Software from P&G

MatrixOne to market technical specifications management app for CPG, pharma industries

Westford, MA  June 27, 2002  Software company MatrixOne is set to bring to market an application developed within consumer packaged goods giant Procter & Gamble for technical specifications management in the CPG and pharmaceuticals industries

Based on MatrixOne's eMatrix product collaboration platform, P&G created an application that combines work processes and an information system for managing the creation, review, approval, distribution and storage in a single database of all technical specifications necessary to run a CPG manufacturing enterprise.

With technical specification management work processes enabled by this application, P&G has already realized cost savings totaling hundreds of millions of dollars in addition to time-to-market and quality improvements, according to P&G Chief Information Officer Steve David.

MatrixOne will bring to market this technical specifications management application as a packaged product intended to help other CPG companies, as well as pharmaceuticals firms, to streamline their technical specifications processes.

P&G has been working with MatrixOne to improve its product development processes since 1997. In a teleconference to discuss the agreement between the two companies, David said his company was licensing the application to MatrixOne in order to reduce or eliminate P&G's costs to develop and support the application in-house. "We here at P&G just don't want to be in the software business," David said. In addition, P&G will be looking to MatrixOne to bring functionality to future upgrades of the application based on their experience in the broader market.

The two companies did not disclose the terms of the licensing agreement.

In the CPG industry, a fundamental process begins with the creation of a technical specification for a product or a material in a product. These "specs" may also apply to packaging, test methods, processing methods, country of sale clearances, supplier approvals and other operating procedures. The specification is then routed for peer review, revised based on those comments and input, and then formally approved.

This process requires significant effort and time, particularly in global CPG businesses, where specifications are more complex than in many other industries. The specifications must take into account combinations of raw materials and formulas that have a wide array of aesthetic variations; promotional pack components and assemblies; differing regulatory and safety limitations and approvals of test methods, processing methods and suppliers across multiple countries.

MatrixOne will provide a packaged application to manage this process and automatically enter these completed specifications into a database that can be readily accessed by anyone in an organization who needs them. The advantages of this system, the software company said, are that specifications can be reused, rework can be eliminated, costs and time-to-market can be reduced and quality can be improved.

The two companies said the technical specifications management application enables research and development scientists, engineers, manufacturing and purchasing managers, marketers and others throughout a company, as well as their suppliers, to locate and reapply approved specifications, resulting in reductions in material costs and time for product development and improved quality.

P&G, based in Cincinnati, invests nearly $2 billion a year to develop and improve its products. The company markets some 250 brands in 140 countries.