How to Make your Prototype a Winning Product

By David
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Exploring the 5 Challenges of Product Innovation

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With competition in the globalized marketplace intensifying more and more every day, Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail companies have been hit with increased demand for product innovation to enhance brand equity and differentiation and drive consumer loyalty.

But developing the next revolutionary product line isn’t as simple as televisions shows like Shark Tank make it seem. Behind these rare instances of success trail a preponderance of prototype failures. The rate of success is in fact so marginal that most products never even make it past the drawing board.

Did you know: More than 95% percent of prototype formulations end up failing?

This probably makes you wonder what those 5% of winning products did that the others didn’t. Let’s take a look at the key challenges responsible for keeping most products from achieving success – and discover how the winning 5% are able to power through them.

1) Avoiding Regulatory Setbacks while Shortening ‘Time-to-Market’

One of the key root causes of a company’s failure to deliver a product to market is its inability to sustain regulatory compliance. More often than not, brand and contract manufacturers manage compliancy using incongruent tools and isolated processes that make it nearly impossible to monitor developmental progress let alone adhere to evolving parameters. When it comes to regulation, successful product engineers understand the importance of being prepared for government inspection.

Failing to meet operating standards could mean delays in product release times or (in drastic cases) being forced to recall an entire product line. In an industry as fierce as CPG, manufacturers can’t afford to put up with costly launch delays. To avoid speed bumps along the innovation race, manufacturers must make every effort to prevent falling victim to non-compliance, or risk losing their pace.

Successful R&D organizations are equipped with tools like regulatory documentation management systems that perform continuous evaluation on material compliance and alert manufacturing teams to potential regulatory infringements. These systems ensure the quick adaptation of global formulas to protect against the negative ramifications of non-compliance. Proactive brand manufacturers using intelligent regulatory systems, can spend less time managing compliance data…and more time on product innovation.

2) Making Inaccessible Information, Accessible

Aside from regulatory failures, delayed product test results ultimately prevent many innovators from finding the right ingredients for their new product recipe. The changing landscape of regulation makes the accessibility to direct information no easy task for product engineers managing multiple development projects. An organization’s agility and capacity for collaboration are the deciding factors in determining who wins the race for new product delivery.

Creating the Perfect Product is a team effort – between marketing, R&D, legal, regulatory, purchasing and manufacturing teams. Effectively managing a collaborative joint effort across multiple silos and channels is where almost all product innovation organizations come up short and become disoriented. Smart innovators understand that the access to product information across all channels of the manufacturing organization is imperative for maximizing operational efficiency throughout the product development process.

To address this need, Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail companies rely on platforms with collaborative project management capabilities to increase productivity for new formulation creation by linking ongoing project and program execution with continuously-updated information in real-time. Maintaining relevancy and accuracy across all fields eliminates time-consuming protocols and formulation redundancy, provides stronger management over outcomes and leverages findings from research and testing.

Making strategic resource planning easier and more flexible empowers CPG brand and contract manufacturers to learn and implement practices most conducive to innovation. Equipped with the capability to recycle discoveries from past projects, this enhanced visibility of asset information allows product engineers to optimize time and resources as they continuously formulate and track their progress.

3) Expanding Formula Design Efforts without Increasing Resources

In an industry dealing with intricate recipes and powerful ingredients, R&D organizations in the CPG & Retail industry have one main focus when it comes to formula design – delivering the product promise which maximizes consumer satisfaction and drives usage and loyalty. A successful consumer product experience stems directly from a product’s performance, and hence, the product formula.

The delivery of an effective formula design calls for continuous innovation of product composition. Formulators need greater visibility from a material perspective – a robust management solution that manages the components required for the product formula while leveraging the most efficient use of resources at hand.

With the means to perform cost optimization on potential product compositions, CPG formulators can secure the knowledge to make optimal material choices during the early phases of the innovation process to satisfy the marketing requirements of ever-changing consumer trends.

4) Planning for Product Launch while Remaining Adaptable

A sharp brand manufacturer will tell you that ‘a clear strategy’ is the key when looking to create a new product formula. Masterminds behind successful new product creations are forward-thinking – they exploit repositories of market trends and collaborate with contract manufacturers and formulators to identify new materials and ingredients.

To interpret consumer needs, effective R&D teams rely heavily on software platforms that convert high volumes of quantitative and qualitative data into informative intelligence that can be used to make faster strategic decisions required for an optimal product launch. By monitoring consumer feedback and competitor activities, CPG brand and contract manufacturers can remain agile as they execute the product development process.

5) Re-using Formula Structures while Maintaining Quality

The agility doesn’t stop there. Winning innovators in the CPG industry attribute their product successes to their ability to leverage the lessons learned from previous failures. A pivotal advantage in formula creation is the ability to create and conduct virtual experiments to explore the boundaries of design possibilities – experiments that would be difficult, time-consuming and expensive to test physically.

Having a product specification management system to store simulated master data and formulations provides a secure, version-controlled, central repository for all formula and varying product information within the enterprise. This process empowers the organization with maximum engineering capacity and extends the value of its acquired knowledge across global channels.

As a result, Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail companies have the ability to respond to changing adaptations more quickly and deliver products to market faster while optimizing re-use of information to reduce formulation costs. Creating greater visibility and stronger infrastructure from digital collaboration of product design information saves time and resources while fostering product success replication throughout new formula creation.

How Information Management Empowers Future Design

Creating a marketable product is only half of the formula for achieving maximum brand loyalty. Delivering a product whose quality and performance exceeds consumer expectation is the other half. Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail companies need the means to accelerate the product development process while, at the same time, operating to reduce risk and improve productivity.

To ensure success, product formulators require a solution which allows them to address all of these challenges comprehensively, without falling short in one area in order to fulfill another. Using the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, the Perfect Product industry solution experience provides R&D teams with an all-encompassing tool to tackle each of these objectives:

  • Understanding consumer needs to meet marketing objectives
  • Designing and testing formula efficacy and manufacturability
  • Optimizing product cost using raw materials substitutions
  • Ensuring regulatory compliance and market performance analysis

When prototypes fail, Perfect Product has the answers.

With access to a collaborative digital innovation platform, CPG and contract manufacturer innovators can develop the high-performing formulas required to deliver the product promise that fuels the consumer satisfaction and brand loyalty they seek to attain. The benefits of Perfect Product extend far beyond departmental productivity – it’s a value-creating asset essential to successful innovation throughout enterprise.

Interested in learning more about how Perfect Product is redefining product lines? Click here to learn more.

Perfect Product industry solution experience, powered by Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE® platform enables Beauty, Healthcare and Household brand and contract manufacturers to manage new product development efforts in a holistic and collaborative way to balance Cost, Regulatory and Quality and drive business success.

Virtual Technology finds a “Sweet Spot” on Retail Shelves

By David
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Adapting to Change with a Digital Platform

When it comes to delivering a consumer shopping experience, retailers have been slacking big time – and they may not even know it.

According to the Retail Indicator Branch of the US Census Bureau, between 2000 and 2012, e-commerce sales across all retail channels grew by 19.1% annually, while overall sales only grew by 3.2%.

The shift towards technology-influenced shopping has bred a new species of consumer with higher expectations of service and perceived quality. This poses a huge challenge to retailers who rely on shopper engagement to drive sales. With consumer loyalty at an all-time low and the effectiveness of traditional marketing tactics on a steady decline, brand manufacturers need stronger solutions to recapture consumer attention, restore buying confidence and drive real business value.

How Virtual Collaboration Fosters Growth

Revamping the consumer shopping experience…starting with collaboration!

Creating the optimum shelf experience is retail priority number one. With more consumers doing their big basket shopping at convenience stores, retailers need solutions to capitalize on those trends and drive increases in average basket size per shopper. To help them, brand manufacturers and retailers team up and collaborate using the Perfect Shelf industry solution experience. By realistically simulating how store shelf designs are deployed, they can create consumer-responsive merchandising and assortment strategies that lift both category sales and margins.

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This collaboration between brand manufacturers and their retail allies accelerates the effort towards finding the best solutions for cost-effective design, merchandising compliance, and brand experience enhancement. A shared virtual environment to define merchandising strategies and enterprise objectives is the ideal platform brand manufacturers and retailers want and need to fortify a strong partnership that creates opportunity.

Why Retailers Need Technology to Improve Shelf Productivity

Carrying nearly twice as many SKUs as they did 25 years ago, today’s retailers face a productivity crisis of making less revenue per item. With profit margins getting squeezed more than ever before, how can retailers fight back?

Strategic shelf planning is critical for managing high volumes of product inventory. Retailers seeking to achieve higher inventory turnover rates and reduce carrying costs must be able to respond quickly and with precision to the ever-changing store assortments. Virtually simulating store layout, shelving, and fixture scenarios in a 3D environment provides retailers with an enriched interpretation of each stage of the consumer buying cycle. This enhanced visibility fosters the creation of in-store merchandising plans that synergize product assortments to optimize shopper engagement. In addition to improving merchandising results, retailers grasp a stronger sense of how shoppers navigate the store to drive better decision-making in inventory management.

By connecting the dots between shopper insights and shelf planning, retailers are positioned to:

  • Maximize product engagement by optimizing merchandising plans and refining store design layout
  • Deliver operational excellence through better and faster category management decisions
  • Improve shelf compliance to reduce inventory costs and increase productivity

How can brand manufacturers position themselves above competition?

It starts with enhancing brand experience. Perfect Shelf allows CPG brand manufacturers to fully utilize the consumer insights and business metrics needed to design the optimal category strategy with its retail partners. Features like virtual reality sessions enable category managers to continuously share and adapt 3DEXPERIENCEs for internal executive reviews or team on-boarding, avoiding ineffective 2D planograms or the expense of physical mock ups.

Whether it’s preparing to optimize a new product launch, design a promotional plan or even deliver a comprehensive range review, these digital solutions serve as a game-changing asset for brand manufacturers seeking a competitive advantage.

The Benefits of Enhanced Shelf Design

The advantages of shelf design technology don’t stop there. As brand manufacturers look to ensure these newly developed shelf strategies align with compliance metrics and merchandising rules, they turn to the Design value component of Perfect Shelf for answers. With an intuitive and systematic design, “Drag & Drop capabilities” provide smart positioning and advanced product assortment filtering and searching – the ingredients needed for accelerating inventory management.

Category managers can efficiently design shelf space recommendations by virtually creating 3D shelves, fixtures and merchandising elements meeting retailer standards and brand equity goals. Brand manufacturers are then able to:

  • Cultivate a stronger sense of operational management
  • Develop a better understanding of their product categories
  • Make precise decisions in merchandising design

Using the Dassault Systèmes Perfect Shelf industry solution experience, brand manufacturers can combine strong brands, visible point-of-sale materials, and a highly professional sales force to win category leadership while boosting sales for its retail partners. Learn how Perfect Shelf can help you create better merchandising plans and improve your retailer relationships.

Don’t believe us? Let the industry’s winning players tell you themselves. Learn how to become a leading brand manufacturer by virtually redefining its infrastructure and discover what simulation has the potential to do for your retail business.

By realistically simulating retail settings inside immersive, lifelike 3-D environments, Retailers and Consumer Packaged Goods companies can better imagine, validate and deploy optimum shopping experiences, increase product appeal, drive brand and category profitability and differentiate themselves from the competition.

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Create New CPG Products Up To 50 Percent Faster!

By Gregory
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Recent research by Tech-Clarity titled Reducing Non-Value-Added Work in Engineering finds that one-third of development time is wasted.

Some key findings include:

  • Engineers spend only 48 percent of their time actually designing products.
  • 20 percent of engineering time is spent working with outdated information.
  • 70 percent say third parties wait several days or more to send updated information.

Perfect Päckage

Product innovation is critical in the fast moving consumer goods industry. Consumer Packaged Goods companies are really struggling to accelerate their product development and launch successful products faster. There are best practices and case studies that we can learn from, to make the R&D process more efficient and to focus on value-added tasks.

Watch the webinarAccelerate Innovation Efforts Up to 50 Percent by Reducing Non-Value-Added Engineering Work” where experts share:

  • The current state of engineering in CPG companies and how companies are managing the obstacles slowing down innovation.
  • How leading companies are leveraging technology to eliminate files and emails, and to cut their innovation cycle from 18 to 6 months.
  • Ways that companies can leverage PLM to cut innovation time in half, reduce rework and quality errors, and coordinate a complex ecosystem of functions, partners, and suppliers.

Click here to watch the webinar moderated by Consumer Goods Technology with presentations from:

Moderator:
Kara Romanow, Executive Editor, CGT

Panelists:
Michelle Boucher, Vice President of Engineering Software Research, Tech-Clarity
Raymond Wodar, Director, Business Experience Consultant, CPG-RETAIL, Dassault Systèmes



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