The Silicon Review
“Our goal was to consolidate all the features developed in the previous years into a standardized solution, affordable to a greater number of companies that eventually share numerous challenges.”
Food and beverage manufacturers and retailers compete on an ever-changing market where consumers’ craze shift from activated charcoal to “CBD-infused” in months and where regulations are updated or added every day. In this context, simultaneously satisfying the consumers’ demand, complying with safety, packaging and labeling regulatory requirements, and staying ahead of the competition represents a significant challenge. However, in the data-driven era we all entered a few years ago, efficient problem-solving solutions exist.
Lascom is a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software publisher providing such a solution. Through its extensive knowledge of the market, the company has developed a fully integrated, cost-effective solution helping businesses to manage new product development (NPD) projects, from idea generation to launch. Lascom offers user-friendly, flexible, and scalable PLM software with speed and agility, enabling businesses to be more competitive in the marketplace and face all NPD challenges such as reducing time-to-market and complying with country-specific regulations.
The company is headquartered in Paris, France.
In Conversation with Ouarda HAMADI, Lascom Solutions COO
Q. What was the reason behind the genesis of Lascom? How did Lascom expand its offerings over the years?
Lascom was created in 1989 and focused on answering document management needs of complex industries in its early years: petrochemistry, aerospace, defense, architecture, engineering, construction, etc. We quickly specialized in solving PLM – or Technical Data Management like it was called at the time – challenges as it became critical for our clients and was the logical next step for our software’s functional scope. Through this, we progressively built truly comprehensive software providing a holistic vision of product development.
We signed our first food and beverage customer in 2009 and despite the ongoing crisis and our peers’ skepticism, we firmly believed in the CPG industry’s potential. In 2012, we sold our non-PLM-focused technologies, such as CAD (Computer Assisted Design). In 2016, we sold our AEC (Architecture, Engineering & Construction) activity to complete our transition into a pure CPG player.
Q. Tell us about the current F&B industry landscape, and how does Lascom manage to navigate through the fierce competition of IT suppliers?
We have been working in the CPG industries for 10 years and have now a good understanding of their day-to-day preoccupations and what their business consists of. Our challenge was to build a solution/offer couple that suits the modern end-users – part of which is digital native and most of which became digital mature – and that is aligned with organizational, structural, economic and prospective requirements of our clients.
Our goal was to consolidate all the features developed in the previous years into a standardized solution, affordable to a greater number of companies that eventually share numerous challenges. We can now proudly claim to be one of the first PLM suppliers offering an out-of-the-box, scalable, project-efficient and cloud-based PLM solutions for the food and beverage industry.
Q. What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it?
During our first years in the CPG industry, the software already showed great capabilities but required a lot of configuration to be aligned with our customers’ expectations and business requirements regarding formulation, regulatory compliance, and other NPD challenges. However, its strong flexibility allowed us to adapt the features to each customer and was a key element of the transition into the CPG world.
We’ve spent years solving the challenge of making technical answers meet business expectations. Through hard work and numerous implementation projects we built a robust expertise on the very specific segment of “processed products with a critical time-to-market”. I’d say our ability to make technical and business worlds meet is worth to learn from.
Q. Can you explain to us about your products/services in brief?
Lascom develops and maintains its PLM software dedicated to the food industry: Lascom Lime. It also includes all professional implementation services to properly support our customers: scoping, configuration, training, support, and maintenance.
To meet the expectations of each customer, Lascom proposes different offers:
Essential is for companies that need a centralized product repository, to structure data and documents and to easily manage product specifications.
Corporate is for companies that want to lead product development supported by a packaged solution including features dedicated to each department.
Premium is for companies expressing unique product development needs that require tailored customization of the solution.
Do you have any new products ready to be rolled out into the market?
The year 2019 definitively was a milestone for us. We released our new ergonomic technological platform Lascom Lime and launched two innovative and pre-packaged bundles: Essential and Corporate. With deeply thought functional scopes, they bring concrete solutions to food manufacturers whatever their needs are.
We offer a new exclusive solution reconciling food manufacturers’ expectations and limitations. Lascom Lime Cloud is the refined association of essential product development features designed over 10 years. For a quicker market adoption, manufacturers can now directly benefit from the industry’s best practices by choosing Lascom Lime Cloud: an affordable, project-efficient and out-of-the-box PLM solution.
What do you feel are the reasons behind your product/service success?
Customers eventually choose Lascom for four main reasons:
Meet the Leaders Behind the Success of Lascom
Ouarda Hamadi serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Lascom Solutions, Lascom’s US branch located in San Diego. Ms. Hamadi started her career at Lascom in 2009 as Pre-Sales Solutions Engineer, where she got 15+ contracts signed in the CPG industry. She then held the position of Product Marketing Manager where she successfully positioned Lascom France in the agribusiness through the conception of a dedicated solution. In under two years in our San Diego office, she opened new positions and carried the team to sign key references such as Kemp’s, Impossible Foods, Scoular, IPSY, Groupe Marcelle, etc.
Charles Henriot serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Lascom. With solid experience in software edition and a career start at Lascom followed by a long tenure at Sopra HR as R&D Deputy Director, Mr. Henriot had the mission to streamline R&D and services activities to improve productivity, secure projects and expand service offers. In less than three years, he realigned the product development roadmap with the company’s strategy and instilled an innovative vision of what PLM solutions should be.