What if you are faced with a world leading wine and distillery company with operating profits of a billion pounds and a requirement to specify and manage a reliable product data management system (PDM)? This was the task assigned to Inso using SherpaWorks software for United Distillers & Vintners (UDV).
SherpaWorks provides product management capabilities across the business and is a Web-enabled application that integrates into legacy enterprise resource planning and engineering systems.
UDV are using the technology to manage the lifecycle of its entire product portfolio, which includes brands such as Johnnie Walker, Gordon’s, Baileys and Malibu.
So why implement a PDM system? Previously, product data was scattered around the organisation in islands of information. Poor quality and inaccessible data resulted in delays.
The lack of continuity was part of the rationale which led the company to look at how it managed product development. Bryce Redford, development manager, comments: “This was a major cultural shift and pulled together all change activity in the company and formalised the process, rather than it being a `Friday afternoon job'”.
With a brand focused business there is intense activity to support changing markets and regulatory requirements. The technology is being used for the first time in the high volume spirits and wines industry, rather than its traditional customer base of high product complexity and low volumes, such as the aerospace industry.
By delivering a system that is now planned to be the repository of the company’s entire product related data worldwide, UDV estimate that PDM has greatly contributed to the reduction in product change cycle times.
“Our complexity is in how we manage the product lifecycle. Our aim is to service the consumer consistently, reliably and effectively so we do not have two packaging variations of the same product on the shelf at the same time,” said Redford.
Inso Tel: 0181 947 1122