CSM Bakery Reduces Time-toMarket with Planview Enterprise and Stage-Gate Automation

About CSM Bakery

Formed in 2010, CSM Bakery Solutions is a global producer and B2B distributor of bakery supplies, with 36 manufacturing sites and 25 distribution centers around the world. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the company was recently purchased by Rhone Capital to improve revenue and margin and implement a strategic transformation of CSM by driving innovation. With more than $2 billion in revenue, CSM Bakery Solutions has nearly 10,000 employees.

The Challenge: Reduce Time-to-Market to Meet Customer Demand

Based on a customer survey, CSM Bakery discovered it needed to accelerate its product development cycle so customers could receive innovative products faster. In order to achieve this, CSM needed to tighten its commercialization process, balance its product portfolio across stage gates, create greater visibility, improve forecasting accuracy, and enhance communications across functional areas.

This would prove challenging given the lack of standardized tools needed to facilitate this type of change. Compounding the challenge were the numerous databases and manual spreadsheets, making it virtually impossible to determine which ones had the highest probability of success and how many projects required attention.

“Not only did we need the right technology to optimize our business process,” said Claudette Cress, Senior Project Manager at CSM Bakery. “But we had to look at our company culture, job structure, and resources to find the missing infrastructure that would best support the process.”

The Solution: Implement Planview Portfolios and Stage-Gate for Improved Visibility, Efficiency, and Product Management

CSM Bakery and its consultants chose Planview Portfolios® because of its ease of use and its ability to help the company speed project execution for improved customer satisfaction. Planview was able to prove that its portfolio management solution could provide the single source of truth required to optimize CSM’s innovation program.

“The key to our success was having upper management own the process and actively lead the Planview Portfolios implementation,” said Cress.

How CSM Manages Product Innovation

CSM Bakery sets timeframe goals for each stage with the goal of the entire process taking 45 days. Customers are an integral part of the development process and any approval delays on their end are documented in Planview Portfolios to justify longer development time.

A project begins with a customer request directly entered into Planview Portfolios by the CSM Bakery salesperson. Leveraging product lifecycle management, the product proceeds through the development phases using the StageGate® methodology. Capacity, both human and non human resources and production lines, are constantly monitored to balance utilization. It was important to Cress and her team to establish clear roles and responsibilities that can be shared throughout the organization. “With clear accountabilities and responsibilities, category teams are empowered to make their own decisions based on project scorecards and pre-defined guidelines from management, helping us reduce bottlenecks in the decision process,” said Cress.

Planview Enterprise provides the visibility needed to monitor projects in the pipeline and identify potential bottlenecks (project or resource) early in the development cycle. Upper management leverages customized reports generated in Planview Enterprise to make critical business decisions, like budget, resource, and financial assessments. CSM Bakery leverages a wide range of additional functionality including automatic email and system notifications and repeatable workflows. “Planview Enterprise gives us a way to capture, track, and report accurate and accessible data,” said Cress. “This information is updated real-time throughout the project lifecycle to give all team members insight into the project’s quality, progression, and success.”

“The not-so-secret ingredient to our success in overhauling our business process to reduce average time-tomarket by 70% was implementing Planview Enterprise Product Portfolio Management.”

– Claudette Cress, Senior Project Manager, CSM Bakery

The Benefits: Shorter Lifecycle Time, Improved Visibility, and Process Efficiency

“With Planview Portfolios, we can see exactly how many projects are in the system and assigned to project managers and where they are in the development cycle,” said Cress. The visibility gained has enabled CSM Bakery to significantly improve its product development process from start to finish. Since the implementation of Planview Portfolios, time-tomarket on average decreased from 150 days to only 45 days because project portfolio management gives CSM Bakery a systematic way to:

  • Give upper management reliable data to base its decisions
  • Score prioritization of projects to reduce workloads and the number of projects in the funnel
  • Automate Stage-Gate processes to establish goals linked to the timeline
  • Define clear accountabilities and responsibilities, cutting red tape, and empowering teams
  • Encourage partnership communication with the customer and include R&D early in the process
  • Capture disparate data into a centralized location accessible to all stakeholders
  • Include customer approval of prototypes for improved customer satisfaction
  • Share customized reports, track probability of success and cost

CSM plans for continual improvement by modifying its project prioritization scoring matrix, applying escalation rules to encourage timely responses, and utilizing additional reporting capabilities.

To learn more about what Planview® solutions can do for your organization, visit Planview.com.