Modern Gourmet Foods (MGF), the international gourmet food and gift business, has selected Centric Cloud, a new cloud-based, SaaS PLM solution specifically designed with small businesses in mind. With a fast implementation, Centric Cloud is based on key industry learnings inspired by more than 100 PLM project implementations with leading fashion and consumer goods companies.
As a small business with a voracious appetite for growth, MGF will use Centric Cloud to optimise its creation of exceptional food-based gifts that are channel-specific to the mass retailers, specialty stores and club chains that sell its products. These gift offerings include products from brand partners such as Godiva, Constellation Brands, Hershey's, Starbucks and Mrs. Fields. "Product development is the hallmark of our company, so we work diligently with our customers and our brand partners to assure that we satisfy them and represent them well," says Nadeem Mumal, MGF's COO.
"Our business is highly seasonal," adds Mumal. Gift-giving holidays such as Christmas and Valentine's Day put intense pressure on MGF to deliver products on time to meet tight market windows, he says. "We have a narrow field of competitors, but it is still a highly competitive business because shelf and display space at retail stores are limited."
"Most of our customers have unique and stringent requirements that we must meet before we can even become an accepted supplier," Mumal says, talking about MGF's need to maintain both quality and cycle times. "And being seasonal makes our product development process even tougher. To complicate things further," he states, "the food-based nature of the business means MGF has to provide and manage accurate nutritional labelling to meet regulatory requirements that vary by geography, both domestic and international."
Before deciding to invest in PLM technology, MGF relied on spreadsheets and other off-the-shelf tools, unsuited to the demands of its fast-paced, complex product development processes. "We knew we needed a solution, but there really wasn't much out there for a company of our size. We were looking for something innovative and that was both fast and simple to implement," Mumal explains. "We are product people first and foremost, and we wanted a solution to fit us—not the other way around. This is one of the largest technology investments we've made, and it's significant for a business of our size. We are glad that the same technology road-tested by huge companies is now available to us. Our analysis shows we'll save significant time and money once fully implemented."
MGF's customers see large numbers of MGF products before choosing what they will offer in their stores. Additionally, the company must obtain approval from each brand represented in a combination gift package. "Centric Cloud will bring a lot of necessary discipline to our workflow processes," Mumal says, "and will allow us to improve our sample development and approval process at the same time."
Also on MGF's list of improvements was time to market, which will be accelerated and better controlled using Centric Cloud. The planning process for each of MGF's sales channels is unique in terms of timing, but there are also overlaps, according to Mumal. Centric Cloud will offer MGF a systematic way to view progress, milestones and to-dos as each product makes its way through development, assisting with control of costs and quality.
Centric Cloud will enable MGF to streamline its development processes, improve visibility to enable faster decision making, and improve understanding of business processes, leading to improvements across the board in workflows and efficiencies.
Chris Groves, president and CEO of Centric, says, "We are thrilled at the value that Modern Gourmet Foods and other small businesses already see in Centric's newest solution. Our aim is to work with companies like MGF that share our attitude towards innovation, and to provide inclusive, inspired tools and key best practices previously limited to PLM larger-scale implementations. We want to help MGF dream big."