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SAP Enterprise Product Development (EPD) for Consumer Products:


After my introductory blog – “How your industry can benefit from digitalized R&D and maintenance with SAP Enterprise Product Development (EPD)”, I’d like to keep up the momentum, with this blog, which addresses how consumer products industry can benefit from the use of SAP Enterprise Product Development (EPD).


Consumer Products industry is undergoing a significant transition, with a strong focus on digitalization and sustainability. Typically, the industry emphasises to exceed the diverse expectations of consumers and enable your company to grow in an uncertain world sustainably and profitably.

Business Background:

Consumer Products companies are looking to maximize their revenue, satisfy the customer experience, reduce the R&D costs, and build more sustainable products. Strategic priorities for a Consumer Products manufacturer are:

  • Creating exceptional consumer experiences

  • Meeting shoppers’ needs throughout the entire consumer journey

  • Delivering valuable outcomes

  • Accelerating operational responsiveness

  • Achieve supply chain resilience

SAP Enterprise Product Development (EPD) for Consumer Products:

SAP EPD addresses some of the crucial strategic questions in R&D:

  • How can I digitize the product development process to increase the return-on-investment?

  • How can I curate product experiences and needs to develop consumer products that customers really need?

  • How can I manage the increasing product complexity across the extended enterprise?

  • How can I effectively track and manage continuous change together with my suppliers?

  • How can I establish innovative business models and have more predictability?

Use cases resolved by EPD:

Challenge 1: This sudden boom in e-commerce is stress-testing relationships across the consumer products ecosystem, exposing weaknesses in the supply chain, and highlighting the need for digital transformation.

Way out 1: A cohesive, flexible approach to management is one answer to these challenges. Consumer products executives must treat their web of relationships within and beyond the organizational firewall as a unified entity that operates smoothly, dynamically, and as part of a cohesive strategy.


Challenge 2: Creating exceptional consumer experiences with soaring demand for customized goods and services. Consumers increasingly want personalization with a purpose. That means services tailored to their individual wants and needs, with a demonstrable contribution to sustainability and social responsibility.

Way out 2: It’s time for consumer products companies to move beyond a unidirectional offering. Instead, companies must turn their attention to these consumers – understanding the gaps in their experience, anticipating their needs, and helping them achieve their desired results.


Challenge 3: Besides quality of product, world is moving towards conscious consumerism. Consumers are more conscious about the sustainability aspect.

Way out 3: Adapt packaging based on the season, location, or sustainability. Ensure that suppliers, development partners and contract manufacturers are informed correctly about seasonal, sustainability-related, or local packaging changes to avoid delays and re-work. Leading to higher consumer acceptance, as well as being able to achieve higher prices and positive branding in a consumer driven market. Even, helping organizations to leverage tax benefits and avoid fines.


Challenge 4: High yield demand due to a competitive market, and meeting market demand while avoiding unexpected plant outages and production line standstill.

Way out 4: Plant maintenance is important to avoid breakdowns, keep the plant in good working condition at a minimal cost and ensure safety. Including proactive and reactive monitoring, timely resolutions, etc.


Challenge 5: Lack of end-to-end visibility and collaboration in a multi-tier environment.

Way out 5: Address immediate consumer needs with responsive procurement by engaging approved partners for sourcing. Ensure product origins meet consumer expectations and the brand promise – transparent and sustainable sourcing achieved through Supplier Collaboration. Shorten lead times and reduce inventory by directly connecting suppliers and co-manufacturers.


Challenge 6: Consumer Products shall meet international standards in the globalized era. Complying with modern environmental standards is essential.

Way out 6: Product Verification & Validation enable product teams to test the product physically and virtually against specific requirements and standards.

Let me tell you about some of our customers’ success stories: 

One of the customer’s scenario:

In line with their ambition to improve the well-being of 2 billion people every day by 2030, they looked to align their product development that enables them to:

  • Faster time to market

  • Reduced cost of new product development

  • Improved operational efficiency

Why EPD?

  • Ensure a systematic approach to requirements management

  • Enabling supplier collaboration

  • Ensure design traceability and product compliance

Another customer’s scenario:

In line with their ambition to continually strive to improve their farm to fork process. SAP is an essential strategic component of the customer’s future digital platform, that will enable them to achieve:

  • Faster time to market

  • More sustainable services and products for their end consumers

  • Improved customer satisfaction

Why EPD?

  • Collaborate with suppliers on documents and contracts in a process driven way to streamline information exchange

  • Collaborate with suppliers on specifications for processed meats and byproducts, ensuring regulatory compliance, and maintaining a single source of truth



To conclude:

Finally, here are some reasons why consumer products companies should embark on the digital transformation journey:

  • To increase the return-on-investment by digitalizing the product development process

  • To curate the product experience by incorporating the needs of the customers and sustainability requirements

  • To collaborate efficiently across the extended enterprise and manage changes effectively

  • To achieve high yields to meet market demand, all while at the same time minimizing maintenance cost and effort

Further details:

You can:

  1. Know about the upcoming innovations in the SAP Roadmap Explorer

  2. Influence the roadmap by creating an improvement request via the Continuous Influence 

  3. Post questions about SAP Enterprise Product Development

  4. Read other posts on SAP Enterprise Product Development

About the Author:

Ayan Pandey works for the Customer Office in the Cloud Acceleration Team within PLM & Engineering, as a Solution Advisor. His experience ranges from product development to business development.