Unlocking the value in your PLM data

The challenges facing own brand retailers are multiple and unique. Chief among them is the complexity involved in consistently delivering your brand promise across 10,000+ SKU own brand products, manufactured by 500+ third party suppliers, to your customers on a daily basis.

Not an easy equation!

The New Product Development (NPD) process is at the heart of doing this successfully, and integral to this is the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)/compliance solution. The PLM solution is used to approve suppliers, ensure products are safe and meet legal requirements, and in many cases feed this approved on-pack information into the artwork process.

There are a growing number of such solutions, such as Oracle Retail Brand Compliance (ORBC), Bamboo Rose, CBX, PTC Windchill, and Devex Selerant. The choice is influenced by the nature of the predominant core product range(s) sold by the retailer due to the differing needs each category places on the sourcing, product, and supply chain processes.

  • Food
  • Non-food
  • Apparel
  • General merchandising

What is shared across all these platforms is the wealth of information they hold and the high level of time and money invested by both retailers and their supplier base to successfully adopt and then maintain the data on an ongoing basis.

Driving strategic brand initiatives with rich data

So how should you leverage this rich set of data beyond the point of product launch to drive forward strategic brand initiatives and maximise your return on investment? Or, as one US retailer used to call it, “how do you get on the offensive?”.

S4RB work alongside and complement PLM solutions for many of our clients. By definition, PLM solutions have a transactional focus, and so a common ‘need’ we answer is to provide management-level visual perspectives of PLM data over time. This ensures that it is possible to see progress towards objectives over time and identify exceptions quickly.

We bring that data to life by using market-leading data warehousing and visualisation tools in the form of easy to digest, secure, supplier facing performance scorecards. An excellent example of this are Nutritional Dashboards, which show how different categories are tracking towards Public Health England salt, sugar, and calorie targets.

Our specialism in API system integration extends beyond PLM’s into other core retail solutions, allowing us to incorporate data that historically has lived in unreachable ’silos’. Combining this with the PLM data provides additional dimensions of understanding which further enhances the value of the PLM data. Examples of dashboards we have delivered which combine PLM data with that drawn from other business sources include:-

  • Analysis of Online Reviews
  • Progress towards Plastic/Packaging Waste targets
  • Visibility of Time and Cost NPD / EPD Project Activity
  • Sales and Complaints CPMU
  • Order forecasts and Supply Chain Performance KPI’s

These dashboards allow both you and your suppliers to see insights drawn in from multiple data sources in one view and understand, at a glance, performance across the key areas that matter. Powerful insights to assist your data-driven decision making whilst enabling suppliers to take steps to improve self-sufficiently proactively is a real win-win situation for everyone.

Click here to read more on our partnership with Oracle Retail Brand Compliance. 

Darren Heathcote

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