How to Develop a Unified Multi-Brand Strategy With Specification Data Management

Posted on 
June 15, 2021
Adam Armstrong
VP, Customer Success

What do massive brands like Unilever, Nestlé, and even Adobe all have in common?

They’re multi-brand companies.

But expanding your company’s brand portfolio is no walk in the park. It takes high levels of supply chain communication, a robust tech stack, and visibility into operations. Unfortunately, most supply chain teams don’t have the tools they need to effectively manage and optimize their multi-brand strategy, resulting in data silos, wasted resources, and difficulty improving operations.

Let’s take a deep dive in what a multi-brand strategy is and how Specification Management is enabling companies to scale their supply chains while adding more SKUs.

What is a Multi-Brand Strategy?

A multi-brand business strategy is when a company has several brands under their own brand names with different products in each portfolio. For example, Unilever is the parent brand to brands such as Dove, Lipton, and Ben & Jerry’s.

There’s many benefits to owning different brands. A multi-brand strategy enables companies to take advantage of more market share and opportunities by better segmenting and catering to specific audiences through differentiation. A multi-brand strategy gives brand switchers more options. Luxury parent brands are able to create more affordable offerings; companies can get into completely new markets, all without risking their reputation or cannibalization of their other brands.

But with great shelf space comes great responsibility, and most multi-brand companies struggle to unite operations and to optimize their business with operations.

Challenges Multi-Brand Companies Face and How Specification Management Can Help

Multi-brand companies often operate each brand independently, creating major silos across the supply chain. While it’s true that each brand caters to different target audiences and has its own unique brand equity, unting operations and leveraging the collective supply chain network can drive efficiencies.

The supply chain is highly interconnected, we see it all the time here at Specright. Brands share suppliers, unbeknownst to them, even when they have the same parent company. And instead of joining forces and reaping the benefits of a networked supply chain (think better pricing through bulk ordering, resilience during disruption and more efficient processes surrounding new brand or new product rollout), this data remains siloed.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

At Specright, we built the first purpose-built software for Specification Management to provide companies with a digitized, unified view of key supply chain data – and the ability to share and collaborate on this critical data in realtime.

Read on to find out how Specright helped Colgate-Palmolive with their multi-brand strategy.

Case Study: How Colgate-Palmolive Used Specright to Unify Manufacturing Operations Across Brands

Colgate-Palmolive is a global company with 4 divisions: oral care, home care, personal care, and pet nutrition. The company supplies products to over 200 countries and territories and has 40+ manufacturing facilities worldwide, each with their own team of engineers. Without a common platform, Colgate’s engineers didn’t have the ability to see what others were doing in different facilities or countries.

With Specright, Colgate’s engineers have a single source of truth for machinery and equipment specifications, in addition to a global equipment inventory. If an engineer is looking for a piece of equipment but doesn’t know exactly what’s out there, they can see what assets are available or quickly find a similar machine at another plant. The team is focused on increasing the Asset Utilization of new equipment and reducing the learning and startup curve.

With Specright, the team can hit the ground running faster, which impacts the top and bottom line of the business. It’s also increased collaboration and technical knowledge of engineers around the globe, which has led to best practice sharing and opened the lines of communication both internally and with suppliers.

To hear more about how Colgate-Palmolive took control of their global supply chain via machinery specification, download the full case study here.

Driving Intelligent New Product Development in a Multi-Brand World

So how can you operate effectively as you add products to grab market share?

The key is to take a data-driven approach to managing product data. When companies digitize their product data across brands, new product development professionals can easily search for an existing component or finished good during the ideation stage.

This is where product development processes are failing us today. Companies are great at managing everything that comes after ideation with PLMs. But truth be told, there’s so much valuable data lost without processes and systems in place to capture product development, end to end. Without a complete view of the product development process, we lose data on undeveloped ideas, risk speed to market, and impede innovation.

Enter Specright’s Specification Management platform, designed to capture the granular data that goes into a product. Worried about cannibalization of your other brands by releasing products without enough differentiation? Imagine a world where you can see data on products from all the different brands under your parent company. Specright enables more collaborative and streamlined development processes, as well as optimization of the data that goes into a PLM and other systems.

Integrating Specification Management Into Your Tech Stack For Supply Chain Unity

So, now what?

Many multi-brand businesses are trying to understand how they should integrate technology across their organization, especially when data is all over the place and each brand’s operations are siloed. Current software solutions were designed to focus on singular processes, not how data flows throughout the supply chain ecosystem. That’s why companies are turning to Specification Management to fill critical gaps and break down data silos.

Specright’s Specification Management platform can integrate with other critical systems like ERPs, Inventory Management, Accounting Systems, and more to drive visibility and better business decision making across the enterprise. To become efficient, data must be able to flow through the supply chain, end to end. With a spec-first approach, Specright links other systems while functioning as the single source of truth for data. For example, a finished good spec may have data from your PLM, ERP, and Quality Assurance system, all linked to the same central specification.

Say goodbye to wondering what other plants are doing, which suppliers brands are using, and searching for data and hello to Specright. It’s time to become a market leader, and we have the technology to help you do it.

To learn more about Specification Management and its impact on multi-brand companies, check out our latest eBook or schedule a demo today.​


Adam Armstrong

As the VP of Customer Success at Specright, Adam has spent 8 years working directly with manufacturing, consumer goods, and supply chain leaders to drive a spec-first approach to managing packaging and product data. Adam serves as an adjunct professor for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's Masters in Packaging Value Chain program, and he previously worked in digital strategy and analytics for the National Football League and Brand Affinity Technologies. Adam holds a BA and MBA from the University of California Los Angeles.

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