Rory Granros, PresidentTo offset slowing growth rates and increased margin pressures, process manufacturers, brand owners and retailers strive to innovate while dealing with increased regulatory, head count and CAPEX pressures. To do more with the same or less resources, increased end to end process digitization and collaboration is at the top of today’s manufacturers' or retailers' to-do list. A concept to shelf or customer Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) vision and strategy is critical in order to meet these business challenges. This is necessitating collaboration at almost every stage of development and commercialization—with customers and retailers, formulation and design house, third party testing and compliance groups, copackers and contract manufacturers, and suppliers and distributors. Oak Barrel
Software, headquartered at Westborough offers collaborative technical information processes for process manufacturers and retailers to seamlessly integrate partners into their product lifecycle backbones.
To meet FSMA, GSF1 or BRC mandates, Oak Barrel’s SpecXchange enables supplier and distributor compliance and risk management to be integrated with traditional specification collection. To achieve industry leading compliance and maximize supplier capabilities, companies are integrating
R&D and compliance processes with purchasing RFI, RFQ and contract processes and GMP supply chain specification and COA matching. Oak Barrel’s SpecSafe acts as a technical information portal for suppliers, sites, material and packaging supplier. It improves supplier productivity by entering data or attaching documents at a site or supplier level and reusing the information for any commodity. Spec-
Safe performs automated dunning, recertification and online transparency, eliminates the need to update tracking spreadsheets, make follow-up calls or send follow up emails. To improve agility without comprising compliance, Operational SpecXchange can start with first copacker request, through development and quoting, formal acceptance of specification and control to ongoing COA verifications to provide an end to end collaborative business processes with R&D, purchasing, compliance and quality with copackers.
The Oak Barrel solution system of engagement design and dynamic publishing eliminates traditional application boundary gap fillers.
Our PLM solutions seamlessly accelerate the delivery of innovative products with greater quality and improved cost competitiveness
With ability to extend PLM data with plant level recipes, packaging and labels, machine settings, quality data and visuals, CAPA, HACCP, grading requirements, storage and handing information, it eliminates the need for manual creation of 10 or more production or quality documents. The ability to collaboratively work in information of user’s format eliminates the need to learn a new system, reduces cycle time, and improves information accuracy. The plant level specification can update multiple downstream systems and is in human readable format for operations, quality, warehousing and compliance. “Our PLM solutions seamlessly accelerate the delivery of innovative products with greater quality and improved cost competitiveness,” says Granros.
TEINEX, another product of Oak Barrel helps information exchange along a network that includes suppliers, distributors, agents, copackers, tollers, and contract manufacturers. The product assists customers by mitigating issues of proprietary data formats and eliminating the need to re-enter data at each handoff—building a single source of the truth for all those who are part of the network.
In an instance, a food manufacturing company after employing the firm’s collaborative supplier processes significantly experienced reduced costs and cycle times. Oak Barrel helped the client become audit ready so that they could concentrate on strategic initiatives, rather than risks. “Since the compliance and product information needs are not static, most manufacturers are continually evolving their templates and business processes without customization,” remarks Granros.
Moving forward, Oak Barrel Software is planning to connect with more networks and close more gaps in the enterprise with additional collaborative business processes to their PLM product offerings. The firm is also planning to expand geographically and widen the scope of its offerings to the customers. “Our networked models for Technical Information will protect products from the farm to the consumer,” concludes Granros.