Trace One Set For A New Era

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Trace One Set For A New Era

Trace One offers unparalleled, 360° product lifecycle and compliance management solutions for process manufacturers and retail CPG. ESM caught up with CEO Christophe Vanackère.

For more than two decades, Trace One has led the way in providing retailers and process manufacturers with product lifecycle management (PLM) and compliance solutions. 

Among its global clients are powerhouses such as Ahold Delhaize, Carrefour, Intermarché, AAK, Cargill, UNFI and Ocean Spray, which have turned to Trace One’s comprehensive suite of solutions in order to better understand the consumer and improve visibility along the product development process.  

In 2022, Trace One acquired Selerant, a leading US-based PLM software and consulting services provider for manufacturers. Just over a year and a half later, the merger has now been finalised, with the expanded business operating under the Trace One banner, providing clients with a comprehensive, 360-degree perspective on the product lifecycle.

According to Trace One chief executive Christophe Vanackère, the merger of the two companies unfolded seamlessly, revealing a level of complementarity that surpassed initial expectations.


“In fact, there was no overlapping,” he explains. “Very quickly we found that there were many things that we had in common.”

Geographical Spread

The merger has facilitated entry into new markets, marking Trace One’s inaugural presence in North America, while extending the former Selerant business’s capabilities to European markets. 

This shift was accompanied by an evolution of the Trace One management team, aimed at creating a more robust and globally-integrated market presence. Since the acquisition was finalised, the workforce has seen the addition of approximately 50 personnel, bringing the total to over 500 employees worldwide.

“We are operating at a different scale now, and that requires understanding of who is doing what, and where,” says Vanackère. “We have to show the way. That’s a big focus of ours – to make sure that everybody is working together well, and to drive value from the combined teams.”


Persona-Centric Approach

As Vanackère explains, Trace One is committed to a persona-centric approach to its product offering, tailoring its solutions to a client’s particular field. This allows for a more personalised approach to PLM, which addresses the unique needs of different roles, such as formulation management, recipe development and regulatory compliance. 

“If we talk to a retailer, they will usually focus on quality management, procurement or category management, but if we are talking to a manufacturer, they will go more with the formulation and R&D persona, which would have traditionally been part of the Selerant package,” he explains. “By adopting this approach, we are opening up the total addressable market, and the footprint that we can offer for each and every customer.”

This, in turn, leads to greater collaboration between retailers and manufacturers, with Trace One streamlining communication and data sharing among all actors in the supply chain. 

Enhanced Experience

Trace One is also working on channelling AI to develop ‘game changing’ capabilities, including improvements to end-to-end communication, streamlining document management and enhancing data entry – all the time bolstering the overall user experience. 


“What’s important is that you don’t need to go across various platforms to seek the information you need, and when we talk to medium and large customers, they are hungry for that,” says Vanackère. “And we’re not finished – we have plenty of plans for the future.” 

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This article was written in partnership with Trace One.

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