate redundancy. We want one set of numbers all the way to the shop floor.”
Keeping everything consistent
In a complex workflow, a centralized system is the only way to maintain quality.
“Unless it’s connected to Devex, how do you know a formulation was changed to match an update?” asks the Associate Director. “How do we know it’s being maintained?”
This is especially true when dealing with a large number of locations and suppliers. Relying on hard copies or shared drives isn’t enough.
“A lot of locations like to use spreadsheets or ‘just know’ the recipes, but what happens if something isn’t current or someone doesn’t show up for work that day?” observes the Associate Director. “We need a central repository that runs parallel to our operational requirements.”
The project definitions and guardrails established by Devex allow product iterations to be cleanly documented and managed at all stages.
“We have a finished product spec in the Devex tool,” says the Associate Director. “We share that information out with systems outside our ERP. Devex is the source of product attributes and definitions, which feeds into our ERP system.”
Speed to market without sacrificing quality
Getting everyone on the same page has major benefits. Removing redundancies and building standardized workflows improves quality and speed to market, even across multiple locations.
“When we take the information that we have and move forward with it, we can shorten up time to market,” notes the Associate Director. “It also improves collaboration and consistency. This helps us know what our partners are doing.”
Moving product operational requirements into Devex PLM eliminates outside systems and streamlines processes. This allows innovation to be incorporated faster and with less risk.
“We want to be able to make specification changes and improvements in parallel throughout the process,” says the Associate Director. “Transforming Devex into a hub for strategic intelligence in real-time has added more value to a system that already has a lot of opportunity.”