Infor has announced the latest release of Infor PLM Optiva, a Product
Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution for process manufacturers and retailers
with private label products.

Enhancements in the new release improve formula development, including
editing, strengthen performance modelling and production simulation, provide
greater flexibility and data analysis capabilities, enhance testing, and
streamline quality and product label management processes.
Jane Thomson, MD of Softworx, an EOH company and distributor of Infor in
Sub-Saharan Africa, says that innovation through new product development,
wringing costs out of manufacturing and supply chains and the long-term
evolution of core product brands are critical issues facing process
manufacturers. To help navigate these business challenges, many enhancements
to Infor PLM Optiva are designed to accelerate innovation while elevating
quality, lowering costs and managing global compliance demands.
"A new Advanced Formula Editor, a key enhancement to Infor PLM Optiva,
enables manufacturers to visually model multiple formulas and versions,
rapidly assess ideal iterations and identify associated risks. Developers
can also quickly generate a series of formulas and simulate the
corresponding impact, which can reduce the cycle of trial and error linked
with traditional formula development."
This functionality can provide significant cost savings and decrease the
time required to bring new products to market while enhancing product
quality. The new editor also enables the creation of sub-formulas, such as
for flavour mixes, which helps to improve batch quality and consistency and
protects intellectual property when outsourcing manufacturing.
New formula management capabilities have also been added to the Testing
module, which can minimise errors and increase product safety.
A Gartner analyst stated in a February 2008 research note that: "PLM for
process manufacturers provides a competitive edge in global markets. Process
manufacturers are driven to invest, because most of their products are
viewed as commodities under severe price pressure. Therefore, they must
develop new products that command greater margins, while simultaneously
reducing costs through greater efficiency, particularly for their flagship
commodity products.
"They recognise that PLM enables them to manage recipes and formulations
more efficiently, while simultaneously addressing regulatory issues and
making supply chain collaboration more efficient in multiple markets."
Infor PLM Optiva now provides an enhanced Analysis module to simulate
product design in manufacturing, which can help identify areas of potential
concern earlier and minimise the time needed to make corrections or
implement expensive fixes later in the supply chain.
For example, a soup manufacturer could review its existing formulation and
determine what impact a low sodium version would have on cost and quality.
The Analysis module also provides insight into production costs,
capabilities and yields, helping companies generate a more accurate analysis
of business performance.
The expanded analytical capabilities can also significantly increase a
manufacturer's ability to substantiate claims made on product labels,
further reducing costs and increasing regulatory compliance.
Other compliance-related enhancements come through greater integration of
the Intelligent Authoring application from Atrion International, a provider
of product compliance solutions for multi-national companies. This
capability will help streamline regulatory-focused product analysis and can
automate the creation of globally compliant, multi-language documents,
minimising compliance expenses and compliance backlogs associated with
increased product launches and regulations.
Additionally, a new Label Development module increases label accuracy and
streamlines the creation of product labels, based on formula calculations,
testing and analysis. This enhanced label management ability, incorporating
multiple formulas or SKUs, can help manufacturers reduce lead times, costs
and the complexity of label administration.