Private label is not a typical client customer relationship, it is a partnership and that’s where Trace One comes in, said Phillippe Auroi, product and market director Europe at the company.
Best practices are spread by linking people together and that is what the firm proposes to the market, he said during an exclusive interview at the Global Food Safety Conference 2013 in Barcelona.
The firm provides a private label product lifecycle management (PLM) solution for retailers and the communities of manufacturers, auditors, laboratories and packaging experts.
Software as a Service (SaaS) offers document hosting services, 24/7 online availability and its internet-enabled access means there is no software to install.
Benefits include faster time to market and collaboration across the board to ensure all parts of the chain are informed, said the firm.
The idea is to make it possible for retailers to gather the private label participants and to build collaboratively the private label portfolio, to grant full visibility on the product and the supplier network, explained Auroi.
“It’s a specific PLM, I would say that, private label process could be considered quite simple if you compare to the development of a new car or a new plane but the issue is when you are dealing with five, 10, 15,000 products with a life that won’t be more than three years…it’s a nightmare because you’re always having to optimize your products.
“When each guy in the private label team is in charge of a portfolio of an average of between 400 and 500 references, when you want to manage the performance of your brand you need solutions and you need to collaborate.”
He said the solution was divided into different parts according to the place, strategy and the policy of the retailer in the private label industry.
Firms can start with a specific module to manage product specification on a packaging project and progressively extend it to other modules to manage the global product life-cycle, said Auroi.
Trust in chain
Food manufacturers in private label are investing in a name that is not their own and it is a collaboration, he added.
“Manufacturers need a trustable retailer and the fact that the retailer is involved in solutions which will make possible to have full visibility of his product range is a guarantee for the manufacturer.”
Auroi said it was key to have solutions to quickly update information as products are changing every day in terms of price, regulation and other factors.
The cloud technology enables people to be connected to the same documents with validation features to ensure that things are transparent.
Private workspace, which is the capability for a manufacturer to have a space in the solution which is private, has been rolled out in Southern Europe and is being expanded to other business units.
The firm is also looking at the capability of the manufacturer to manage his own community to work in the same way with suppliers so answers are obtained quickly and raw materials, food safety and products are managed in the best way.