Shifting regulations, evolving preferences, and disrupted supply chains have made it harder for companies to innovate.
There are now more consumer-driven product criteria and compliance requirements to track globally than ever before. To compete, companies need a new approach to formulation. Below are five ways networked formula management drives innovation.
1 - Speeds Up Sourcing
One of the biggest challenges formulators face is getting the ingredients and materials they need fast enough. First, it takes too long to find suppliers, ingredients, and items. Then teams have to fight their way through an enormous amount of paperwork and information to verify they have what they need. A networked approach solves these challenges by connecting buyers with qualified suppliers. You connect with your suppliers and ingredients and get instant access to the supply chain data and documents you need to speed up your formulation process. Your team no longer has to chase down suppliers for information or documents or play the waiting game. With significant time savings, you can focus on other, more strategic tasks.
2 - Eliminates Silos
Collaboration is critical for driving innovation. The most successful companies are those that forge strong, collaborative ties with their customers, partners, suppliers, and other stakeholders. But before they can do that, they need to eliminate silos within their own four walls. While led by R&D and innovation teams, formula management is a multidisciplinary, cross-functional effort that requires engagement from a wide range of departments, including quality, regulatory, procurement, and others. It's the collaboration from a variety of disciplines that makes innovation possible. Barriers across departments can be the biggest bottleneck to formulation success. When you can't see what people are doing, or you're frequently waiting for other departments to respond, progress is slow and can stop altogether. And resentment grows. A networked platform that connects teams keeps everyone on the same page and your formula management program on track.
3 - Digitizes Documents
Turning recipes, formulas, specifications, and compliance documentation into digital records is a win-win proposition and goes well beyond efficiency. The business benefits companies gain by advancing digital transformation and gaining real-time business insight is profound. They include revenue growth, increased market share, waste reduction, and the ability to offer customers tailored products. To sustain a successful formula management program, teams need a centralized location that provides a searchable, unified view of all current, variant, and past product formula and recipe information, documentation, and processes. And there's no way to achieve this without breaking up with paper and going digital.
4 - Automates Processes
Manual processes are no longer an option for companies that want to compete. The amount of disruption in today's supply chain requires businesses to respond in real-time. The promise of automation is enormous, and nowhere is its potential to transform more significant than in the food, beverage, and supplements industries. Yet manual tasks are still slowing teams down. Many businesses still rely on manual steps for repetitive, routine tasks, like collecting, reviewing, and organizing regulatory compliance documentation and waiting around for physical ingredients to arrive so you can begin experimentation. Your team can go from a tangled web of manual and disconnected formula management steps to a highly automated and orchestrated digital workflow that's easy to track. Automated workflows and alerts accelerate research, experimentation, analysis, verification, and approval processes. Allowing your team to conduct real-time tasks alongside automated steps to increase speed, eliminate errors, and vastly increase formula outcome quality and speed.
5 - Connects Supply Chains
Static systems and tools that don't talk to each other just won't cut it if teams want to deliver innovative, high-quality, cost-effective products to customers quickly. Companies that manage master formula and recipe data in an existing ERP or PLM system can pass information back and forth from a networked platform to achieve complete supply chain visibility. But what if you don't have a PLM system? No problem. You can manage it all in a networked formula management solution without the cost and complexity of a full-blow PLM. The right technology can turn your supply chain into a data-powered strategic asset and an engine for innovation. When this happens, your business can respond quickly to market, customer, and supply chain shifts while offering significant value to each organization in your connected supply chain.
A Networked Approach to Product Innovation
With a networked solution, teams can go from manual processes to automated results by digitizing and streamlining formula management programs for better, faster innovation. With TraceGains, teams can create and manage formulas and recipes while collaborating across departments and with suppliers or co-manufacturers. Network connectivity gives teams instant access to two million supplier-provided documents for rapid digital prototyping with real ingredient and supplier data to reach ideal product criteria faster.
Want to learn more? Check out our on-demand webinar with TraceGains CEO Gary Nowacki and RTI Advisors Certified Food Scientist Susan Mayer where they discuss innovation challenges and opportunities facing R&D teams. You’ll also see a demonstration of TraceGains Formula Management and how it facilitates better, faster innovation. Watch it here.