Teamwork used to mean getting everyone “on the same page.” Today, however, it’s more a case of getting everyone on the same computer screen.
Perhaps there’s no more complex team challenge than new product development. That’s why streamlining and improving the new product process became an important step at JMH Premium, a Park City, Utah, maker of flavor bases, gravies, marinades and sauce concentrates, dressing mixes and seasoning blends.
Charles W. Hayes, CEC CRC, vice president of culinary innovation, says JMH had been using manual spread sheets to manage and track all facets of new product development. That was before he discovered Flavor Studio, a unique software program from Senspire LLC, Walnut Creek, Calif.
“Several years ago, I had heard about Flavor Studio through the Research Chefs Association. Then, I saw the program demonstrated on a trade show floor in Chicago,” says Hayes. “We tried it because it solved multiple issues and challenges we faced in keeping formulas updated—as well as our need for communicating across channels within JMH.”
Senspire says Flavor Studio started as a flavor predicting algorithm and has evolved into an entire suite of solutions for every stage of the development life cycle—from ideation to commercialization. Meanwhile, its secure, cloud-based nature ensures that users have access to their work 24/7.
Founder and President Gregory Willis says users gravitate towards a “Recipes” module, which helps users keep track of their formulas—and leave disparate spreadsheets behind. Costing, nutritional analysis, yield adjustments, version tracking are just a few of the features in the Recipes module. Moreover, a “Taste Test” module lets companies collect objective metrics to guide the development of a new product and facilitate rapid prototyping. Everything is seamlessly integrated to make collaboration easier.
“We began using Flavor Studio to manage our R&D Projects,” Hayes notes. “Once it became clear that we needed more from the system, Senspire created a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) portion customized for our needs. And the CRM tool is amazing. We can tie [sales] calls back to projects. It spans the lifecycle of a product—from concept to launch and all the iterations in between. We’ve just added a sample requisition piece to our platform. All these things create speed of service and total visibility companywide.”
Hayes adds, “Here is the great thing about Senspire. Flavor Studio is completely customizable to fit your needs. The next best thing about it is that there is no software to buy. We rent ‘seats’ on a monthly basis.”
Willis adds that food and beverage processors can create FDA compliant nutritional labels directly in Flavor Studio.
“Then once someone takes a closer look at Flavor Studio, they realize that there is so much there beyond just nutritional labels,” says Willis. “JMH is the perfect example of a forward thinking company that realized how much more effective their entire organization could be by making the commitment to interact on the platform.”
For his part, Hayes couldn’t agree more.
“Now we have complete visibility within our business—from R&D projects to pipeline and even sales activity—it has made JMH a better company,” he says.
Originally appeared in the August, 2016 issue of Prepared Foods as On Cloud Nine: Cloud-Based R&D Solution Helps Processor.