Succeeding in the Digital Future: Veeva Industries Virtual Summit Day 1 Recap

Virtual Summit 2022 Day 1 Recap

Today kicked off day one of the four-day 2022 Veeva Industries’ Consumer Products & Chemicals Virtual Summit. The Summit brings together industry leaders from consumer packaged goods, food and beverage, personal care and beauty, and their chemical suppliers, to offer their insight into how they are managing the unprecedented disruption in today's economic environment by building resilience through a digital transformation. 

All week, speakers and participants will be sharing how they have harnessed the power of digital technologies to navigate today’s market disruptions and how they are innovating to meet and stay ahead of changing consumer and customer requirements for safe, sustainable, and trusted products.

Each day is tailored to a specific theme and audience, with today focused on executive insights. The Summit also includes a variety of roundtable discussions, one-on-one meetings, and networking events.

Here are some of the topics covered during today’s day one sessions, which are now available to approved Summit registrants on-demand: 

  • All-In on Digital: Industry Leaders on How Their Companies Have Harnessed Disruption
  • Measuring ESG Performance: Defining Success in a Transparent and Robust Manner
  • Unlocking Innovation Along the Consumer Product Value Chain
  • Accelerating Innovation to Bring New Products to Market Faster
  • Veeva Industries Future Roadmap

Key Industry Speakers

Today’s sessions featured speakers from some of the leading companies in their respective industries, including:

Opening Keynote: All-In on Digital: Industry Leaders on How Their Companies Have Harnessed Disruption

A digital future lies ahead. By being bold and decisive, industry leaders can accelerate their digital transformation and guide their companies through continued disruption.

The Veeva Industries Virtual Summit kicked off with comments from Veeva General Manager Greg Harbin, followed by a presentation by digital transformation expert Prof. N. Venkat Venkatraman, and finished with a panel discussion featuring Filippo Catalano, Chief Information and Digitisation Officer at Reckitt and Dirk Ramhorst, Chief Information Officer and Head of IT, Evonik. 

“Collectively, you all represent central industry value chains that sustain daily life and enable economic progress on a global scale throughout the manufacturing and delivery of trusted products that consumers and customers rely on every day,” Harbin said in his opening remarks.

“The key word there is trust,” Harbin said. “Trust is an intangible asset of currency that we trade on as a society to advance and improve the lives of consumers and communities. Trust is what keeps our economies moving forward.”

“Trust is very, very difficult to earn, but it's lost in a second,” he said. “Our mission is to partner and support our customers, to help you bring trusted products to market faster without compromising quality or compliance.”

“Every industry is accelerating towards its digital future,” declared Venkatraman in his opening presentation. “The scale, scope, and speed differs, but sooner or later, every company will need to transform to effectively compete against born digital companies.”

To demonstrate how industry-leading CIOs met those challenges, Catalano and Ramhorst discussed how their companies are harnessing disruption to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

“There is no area in any company that is immune, in my view, from possibilities and opportunities and challenges and threats coming from digital capabilities,” shared Catalano. “A lot of CPG companies have already done quite a lot of work on digital, more in the consumer space… Maybe less visible is the incredible impact that digital is having on how we manage supply chains and how we manage manufacturing in companies like ours.”

“It doesn't matter whether you're the consumer packaged goods that's fast moving or in chemicals - which may largely be B2B - you have to manage the speed of the marketplace and then make sure that the speed of the organization is matching to the speed of the marketplace,” reflected Ramhorst. 

Hear the full conversation on-demand by registering for or logging into the Veeva Industries Summit.

Session 2: Measuring ESG Performance: Defining Success in a Transparent and Robust Manner

Embedding sustainability into your business strategy is imperative for FMCG companies. However, the question of how to measure ESG performance is something that many organizations continue to grapple with. PMI’s Chief Sustainability Officer Jennifer Motles has a background in international law and spent most of her career working at the United Nations for various agencies.

During this session, Motles discussed PMI's business transformation, its sustainability strategy, and how they're measuring ESG performance in a robust and transparent way.

The challenge comes in defining what progress looks like and how the company measures success. Digitalization is an important part of the process, Motles said. 

“Digitalization obviously brings transparency and brings comparability and brings granularity, which is something that is so important for me, for the organization, but also for external stakeholders,” Motles said. “If you want to consider ESG data decision-making relevant, then that data needs to be of the same quality as financial data.”

Want to hear more? Access this session  on-demand by registering for or logging into the Veeva Industries Summit. 

Session 3: Unlocking Innovation Along the Consumer Product Value Chain

This executive case study featured the perspectives of a major CPG manufacturer from Alberto Prado, Head of R&D Digital and Partnerships at Unilever, and one of its suppliers, represented by Anders Lund, Executive Vice President for Consumer Biosolutions at Novozymes.

The speakers explored why supplier-manufacturer partnership is essential to consistently develop innovative, customer-centric new products and their best practices for effective collaboration.

“Everyone would agree that the pace of change has increased massively in the past 5-10 years,” Prado said. “It's not necessarily only what and why, it's how consumers purchase. We've all seen the increase in online and driven by technology, but it’s not just the adoption of technology that drives the revolution; it's the change of habits.” 

Companies have seen a massive change in habit, particularly among the younger generations, Prado said. Lund agreed with that sentiment.

“I think generally consumers want to do good, but I also think that they are challenged on what good looks like,” Lund said. “Sustainability has become a really important driver, but I think the industry and companies like Novozymes and Unilever are obligated to explain what products are and what the benefits are in a way that actually is meaningful to consumers.”

One thing is to innovate in a sustainable and responsible way, Prado said, but another challenge is to make sure that companies communicate in a transparent and easy-to-understand way why these products are sustainable and what validates them to be sustainable in a credible and trusted way.

“At the end of the day, the responsibility for making an end product sustainable is shared amongst the entire ecosystem that is contributing to the creation of that product,” Prado said. “The only way to get there is by building partnerships and transparency.”

Session 4: Accelerating Innovation to Bring New Products to Market Faster

This session featured a recent case study presented by Rani Saab, Head of Innovation - Dairy and Nutrition Zone Europe at Nestlé, showcasing how his team is effectively taking a new product idea to become a minimum viable product and ultimately scale. It included a discussion of specific methodologies Saab’s team deployed to move faster, as well as tips for building stronger supplier partnerships.

During the session, Saab introduced Nestle's new pea-based milk alternative, Wunda, as a case study for disruptive innovation at the world's largest consumer products company. “I have never seen something born big; everything has to start small and then be nurtured”, Saab said.

Saab organized a very small team, and the first exercise they did was scouting, approaching several startups, and engaging with them to understand how they move fast. The startups were able to give the team insight into how accelerators and incubators could make a difference. “We really scouted many accelerators in the region and identified one that we partnered with,” Saab said.

One quality Saab’s team members had in common was the entrepreneurial spirit to experiment and discover.

“In six months, we were able to finalize a product, put it into the market, test it with our customers, shoppers, and consumers, and have our first revenue stream,” Saab said. “It opened our eyes to a lot of things, and we brought it back to our management to present the outcome and decide how we can embrace this methodology and bring it within.”

Session 5: Veeva Industries Future Roadmap

To wrap up the day’s sessions, Veeva’s Vice President of Products Derek Wagland, walked participants through some of the key highlights and upcoming innovations planned at Veeva for 2023 and beyond.

“Veeva has seen great success through building cloud-based solutions with a deep industry focus,” Wagland said. “We have a passion for solving complex problems for our customers.”

Veeva's history is rooted in the highly regulated life sciences industry, and this has brought a strong appreciation of how important complex problems such as audits and maintaining compliance are to its customers.

“Our approach is taking the best-of-breed capabilities we've developed in life sciences as a foundation to developing a fit-for-purpose solution for the industries of consumer products and chemicals,” Wagland shared.

“All our solutions are focused on playing a key role in the life cycle of your products,” Wagland said. “This is around building trust and transparency from raw material extraction and sourcing all the way to the consumer. We see transparency as now becoming a new broker for brand trust.”

Over the next several days of the Virtual Summit, Veeva's product leadership will review key challenges facing regulated industries and how Veeva's product roadmaps can help address these challenges across quality, regulatory, and product claims management.

Tomorrow’s Sessions: Quality Management

Day two of Veeva Industries’ Virtual Summit will focus on Quality Management, with topics including the role of quality in strengthening business and supply chain resilience, food safety in a world of uncertainty, and how market leaders approach co-manufacturing quality management.

Founded in 2007, Veeva's cloud solutions are trusted by more than 1,200 customers in 165+ countries. View the full Summit agenda, reserve your spot, and access recordings of the sessions here. There is no cost to attend.



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