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1/10/2005
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PLM Software Helps Serve Up Cans Of Spam

Hormel Foods is using Formation Systems' Optiva software suite to create a single repository for product data and meet federal compliance laws. The software will be rolled out in phases during the next two years.

Hormel Foods Corp. is using Formation Systems Inc.'s Optiva software suite to create a single repository for product data generated by the company's legacy systems. The software will also help Hormel meet federal compliance laws.

Hormel is a multinational manufacturer of meat and food products such as Spam, Hormel deli meats, Chi-Chi's salsa, and Dinty Moore stew, and the main challenge for the company is bringing all of the fragmented data together held in disparate systems into one single location, says Mark Roberts, corporate manager of technology services and regulatory affairs at Hormel. "Another [challenge] is coordinating standards between divisions and departments regarding categorization of data so that the systems can converse seamlessly with one another to provide real-time informational benefits," Roberts says.

Hormel needed software that would help the company create "a single version of the truth" for all product and formula information. As a global company, it also needed software that would ensure enterprisewide compliance with multinational regulatory, labeling, and nutritional requirements, says Dennis Schminke, senior business analyst of IT at Hormel Foods.

Formation Systems' product-life-cycle-management software has been able to offer both, Schminke says. Using Optiva, Hormel will consolidate material data from multiple operating units into a global database. Optiva will also automate the creation of label content and specifications and will help Hormel create reports required by the Food Safety and Inspection Service and meet compliance laws, such as the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act.

Additionally, Hormel hopes to speed up product development using Optiva's electronically managed workflows, Schminke says. Optiva integrates stage gate processes and workflows with authoring tools to automate workflow processes, says Rory Granros, VP of product management at Formation Systems.

The food manufacturer conducted a pilot implementation of Optiva during the summer of 2004 and is working on full company deployment, which will occur in several phases during the next two years.

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