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North American Meat Products Company

with award-winning consumer brands

Meat Products

Business Challenge

The food processing company lacked a strategic vision for a holistic product lifecycle management program. Process inefficiencies and data inconsistencies across business units hampered growth and siphoned off profits. The multiple tactical technologies involved in product development lead to inconsistent product data management structures and processes, exposing the company to considerable compliance risk during commercialization.

In the fallout of recurring re-development, recalls, and consumer complaints, the company identified three primary challenges in product development:

  • Concern over the quality of data that existed in the PLM area. Standardized processes were the goal, but a lack of centralized information and supporting infrastructure would continue to hinder new product development.
  • Documents supporting PLM were not centrally located. Key documents required manual generation and re-entry of data across multiple systems.
  • Internal communication was too dependent on time-intensive, face-to-face meetings and email. Product development timelines were stressed as a result.

The Solution

Linx-AS used its proprietary Vision Methodology to design a strategic product lifecycle management roadmap for the meat processing company, evaluating and addressing key pain points in new product development. The global program was mapped out in incremental projects, with each initiative serving as a foundational PLM building block. For each project, a phase-gate ROI goal must be met to continue on to the next project, ensuring that the program maintains consistent alignment with business strategy.

Optimizing key product-development processes and PLM technologies will enable the company to deliver high-quality products quickly and cost effectively while complying with local and global regulations. The first incremental project of the program established the PLM foundation, addressing the root cause of many challenges—data accuracy and process inefficiency.

The SAP PLM modules and enablers used in the foundational implementation were:

  • Specification Database (packaging, ingredients, products)
  • SAP Document Management System
  • Windows Word Processer Integration (WWI)—used for dynamic document generation
  • SAP Workflow
  • Change Management
  • Collaboration Projects & Folders
Sausage Meat PLM - plm case study

Business Impact

  • Single source of product information
  • Improved product compliance
  • Improved communication and collaboration internally and with supply chain
  • Elimination of nonvalue-add activities