How Food Manufacturers are Maximising Product Development Efficiency for Long-term Growth

Jun 14, 2023

The food and grocery manufacturing sector is now facing a defining moment

According to an Australian Food & Grocery Council (AFGC) report, past strengths may not be enough to ensure long-term resilience and growth due to high manufacturing costs and lower R&D spending. 

In this fiercely competitive landscape with evolving market conditions, prioritising innovation and eliminating inefficiencies throughout product development becomes crucial for enhancing competitiveness and improving profitability. 

Enter Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software, a powerful product development solution that accelerates this transformation, as demonstrated by F&B Manufacturers CTI Foods and Great Kitchens. 

CTI Foods uses Centric PLM to standardise workflows 

Texas-based CTI Foods provides custom and proprietary products to restaurants and industrial companies via their six USDA-approved production facilities. With manufacturing plants spread across the US, they needed to centralise their operations and boost efficiency. 

Director of Research and Development at CTI Foods, Les Thiel says, “It is a challenge to transfer information among plants and functional groups. There was an obvious need to have one source of truth in product development. Having to look through and find the latest email or spreadsheet became a source of frustration.” 

CTI decided to work with Centric PLM® after being impressed by its functionality and user-friendly interface. Says Thiel, “We’re hoping that with Centric’s interface, we’ll be able to really encourage user adoption; that it’ll become our R&D developers’ go-to place to do work on a day-to-day basis and not a chore where you’re re-entering information at the end of a project, just to get that nutrition statement or regulatory approval.” 

Centric PLM drives product development efficiency for Great Kitchens 

For Great Kitchens, a pizza and flatbread company with flexible manufacturing lines, the manual project management of the commercialisation process posed a major pain point. Speed-to-market is paramount due to the nature of their business as a private-label provider. 

After implementing Centric PLM, efficiency has been driven into every step of product development with manual spreadsheets eliminated, for a full digital transformation of the commercialisation flow. 

Director of Commercialization at Great Kitchens, Barb Parks, said, “We log many different tasks that we’re requesting the regulatory team to complete. You can track tasks and see how long it takes to complete each one. It eliminates having to go back and search through emails for the needed information; everything is in one central location. 

A single source of truth 

Centric PLM serves as an end-to-end food product development solution empowering F&B companies to boost product innovation, speed up new product launches and maximise product margins while ensuring compliance and quality. 

Centric Software ANZ Sales Director Graham Jones describes Centric PLM platform as an “out-of-the-box system” that you can configure to suit your specific requirements, emphasising the efficiencies F&B manufacturers gain by having a single source of truth.  

“Let’s say you need to change an ingredient in a product – if you don’t have this system, you’ve got to dig through all your various recipes in spreadsheets or word documents and find out where the ingredient is used. And what if you want to understand the cost implications of changing an ingredient? That’s a lot of spreadsheets that need updating. With Centric, you have one source of truth – you change the cost of an ingredient, and you can instantly see how the cost of the products will change.” 

One source of truth is particularly important for companies that claim halal, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free certifications.  

“When you try to put vegan on the label the system will say that it can’t, because there’s a non-vegan ingredient in the recipe. Certifications claims, traceability, and regulatory compliance are a lot easier to manage with the Centric PLM than using spreadsheets.” 

Book a personalised demo to find out why Centric PLM is trusted by over 12,500 global brands, including leading retailers and manufacturers like SPC, Tesco, Monoprix, and Ferrero.

Centric Software® will be exhibiting at foodpro from 23-26 July – Visit them at Stand D33. Register for free today or see the software in action by requesting a Demo.

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