Founded in 1950, Productos Ramo (hereafter referred to as ‘Ramo’) holds a special place in Colombian hearts as the pioneer of prepared and packaged cakes.
Founded in 1950, Productos Ramo (hereafter referred to as ‘Ramo’) holds a special place in Colombian hearts as the pioneer of prepared and packaged cakes. Their products evoke cherished childhood memories and a strong sense of nostalgia that spans generations. Known for delectable treats like Chocoramo and Gala, as well as savory snacks, Ramo employs over 3,500 individuals across Colombia.
The firm had been chugging along a sustainable path of steady revenues and new products, which typically took two years to launch. In the fast-paced realm of consumer goods, when President and CEO Bernardo Serna Gámez took the helm in 2021, he recognized the need to stay competitive. So, he put in place a culture that emphasized innovation to launch new products faster and more efficiently. Their challenge was to enhance their stage and gate methodology within their dedicated innovation unit. Partnering with Sistemas Expertos and Planisware, Ramo implemented Planisware Orchestra to streamline their innovation process. This collaboration portends a promising future for their ambitious agenda as Ramo has cut innovation time to market by 75% and has numerous products in their pipeline.
Modernize, Transform and Innovate Amidst Tradition
Starting in 2021 as the Innovation Manager, Juan Pablo Molano encountered a culture where new product ideas originated from their marketing, production, research, and development, planning and logistics departments – each with its own style and method of documenting ideas and projects. Juan Pablo was brought in to transform and streamline their processes.
Until then, when it came to new product development, each team would arrive with their own spreadsheets, MS-Project, and PowerPoint documents. Molano explained “It created disorder, and it was a big challenge to organize and centralize all project ideas into a cohesive, stage and gate process.”
Initially keeping Excel as the standard by which teams collaborated on stage and gate processes, the act of managing hundreds of spreadsheets soon became unwieldy. Many of their processes required customization, so they sought out a PPM technology solution that would accommodate this need to modify processes and manage all of their tasks in a single place.
Orchestrating Innovation with Sistemas Expertos and Planisware
Partnering with Sistemas Expertos and Planisware, Ramo chose Planisware Orchestra for their project management solution. Guided by Sistemas Expertos, the implementation was finely tuned to meet Ramo's specific requirements. Some team members initially resisted this cultural change because they were accustomed to using their familiar tools. To counter this, open communication, and expert support from Planisware helped Molano guide Ramo through these obstacles so that a single standard was adopted company wide.
Molano described Producto Ramo’s innovation ambitions. “Our goal is to introduce new products to the market within just six months - a 75% reduction in launch time. This is remarkable. We also have twenty-six new projects in development, something that was unthinkable before.”
With the implementation of Planisware Orchestra, Ramo has witnessed a transformation. Now armed with a single source of truth for all new product development, Molano and his management at Ramo now have a comprehensive perspective of their new product roadmap, incorporating vital milestones and project phases, all geared towards expediting new product launches.
What once took 18-24 months can now take six months from idea to store shelves. “
Streamlined Innovation, Real-time Insights, and Strategic Management
Ramo’s innovation process, once hindered by scattered information, is now streamlined with Planisware Orchestra. Clear project roadmaps, milestones, and phases are now visible to everyone, allowing for enhanced strategic management. Real-time insights provide a comprehensive overview, while their stage and gate methodology found its digital home, ensuring a seamless workflow. This unified standard has breathed new life into the company's culture, propelling momentum, focus and a positive energy into their workspace and processes.
This cultural shift has inspired a more agile, collaborative approach to project management. Weekly meetings are established for every project, fostering better communication and cooperation across teams. The ability to customize the platform to fit their unique needs allows Ramo to adapt quickly to changes in their processes.
The impact has been significant. The first product innovation from Ramo under Planisware management is a zombie-themed cake targeted for a Halloween 2023 release. What once took 18-24 months can now take six months from idea to store shelves. With innovation-based sales growing 150% in less than three years, the entire company has rallied around the new tools, making the project management process more efficient, effective, and transparent.
“Our goal is to introduce new products to the market within just six months - a 75% reduction in launch time. This is remarkable. We also have twenty-six new projects in development, something that was unthinkable before.” Juan Pablo Molano, Innovation Manager, Productos Ramo
"This change management has been important because in many ways, we are a very traditional company. But, in many ways, we were stuck in the past. Now we’re going to produce the fastest cake in our history. Of course, this transformation is the process of a new culture, but also, we now have the tools the team needs to be more agile and effective. We have a new time-to-market KPI and when I meet with my CEO every Monday, we talk about all new projects in Planisware. We will never go back to using spreadsheets to manage our projects.”
A Future of Vibrant Innovation and Excellence
The partnership between Productos Ramo, Planisware, and Sistemas Expertos has been instrumental in streamlining innovation processes, providing real-time insights, and enabling strategic project management. As Productos Ramo look ahead with an array of new products in their pipeline, they’re embracing innovation with confidence, signifying the fusion of tradition and innovation, and securing a future where the taste of nostalgia mingles harmoniously with innovative ideas. Productos Ramo is well-prepared for an ambitious innovation agenda, now equipped to manage it with greater efficiency.
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