Having worked in the FMCG sector for 15 years – in both retail and manufacturing – we founded VYPR to close a huge product intelligence void in the industry. For those people charged with bringing new and revised products to market, there is a tangible lack of intelligence to give them a deep understanding of what impact those products might have when they launch, as well as what they can do to improve those products’ chances before they launch. Scarily, the vast majority of manufacturing clients that we talk to at VYPR have no clear idea on what their ROI is when it comes to innovation. Many CEOs of the companies we work with think at best it’s neutral. At worst, they are making substantial losses when they factor in all the costs required to get these new products on shelf. So, what can we do right now to change this?
 
We believe that the FMCG sector can learn a lot from how technology companies bring their software products to market. The tech sector has embraced Lean: a ruthless view on eliminating ‘waste’ throughout the development cycle. ‘Waste’ in this context means anything that doesn’t add incremental value back to the consumer. The first challenge we in FMCG have is identifying that waste. If you look at any of the products you’ve got in development at the moment, can you honestly and accurately say what it is about each individual product proposition that is going to add new, incremental value to the consumer? As an industry, we are working blind and something is urgently needed to quantify and improve our understanding.
 
The first thing we need is a tool to identify ‘waste’.
The second thing we need is a metric to monitor and manage products through the development cycle; holding them to account.
 
In software circles, this is referred to as Acceptability Testing: a daily or weekly cycle of tests to ensure that the products in development will perform above the level of added value required when they launch. Just think of the implications if you and your development teams could accurately predict what impact innovation would have when it hit the shelf? The benefits would surely be transformational.
 
Here at VYPR, we are working hard to solve those 2 challenges through technology and we’re pretty close. To find out what we’re working on and share your thoughts on how we can solve this together, we’d love to hear from you. We can’t close the product intelligence void alone; we can only solve it in partnership with manufacturers and retailers.
 
Ben Davies,
Founder & CEO
 

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