PLM solution to offer best practice model

Leveraging knowledge of new product development from its customer database that includes Coca-Cola, Cadbury Schweppes, Campbell's Soup, and Rich Products, Formation System, a product lifecycle management ISV, has announced it will roll out Optiva Best Practice Solution for the food and beverage industries.

The Optiva Best Practices suite will bring standard data definitions for ingredients, gleaned from some of the largest players in the food and beverage industry, early into the R & D process in order to accelerate time to market.

"We have seen it over and over again. Customers perceive uniqueness where there are many similarities (in formulas), said Xavier Reilly, vice president of business development at Formation Systems.

Typically, companies have dozens of definitions for the same ingredient.

"Each business unit, each R &D lab will have defined something as simple as water slightly differently," said Colin Masson, research director for process industries at AMR Research.

Agreement across business units on standardizing on ingredient terms can take half a year which delays revenue recognition, added Masson.

While standard definitions will accelerate development of new products the solution must also accommodate innovation and uniqueness.

"We want to accelerate the process but we don't want to limit creativity," Reilly said.

None of Formation's current competitors offer a similar best practices solution, according to Masson, However, the biggest competitive threat in the process PLM space comes from ERP vendors like SAP and Oracle.

"ERP vendors claim to do PLM but they can only do it once you have the definition of that product. They tend to mislead the market about their capabilities," said Masson.

The Optiva Best Practice Solution is currently available on the .Net platform.

"We are focusing on .Net because we believe that is an area many companies in our potential client base will be looking toward," said Reilly.

Solutions for specialty chemical and home and personal care industries will follow later in the year.

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