Consumer tastes and preferences are constantly changing, creating challenges for companies that manufacture and sell food and beverage products. How can you stay agile? It all starts with a foundation of data management.
Whether shifting to e-commerce, meeting regulations or growing your business — effectively managing your data is crucial.
Let’s look at three ways food and beverage enterprises can use data to devour the competition in 2021 and beyond.
You need a single source of truth.
No matter what channels you use to sell your food and beverage products, managing your data will always be crucial. And using tools like Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM) will help you create a single source of truth for your data.
There are obvious advantages to having accurate, consistent, accessible data — like easier tracking of product recalls, improved transparency, supply chain efficiencies, and satisfied customers.
Yet, in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space, inorganic growth is another big consideration. Mergers and acquisitions are common in the market — and when you’re acquiring a brand whose data model may be structured differently, you’re bound to end up with data inconsistencies. Maintaining a single source of truth for your own data makes it easier and faster to integrate another company’s data into your system.
But, you also need multiple sources of truth.
As important as having a single source of truth is, you can’t let that be the end goal. There’s even an argument for its demise. To truly outpace the competition, food and beverage brands need to think beyond a single source of truth. This strategy starts with having the flexibility to move into new channels rapidly while still meeting the data requirements for that channel. For example, you’ll present your product data differently if you’re selling to a major grocery chain vs. a mom-and-pop shop vs. direct-to-consumer. Each channel requires different sets of data, so the ability to have multiple sources of truth based on your market is essential.
Fortunately, most modern PIM and MDM platforms have the capability to create multiple versions of truth that vary based on the channel. With these platforms, you can develop core data for each product, then build in variations that change based on your customer. With multiple versions of truth, you can use data that will more effectively speak to the requirements of different buyers.
Don’t get tripped up by regulations.
Regulations play a huge role in the world of food and beverage. Unfortunately, they’re a moving target — with new regulations continually popping up and old regulations disappearing. From nutritional transparency to health trends, companies often have their hands full staying compliant.
Because regulations can vary based on country and state, managing data for regulations can be overwhelming. And the penalties for failing to comply can include:
- Product seizures, and
- Criminal prosecution.
These regulations not only have legal ramifications, but they also impact how you can manufacture, label, and market your products.
However, with an established data management program (including MDM or PIM), companies can stay ahead of regulations and meet ever-changing requirements. Your data management platform can help you manage ingredients, allergens, and nutritional values. Plus, you can easily keep track of diet-specific attributes like gluten-free, non-GMO, keto-friendly, etc.
By managing data with an eye toward the three concepts above, food and beverage manufacturers are well-positioned to adapt to whatever comes their way. It’s also important to note that these concepts apply to foodservice companies as well as retail enterprises (just with slightly different use cases).
Where can Food and Beverage enterprises start?
For companies with legacy systems and processes, changing to meet these data demands is a significant challenge. Cleansing your existing data and establishing data governance procedures won’t happen overnight, but it’s entirely achievable with the right guidance.
At Amplifi, we’re experts at bringing digital transformation to companies in the food and beverage industry. Our MDM and PIM consultants help you:
- Develop a strategy and roadmap for your data management program
- Establish milestones to build and maintain momentum
- Utilize best practices for change management to get buy-in from your team
- Design, implement and enable your MDM or PIM solution
- Train your team to master the new system and data management processes
With a strong foundation of data management, your company can position itself well for acquisitions, quickly enter new sales channels, and alleviate risks associated with regulations. Need help figuring out where to start? Contact us today.