A fresh look at bringing product innovation to market
It has long been recognized that new and updated products are key to revenue and bottom line growth for food companies. Successful product innovation, though, has never been more complex as consumer, customer, and regulator expectations continue to evolve and expand. This is not merely a challenge for R&D departments—it expands across all disciplines from procurement to production to marketing.
In a recent Infor-sponsored webinar, we discussed the challenges of pulling off timely and successful product innovation. We heard from Steve Cox, Director of IT at Wayne Farms, who shared the company’s approach to product innovation, and how new technology helps the business achieve growth targets.
The webinar also covered the primary drivers of innovation and discussed new ingredients, claims, regulations, transparency, convenience, and globalization. These are all different ways to look at innovation, but we often don’t consider them all and how they overlap.
Steve then went on to discuss some of the major challenges to innovation that Wayne Farms faces: “We have around 300 new products per year which is significant in itself. But then we also have the products we’re currently producing, and about 75% of them have a change to them on an annual basis.” Steve described some of the difficulties of constantly changing and improving ingredients:
- Ensuring label declaration accuracy and approvals to meet “go-to-market urgency”
- Managing the volume of data going into products from multiple sources, including vendors in the supply chain
- Reliance of product data for up/down stream systems, vendors, distributors, and customers
- Preparing for the possibility of employee turnover—minimizing its impact on time-to-market and customers
- Delivering timely customer and vendor feedback
Watch the on-demand webinar to find out how Wayne Farms solves these challenges, and how the company’s technology involves everybody in the supply chain—from ingredient suppliers, through R&D, operations, sales and marketing, to distributors and customers. For Wayne Farms, failing to satisfy customers is not an option—and neither is a product recall from a mislabeled product.
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