A computer program helps R&D teams communicate easily, determine project goals, set up product testing and design the packaging.
The challenge of developing successful new products takes place in an ever-accelerating world of global marketing. Teams from far-flung company facilities must communicate huge amounts of information. Time can be lost in meetings, and important facts can languish in files.

Computer software from Selerant Corp. (Brooklyn, N.Y.) streamlines the development process and expedites communication among all departments. The international company, with headquarters in Milan, Italy, recently introduced its DevEx® web-based software product. DevEx is the latest advance on the Windows-based WinChem software. The programs are tailored specifically for formula-based work.

The software allows food, beverage and flavor developers to maintain a highly organized development project from start to finish.

Filtering Concepts

“The web-based version is more intuitive, has more features and offers better collaboration,” explains Sunil Thomas, marketing manager. “The software can reduce development cycle time by 50-60%. It helps people understand the parameters right in the beginning, and the entire project is managed by software.”

R&D works with the sales and marketing, manufacturing and regulatory departments in an integrated process that captures all the knowledge generated in product development and gives workers a way to understand the process. Product lifecycle management (PLM) technology helps right at the beginning by filtering through ideas and concepts to identify the most promising.

The program streamlines formulation efforts by linking the benchtop to regulatory knowledge, allowing developers to access regulatory data on ingredients as they formulate a product. Global regulatory data on food ingredients is constantly updated so that a product is in compliance from the beginning and throughout the process. Templates for documentation are available in 200 languages, and the system distributes the necessary information to team members.

Tracking Samples

Furthermore, it has a module to create batch formulations for pilot plant scale-up. Its product data management system can generate nutrition labels and ingredient statements. It also has modules for quality assurance testing and package design specifications. Communication extends to customers and suppliers, with methods of tracking samples.

A project template provides defined tasks and objectives from best of breed practices and past successful formula development. Tools are provided for resource planning and allocation, as well as task lists and project milestones. Throughout the development process, business analysts can track the health of the project through risk assessment, project status, performance indicators and cost analysis. All team members can access project information in real time and provide feedback through instant messages, e-mail alerts and forum history.

Selerant's staff of 80 people, with 300 person-years of experience among them, serves 600 customers around the world with expertise and technical support. The ISO 9001-certified company has offices in Milan; Barcelona; Frankfurt; Brooklyn, N.Y.; and an office in Singapore is scheduled to open at the end of the year.

For more information:
Sunil Thomas at 718-260-8037
www.selerant.com Write in 402