5 Ways Specification Management Software Improves Supplier Collaboration

Posted on 
February 15, 2020
Matthew Wright
Founder & CEO, Specright

When you hear the term “Specification Data Management™ (SDM™) software,” what immediately comes to mind? You might simply think of product specifications. And that makes sense, since product and packaging specifications are foundational to an overall specification management system solution.

However, a comprehensive SDM system manages much more than just product specs. With the right SDM software, you can significantly improve collaboration with your supplier network, streamline your procurement processes, and ultimately save you and your suppliers time and money.

In fact, it’s why I started Specright. As a packaging supplier for over 20 years, I saw the impact that poor specification management had on suppliers - ultimately costing everyone involved time and money.

Why Supplier Networks Matter

According to research by Deloitte, 79 percent of organizations with high-performing supply chains achieve above-average revenue growth within their industries. Meaning supplier networks indeed have a major impact on the bottom line.

For many organizations, supplier costs are among their greatest annual expenditures. Organizations who fail to correctly manage suppliers and associated costs are unlikely to succeed beyond their nascent stage. And the reality is many businesses are not setting their suppliers up for success.

Rob O’Byrne, founder and group managing director of Logistics Bureau Group, notes regarding supplier performance:“To some extent, your suppliers hold your business success (or lack of success), in their hands. That’s why it’s essential to work in collaboration, at least with primary suppliers, to try and minimize supply chain uncertainty.”

How Specification Data Management Strengthens Your Supplier Network

Considering the high stakes riding on your supplier relationships, finding a specification management system solution that strengthens those connections is a smart business move. At Specright, we think traditional approaches to Supplier Management are incorrect.

After all, it’s not about managing suppliers, it’s about collaborating with them - sharing the right data, incorporating them into approval and notification processes and treating them as true partners. Here are just a few ways a comprehensive SDM system solution can improve your supplier network.

Real-Time Supplier Collaboration

If your suppliers are still relying on emails and spreadsheets to keep up with brand specs, you may be left with out-of-spec products or packaging. A robust specification management solution enables your suppliers to access up-to-the-minute, live specifications controlled by your company.

Say goodbye to duplicate or outdated specs and missed communications and hello to real-time collaboration. The right SDM software will help transform disjointed paper trails and disparate data streams into a single source of truth that can be shared and updated from anywhere at any time. For suppliers, this means not having to worry about producing the wrong product or wasting time on bids with back-and-forths over what specification is correct.

Streamlined Supplier Documentation

If you’re having trouble expanding into new markets, meeting customer demand, or maintaining compliance with industry regulations because of supplier documentation problems, specification management can help. Whether it’s supplier contracts, lot codes, certificates of analysis, NDAs, or facility audits, supplier documentation can be easily organized with specification management tools. Better yet, these tools can tie all documentation to the spec-level, giving you a granular look at your supplier network.

This traceability of the spec-to-supplier relationship is fundamentally different than the traditional approach to supplier and vendor management systems. But it makes sense: your product and packaging specifications should be at the core of everything you do.

Supplier Performance Metrics

With specification management software, you can achieve a detailed view of your supplier network performance, both in total and on a supplier-by-supplier basis. Accurate data capture and supplier performance reporting can help you spot weak links and new opportunities in your supply chain to take intelligent action against potential issues before they multiply. The ability to initiative SCARs, Corrective Actions, and other quality issues and associating them to suppliers and specifications can help you spot issues before they become a crisis and directly work with suppliers to resolve them.

Streamlined Bids

Consider the time it currently takes you to structure and deploy a bid. Now consider that Specification Data Management system solutions are designed to be a single source of truth, allowing bids to be structured and deployed in a matter of minutes instead of months.

This advantage saves you significant time and money, but what does it do for your suppliers? It actually turns out to be a win-win situation. Rather than using tedious RFPs, suppliers can access your specifications through your specification data management platform, list their capabilities, and be matched with opportunities in your system. How easy is that?

A 360-Degree View... of Everything

From raw materials to the finished product, Specification Data Management solutions provide you with a 360-degree view of your suppliers, vendors, products, and packaging specs. Armed with that kind of data, you can make informed decisions regarding your business, right down to the DNA-spec level.

At Specright, we have a Specification Data Management platform that can help you collaborate with your suppliers to bring products to market faster than ever. To learn more, download our ebook and contact us today to learn what Specright can do for you.


Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright is the founder & CEO of Specright, the first cloud-based platform for Specification Management. Specright has been recognized by Fast Company’s prestigious Most Innovative Companies list, named a Gartner Cool Vendor, and as one of the Top Places to Work by the OC Register and Built in LA. Wright is also a published author and his book, “The Evolution of Products and Packaging,”was named to the Amazon Hot New Release List for Industrial Relations Business and has a five star rating. 

Prior to founding Specright, Wright spent more than 25 years in the packaging industry, holding leadership positions at International Paper, Temple Inland, and rightPAQ — a packaging company he co-founded. He has also been involved in leading multiple M&A deals in the packaging industry, currently sits on the MSU School of Packaging and Industry Advisory Board and previously served on the Packaging Advisory Board at Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo.

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