Specification Management software is designed to digitize and map specs across the supply chain and provide businesses with a single source of truth for their spec data. Textbook definition aside, how does Specification Data Management™ actually look and function? Or more importantly, how exactly are businesses using Specification Management software to simplify their supply chains and drive out unnecessary costs?Take a look at five common use cases for Specification Management software and their roles in lowering costs throughout the production process.
1. Reduce Packaging Costs
Studies show that for every $11 companies spend on a product, $1 is directly tied to product packaging (if not more given the emphasis on sustainable packaging or the unboxing experience). Reducing packaging costs provides a valuable opportunity for companies to remain competitively priced in their industry.By consolidating packaging types when possible or substituting for like-materials, companies can maintain economies of scale instead of buying similar items at different price points or from different suppliers.
2. Track and Optimize Raw Materials
The raw materials used in products and packaging directly affect product costs. By monitoring spec data for raw materials, a company can better predict and manage expenses and even inventory levels. Furthermore, companies can identify areas to consolidate purchasing across brands or business units to realize economies of scale. Tracking specs at the raw material level also enables brands to benchmark and report on sustainability efforts.
3. Reduce the Number of SKUs
Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) are designed to help retailers and manufacturers keep accurate inventory and monitor product sales. However, it’s not uncommon for a product to get a new SKU when it receives a packaging update. Not only is this an unnecessary step, but it can create inaccuracies, confusion, and extra cost. It’s like starting over every time a product gets a minor update or makeover, which can be expensive and time-consuming.Specification Management software eliminates many of these struggles by identifying similar products in seconds. For example, if you need a shipping package that needs to be 4’ x 5’ x 6’ and hold 32 new widgets weighing 3 pounds each, you can find matching specs if they already exist and potentially avoid having to start over in the design process. The time saved can help speed time-to-market, which also boosts profitability. Avoiding duplicate SKUs also enables brands to maintain their economies of scale instead of buying similar items at different price points or from different suppliers.
4. Accelerate Bids
Bids can take months to prepare using existing systems and processes, but Specification Management software provides a shortcut that doesn’t sacrifice quality. With all the data you need in a central, organized format, you can select the specs you want to bid and send your RFP to chosen suppliers within minutes. You have the opportunity to slash months off every bid and rest assured that you’ve sent the most accurate information to your suppliers, giving you a better chance of achieving an optimal outcome. Furthermore, suppliers gain confidence that they're bidding the correct specification the first time.
5. Maintain Product and Packaging Compliance
Maintaining compliance is a top priority for manufacturers, one that carries great responsibility. One missed detail on the package can be enough to affect the customer experience, diminish brand trust, or in a worst-case scenario, prompt a costly recall.Having the right documentation at your fingertips is critical to the production process, and spec data management software can ensure no detail goes overlooked. Data management software provides a central anchor point for audits, compliance reports, and Supplier Corrective Action Requests (SCARs) to help you track packaging quality at a glance and easily share compliance specs across the supply chain.To learn more about the benefits of Specification Management software and how it can simplify and improve your business, download our ebook today.