Tuesday, December 10, 2013

PLM: data exchange with ERP and other systems through ESB data bus

PLM is a design software used by various departments who design a product:
  • Marketing
  • R&D
  • Quality
  • Production
  • etc. ...
If the PLM eliminates re-keying for a service to another and accelerates product design, it must also communicate with other enterprise systems. This raises the question: how to interface design software (PLM) with existing third-party tools?

Data exchange can be done with:
  • Internal systems:
    • ERP, CAPM, MES, ...
    • a web portal company
  • But also external systems to the company as product catalogs GDSN
There are different ways depending of the company constraints:
  • PLM exchanges data directly with third party systems
  • A data bus manages exchange with third party systems
We will take a look at the second solution in this post.

ESB data bus

Using a data bus ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) helps to ensure exchanges between applications, provides monitoring via a console and handles errors. In addition, it allows to decouple applications and facilitates the integration of a new application in the information system.

Data exchange with beCPG can be done in 2 ways:

  • XML via REST services
  • CSV files
SOA Architecture : PLM and data exchange

Real-time synchronization

The data bus can synchronize systems in real-time. A sample scenario is the validation of a product in the PLM:
  • The product is approved
  • A message is sent to third-party systems involved by this event to feed them
  • In return, the data bus feeds the PLM with data of third party systems (eg: identifiers of the product in third-party systems)
Data synchronization of the PLM in real time

Data exchange with catalogs

PLM can also feed external systems to the company such as GDSN catalogs with the GS1 standard. This allows to update several catalogs from the PLM data and avoid re-keying.

Publish PLM data to catalogs


There are several data bus in Open Source, some are :
For data transformations, there is Talend Studio.

Monday, December 2, 2013

NPD : idea generation and project scorecard

How many products should we launch to get a commercial success ? Many statistics exist on failures and successes related to the launch of new products.

According to Robert Cooper of the Product Development Institute (2001 data), 48% of new products fail due to an inadequate assessment of the market.

According to Deloitte Consulting (1998 data), some causes of project failure are due to:
  • Unrealistic objectives: 65%
  • Weaknesses in project management : 54%
  • Definition of project scope : 43%
  • Lack of cross vision : 41%

When you develop new products, it is important to select the best ideas and the best projects. For this, beCPG provides project management that drives the development of new products, from idea generation to product launch on the market.

Each phase of the project is validated by a review of project to eliminate non-strategic / risky projects with phase-gate.

Here are some phases we can have when developing new products:

Phase gate of new product development
Phase gate of new product development

Idea generation

Idea generation enables brainstorming. Ideas are grouped by lists (Change requests, product improvements, customer requests ...). Each member can add its ideas and votes.

Idea generation
Idea generation

Marketing analysis

Marketing analysis is often composed of several tasks, for example:
  • Requirements gathering
  • Market analysis
  • Evaluate concepts
  • Regulatory assessments

This phase evaluates the project and validates the launch of the product design.

At the end of this phase, the project has:
  • Screening completed with answers to questions
  • Deliverables to provide are defined
  • Planning proposal
Project screening
Project screening

Project planning
Project planning
Each project is evaluated so it's easy to compare them in order to select the best projects and cancel projects that don't fit the business strategy, that are unprofitable or too difficult to achieve.
Project comparison
Project comparison

We will see in a future post the next phases:
  • Project design
  • Prototype
  • Industrialization
  • Product Launch

Monday, October 28, 2013

Calculate your nutrition claims with beCPG

Nutrition claims are a great way to highlight its products. However, these claims are governed by strict regulations.

For example:
  • LOW ENERGY : the product does not contain more than 40 kcal (170 kJ)/100 g for solids or more than 20 kcal (80 kJ)/100 ml for liquids
  • ENERGY-FREE : the product does not contain more than 4 kcal (17 kJ)/100 ml
  • SUGARS-FREE : the product contains no more than 0,5 g of sugars per 100 g or 100 ml
  • SODIUM-FREE or SALT-FREE : the product contains no more than 0,005 g of sodium, or the equivalent value for salt, per 100 g

There are many claims and their verification is tedious so it is interesting to check automatically them, especially when recipes are changing!

Therefore beCPG software manages claims of products and automatically calculates them. Depending on the recipe of the product and its characteristics, beCPG displays authorized claims.

In beCPG, you can:
  • choose claims that are relevant to your products,
  • set up your own claims,
  • write your rules and criteria (eg I want to create two claims full fruit sorbet, ice cream).

Here are some sites about the regulation of claims:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ingredient labeling for food products

This September 2013, beCPG improved its labeling module making it more configurable.

If you encounter these issues when calculating the list of ingredients:

  • Your clients have specific labeling rules
  • You want to highlight some ingredients and mask other ones
  • You want to anticipate the INCO regulation

beCPG software can help you by automatically calculating the list of ingredients for your products.

beCPG allows multiple labeling formats set:

The module allows the addition of labeling rules to automatically rework the labeling of products, for example :
  • Formatting rules to display the percentages, to underline or highlight one or several ingredients
  • Aggregation of ingredients (I declare "cooking salt" and "table salt" as "salt")
  • Combining some ingredients (I combine the ingredients "water" and "milk powder" in some proportions and I declare them as "milk reconstituted")
  • I rename the ingredient "wheat flour" to "flour"
  • I declare the ingredient "pectin" as "gelling agent" or "thickening agent"
  • Combining products to declare them as a layer (I combine a "sauce" and "pistachio" and I declare them as a layer)
  • The ability to omit some ingredients according to their quantity (eg: water) and their properties (eg: processing aids)
  • Detail or Not detail some composite raw materials

In addition, manual rewrite of label is possible (partially or totally)
Finally, beCPG manages natively the creation of labels in multiple languages​​.

Below, you will find some links that explain food labeling:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 : implementation with beCPG

Regulation No 1169/2011 harmonizes the labeling of food products in the European Union, including:
  • labeling of ingredients and their origins
  • the nutrition facts
  • the presence of allergens
  • the legal name
  • label claims for nutrition and health

Many websites and blogs introduced it, however, the management of these data can be complex, source of errors and time consuming. To facilitate their management and their updates, beCPG PLM includes four complementary modules:
  • the products repository
  • the formulation of recipe that calculates automatically costs, nutrition facts, the list of ingredients, physicochemical characteristics and allergens
  • the product specifications generator
  • project management
INCO regulation : nutrition facts calculated

INCO regulation : allergens management
Nutrition facts generated

Ingredient labeling (calculted according to your rules)

The benefits provided by beCPG are multiple:
  • save time when developing a new product, answering a request for quotation
  • simulate your recipes
  • respect the client specifications and regulatory constraints
  • drive your projects of New Product Developement and accelerate the innovation

Some information about the regulation:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Product specification management for food and beverage products

With the scandal of horse meat, we can see that product specification management becomes critical for food manufacturers if you want to prevent food and health crises.

It is therefore important to manage for each product:
- Raw materials used and their specification on which suppliers are committed
- Geographical and biological origins
- Allergens
- Nutrition facts
- Microbiology
- Control plans
- Allegations

And of course, ensuring that your product specifications are updated after changes and modifications of raw materials.

This will become more important with the Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 which will enhance the labeling of products.

A PLM software can help you to manage these issues effectively and save your time in your daily work via:
- Product portfolio management
- Formula and recipe management
- Product specification generation