Consumer Packaged Goods & RetailJune 22, 2022

3DS technology and investments are shaping the consumer products industry

Technology is needed more than ever as the consumer products industry reinvents its portfolios and business models for consumers who want products that are ‘good for me’ and ‘good for the planet’.
Avatar Annabelle Grauer

What do COVID-19 vaccines have to do with a jar of skin cream?  What does a BOEING 777 have to do with the latest flavor from a juice brand?  What does the rail system in Italy have to do with a shopper in the U.K. ordering paper towels online for home delivery? 

The answer: these are all examples of adapting technology that’s been successfully used in one industry for extremely powerful applications to help transform in consumer products industry. 

The consumer products industry is a major beneficiary of cross-fertilization of technological capabilities.

Leveraging industry knowledge across sectors has been a core strength of Dassault Systèmes for many years. Our company was founded in 1981 to initially serve the Aerospace industry, and it was quickly realized that the transportation & mobility industry could also benefit from our initial technology for 3D design. As we enhanced our portfolio with a much wider range of solutions for different job roles, it became clear that experience in one industry is invaluable when expanding into new sectors. The consumer products industry is a major beneficiary of this cross-fertilization of technological capabilities.

“As an example, we provide Perfect Package, a powerful packaging design and testing solution so our clients can accelerate sustainable packaging solutions.  The solution is based off of software traditionally used for simulating automotive and aerospace performance testing.  We simply re-imagined and re-engineered it,” said Philippe Loeb, our VP of Consumer Industry Solutions, in a recent interview.  “Now Perfect Package is a top solution for consumer product packaging testing, a critical element in the innovation process for brand manufacturers, whether you’re a global food & beverage company or a packaging supplier working on sustainable innovations.”

Similarly, as more and more manufacturers leverage AI and Machine Learning for continuous improvement, it became evident the processes and functions of production facilities can be leveraged across industries. It doesn’t matter if you’re manufacturing cars on an assembly line or cosmetics in batches; the experience of the production-focused capabilities now part of our Perfect Production solution for consumer product companies can help.  

Not only do we apply approaches from our legacy brands’ in other industries, but as we invest in new aspects of our technology portfolio we discover even more opportunities that benefit the consumer industry. A great example comes from our 2019 acquisition of MEDIDATA. MEDIDATA’s clinical-trial software for medical device and pharmaceutical companies was instrumental in helping develop and deliver safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines within a year.  But this powerful software is now helping our consumer clients, such as global beauty companies and some of the world’s largest food companies, run clinical and nutritional trials. 

Turn the news on and you’ll certainly hear about supply chain disruptions for consumer products; maybe you’re even personally affected by delays in home deliveries.  Thanks to a 2014 acquisition of supply chain and planning optimizing solutions, we offer our CPG clients the means to devise the most efficient plan for goods travelling between warehouses and retail stores.  And, in an era where home delivery is skyrocketing, the solution – now integrated into our DELMIA brand – has been re-engineered to optimize home delivery. For an industry under constant pressure to lower its carbon footprint and save on fuel costs, the Perfect Logistics solution has been the right fit for some of the largest retailers on the globe. 

Today’s economic opportunities are leading to mergers between companies in different industries, such as consumer products and life sciences.  This means that more and more, the needs for laboratory solutions at a pharmaceutical company and for a cosmetics company look increasingly similar; in other words: “A lab is a lab is a lab.” So regardless of the industry it’s serving, the needs of labs, formulators and researchers are becoming global. This is why investments like we made into formulation and laboratory capabilities are so critical, since core solutions can be quickly tailored to help design a new blend of motor oil, or a new organic juice, or a new cholesterol-fighting drug. The process is all the same.

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Some of our most recent acquisitions – CentricPLM and Proxem – add powerful capabilities for our consumer product customers. CentricPLM solutions help retailers, food manufacturers and fashion companies to manage product lines much more efficiently.  Proxem brings AI-powered text analytics software to the consumer products industry. Imagine being able to mine text in 25 different languages, helping to execute smart data categorization, run sentiment analysis and enhance chatbot capabilities, while also generating visual data models and reports to help decision-making for brand leaders.

It’s an exciting time in the consumer products industries. Technology is needed more than ever as the industry reinvents their portfolios and business models for consumers who want products that are ‘good for me’ and ‘good for the planet’. With continuous technological advancements and acquisitions, Dassault Systemes is well positioned to help consumer products leaders usher in a new era of product innovation, efficiency and sustainability.

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