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Don Low, Solutions Consultant NA, Trace One Inc.

Trace One: Fostering Creation of Remarkable Products

In the era of modern retail, the pivotal shift towards matching the growing demands of consumers has become of utmost importance. As a consumer-centric industry, brands worldwide are trying to plant the seed of trust, developing long-lasting relationships with customers through incredible products. Understanding the needs of modern retail connecting businesses worldwide to enable brand owners to build trusted and compliant products, Trace One Inc. bridges the gap to overcome complexity and grasp the opportunities at every stage of the product lifecycle.

For the past two decades, Trace One has been a strategic partner with the world’s most demanding retailers, gaining significant competitive advantage, utilizing its established food and grocery product development platform.

Don Low, the Solution Consultant at Trace One, implements his extensive retail experience to elevate the betterment of businesses and customers.

Remarkable Products, Remarkable Solutions

In its relentless pursuit of being the best, Trace One’s proven SaaS solutions deliver measurable returns on investment against its customers’ greatest needs by reducing time to market by up to 40%. It ensures 100% compliance with legislation and brand standards, reducing risks and cost, allowing retailers and FMCG manufacturers to safeguard their brands. Trace One provides transparency to these companies that need to identify opportunities, react to crises, and track improvement in aligning to market trends and sustainability.

Don asserts, “Software alone is not enough to guarantee success. Trace One is a global business, and our teams work with retailers and manufacturers in many different regions and with a diverse set of legislative constraints. We provide best practice consultation to our clients to ensure they gain the maximum benefits from our solutions.”

Today, grocery businesses and their products, particularly in private brands, have specific business needs that require a purpose-designed PLM platform (Product Lifecycle Management Platform). Trace One offers solutions and modules covering the entire retail value chain, from market research and sourcing to product development and ongoing assessment. Don notes, “Each can be implemented on an as-needed basis allowing a business to focus on tackling the current key requirements, and then add additional capabilities as needs evolve. The cornerstone of the platform is the product management solution and its composite modules. These address the strategic goals that we often see as common across the grocery industry. Gaining control of business processes and collaboration to drive growth. Digitizing the product portfolio and quality management information to reduce risk.”

Trace One’s core modules are:

Trace One Network – Supplier engagement, onboarding, and assessment modules, included with any Trace One solution, provide a single-entry point for retailer and supplier users with secure SSO integration.

Trace One Spec – provides proven industry-standard specification templates to manage product attributes that increase innovation, reduce quality issues, and effectively remove costly labeling errors. Templates meet 100% of regulatory requirements via existing functionality, with the ability to cater to the retailer, category, and brand-specific configurations.

Trace One Project – provides Stage-Gate workflow templates for Product Development and other processes to track and monitor the end-to-end activities of your team and your external partners to ensure a fast time to market built.

Trace One Insight – solution includes dashboards and reporting capabilities, covering every aspect of the data set managed by the platform.

Apart from its core modules, additional modules capabilities include a digital solution for retail buyers to search the marketplace and quickly source innovative products via configurable RFQ’s and a dedicated packaging specification portal to manage sustainability.

Ahead of the Curve

Trace One gained a competitive edge over its clients, having embedded automation and AI, developed working with renowned brands globally for over 20 years, providing customers the benefits that rich heritage out-of-the-box. Don mentions, “We have highly developed support programs for our retail and suppliers, ensuring high adoption and program success. Both are Trace One’s customers, and they are treated as such.”

Trace One offers in-depth solutions beneficial to its clients with its strategic roadmap. Recently, it has launched new solutions and modules as part of the overall platform to provide customers with support capabilities that orbit the central product development process. Trace One spends over 25% of its revenue on R&D to deliver updates to existing solutions to stay ahead on legislative changes to support new consumer trends, provide technological updates, and rapidly deploy enhancements based on customer requests.

The Camaraderie

Trace One’s foundational values are engrained in its work culture and act as a catalyst to streamline the solutions it offers. With over 25 different nationalities and eight languages represented within Trace One, its culture matches the diverse international customer base.

Passion & Energy: Trace One’s people are passionate about helping brand owners develop remarkable products, having a unique depth of knowledge and experience specific to retail and CPG – driving the company to innovate and solve the challenges overcoming the hurdles. It values and nurtures diversity, understanding how to serve local markets best. Don shares, “The passion and energy that drive them to commit and go above and beyond to deliver projects and grow the business. The passion and energy that drives them to commit themselves strongly and to surpass themselves.”

Integrity: Trace One approach makes it easier for brand owners to work sustainably, allowing them to detail vital information on their products, reflecting their efforts to safeguard health, society, and mother earth.

Optimism & Enthusiasm: Trace One’s team is energetic and passionate about their work that makes a difference, inspiring brand owners with insights that aim to solve today’s significant problems.

Collaboration: Its employees have a strong spirit of mutual aid that allows them to improve their performance to serve its clients better, achieving their desired objectives.

Unprecedented Times, Shifting Tides

The Pandemic caused unexpected changes in consumer behavior and trends; however, Trace One’s ability to evolve and adapt quickly proved essential to move to offer conscious consumption. The willingness of consumers to try new products and brands has created a fantastic opportunity. Don says, “This is particularly true for disruptive private brands where retailers have full control of the product, its supply chain, and its packaging. It allows them to tailor a product and its message to align with target consumers’ values. We expect more growth in the private brands’ sector and predict that many different types of businesses will begin to create and manage their products with co-manufacturers.”

The difference between a national brand and a private brand will likely be imperceptible to a consumer in the future, requiring businesses to collaborate more efficiently and manage vast amounts of data, implementing new technologies.

Trace One is strategizing to align with these changes by extending upstream and downstream of the core product development process, E-comm growth, private brands growth, sustainability trends in packaging and ethical sourcing, and data transparency.

What Comes Next?

Only time can tell where the next shift in the retail industry will occur. However, Trace One aspires to deliver new modern solutions, servicing existing clients and welcoming the newer ones. Trace One aims to be the global leader in intelligent end-to-end solutions dedicated to CPG retailers and manufacturers. Don asserts, “From the ideation to the ready to sell products with an accelerated time to market delivery capacity. Our seamless and full data integrated suite will allow fast innovation through the whole product value chain specification, packing, workflow, ingredient, recipe, formulation management, and data syndication to feed multichannel commercial development. We will have value-added solutions for all teams: quality, procurement, marketing, technology, CSR, manufacturing, and data.”

The Proven Excellence

“Our aim for Delhaize Belgium is to drive innovation in our products, offer the best quality at the right price and improve performance by introducing new technologies in our private label development. Trace One gives us the tools we need to do this via a seamless, end-to-end process. As well as driving increased productivity and effectiveness, it will ultimately enable us to meet our ambitious innovation, product quality, and customer safety goals.”

– Delhaize, Belgium.