The Changing World of Consumer Products

The only constant in manufacturing is change. That couldn’t be truer than for Consumer Products and Food & Beverage manufacturers. I have spent the better part of 30 years in these industries and for the last five I have been the marketing lead for QAD’s Consumer Products and Food & Beverage industries. With what I have observed through speaking with customers, talking with industry experts and countless hours of research, I believe the industry has changed more in this time than in the previous 25 years. The market is entirely different, and the companies that embrace and manage change will be the ones to succeed.

It’s a New World for Consumer Products Manufacturers

Consumers today are vastly different from those of 20 years ago or even five years ago. Consumers are driving CPG manufacturers crazy. Technology, social media, peer pressures, environmental factors and a rejuvenated burst of individualism has made the consumer difficult to please. They want the newest and healthiest products, perfectly customized, fat free, sugar free and, they want it yesterday, with free shipping to boot! Combine all that with the recent regulations, such as new label rules and cradle to grave traceability requirements that need to be managed through an expanded international value chain, and you have the makings of a nightmare. What is a manufacturer to do?

It’s Time for Manufacturers to Change

Manufacturers need to change. People, processes and systems must be synchronized to maintain profitability and provide the high level of quality products and customer service today’s market demands. The companies that will succeed tomorrow are the companies that are making changes to their processes, however, it’s not easy to make changes when your effort and time is spent just getting through the rigors of each day. The good news is, you have company.

Don’t Go It Alone: Crowdsource

As you are evolving your business to meet today’s changing world, you might have come up with an astonishing idea or process that can make things easier. Better yet, someone from another company might have already solved the problem and would love nothing more than to share it with you. Collaboration with colleagues and fellow industry leaders can be extremely eye opening and rewarding. You might just get an answer to a critical question to help your organization take that next step in adapting to change. The key is to meet with people who are facing the same issues as you and using similar business tools. QAD’s Explore customer conference is a great place to make those connections and learn from your peers.

Explore the Future with Your Colleagues

Explore 2017 is being held in the Motor City, Detroit, but the event is not just for gear heads, as they are called in here in Michigan. This year’s agenda is packed with exciting sessions for all customers, especially those in Consumer Products and Food & Beverage industries. There are a number of sessions that are featuring customer success stories that are a must see for all.

We’ll begin Tuesday afternoon with the CP and F&B kickoff session which will highlight key industry issues in the market and how QAD can assist customers to become Effective Enterprises.  

Later Tuesday, customers Comvita and Freedom Foods will be involved in a panel discussion that will focus on how upgrading to the cloud and becoming early adopters of Channel Islands have benefited their organizations.

Wednesday afternoon features a session on the challenges and outcomes of implementing Demand Planning. F&B customer Wander AG will join the presentation to discuss how Demand Planning is working in their business.

Check out the Explore Agenda for more information on general sessions as well as the other breakouts, training classes, demos and networking activities. I hope to see you there!