Land O’Lakes: Aligning the innovation ecosystem through digital transformation

When a brand as storied as Land O’Lakes talks marketplace transformation, the company’s knowledge and experience reveals a deeper understanding of how consumers eat, shop and build brand loyalty.

A 100-year-old farmer-owned cooperative like Land O’Lakes has seen tremendous change in their industry. There is fundamental change happening today in the food industry, not just in how consumers are making food decisions but in every aspect of the market, from retail grocery to ingredients to supply chains.

With plans for new dairy food products constantly in process, the company needed to prepare its innovation management function for a new paradigm in food manufacturing, one where digitalization can help companies plan and execute new product launches with less risk and greater visibility than ever before.


The needs

  • Quickly and sustainably transform and align the company’s business strategy
  • Defend and grow the company’s core dairy food business lines
  • Diversify and expand the company’s innovation portfolio

The challenges

  • Lack of strategic alignment and team visibility across the Dairy Foods business unit
  • Lack of clarity of Dairy Foods strategies and portfolio roles
  • Lack of prioritization and efficient resource allocation

How Sopheon helped

Sopheon assessed Land O’Lakes’ process and performance by working with a large cross-section of the Dairy Foods business and its cross-functional partners.

In its assessment, Sopheon revealed that Land O’Lakes’ Dairy Foods innovation portfolio was unbalanced, with most innovation resources dedicated to enhancing current platforms. Further evaluation showed that the Dairy Foods unit was relatively low on capabilities, particularly decision-making. Projects were disconnected from strategy and a one-size-fits-all process had driven resistance within the organization.

While working with Land O'Lakes to plan the Accolade software deployment, Sopheon helped design and implement:

  • Process and tool standardization, simplification and streamlining
  • Resource planning and optimization tools and practices
  • Clarification of portfolio roles and business unit strategies
  • Portfolio prioritization practices, including metrics and visualization enhancements
  • New, more efficient Stage-Gate® tools and processes
  • Risk and financial assumption scorecards

What our customers say

“By taking a step back and streamlining our tools – making them more efficient and easier to use – has helped us better manage our individual projects and portfolio of resources. Now that we have a clear understanding on alignment of strategy and portfolio roles, we have even greater confidence that we are on a sustainable path during our innovation journey in a changing market.”
Jenny Tang-Bulk

Dairy Foods portfolio management process manager, Land O’ Lakes

The outcomes

Watch this 2-minute video to hear the results of transforming Land O’Lakes Dairy Foods innovation processes.

The Land O’Lakes journey was told by innovation experts Jenny Tang-Bulk and Theresa Schaefer of Land O'Lakes in a webinar Aligning Strategy with Portfolio Management for Innovation Success.


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