Why Specification Data Management is Better at Managing Packaging Specs than a PLM or ERP solution

Posted on 
September 6, 2016
Matthew Wright
Founder & CEO, Specright

Research has shown that 25% of companies don’t use any type of software solution to manage their packaging specs; 50% have a system that they don’t use because it’s too difficult or is not optimized for managing packaging specs; and 25% have a solution they use but are looking for something better suited to their needs.

Chances are, if your company is one of the 75% using some type of software to manage your packaging specifications, it’s an old-fashioned, inefficient system, like an ERP or PLM that you've found so difficult to use, it’s actually impacting your company’s ability to keep pace with today's fast changing consumer demands.

Packaging is an increasingly critical component of any goods-producing company and is often seen as an extension of the product itself, as considered in PLM solutions or it can be seen as a means to protect the actual product along the supply chain as many ERP solutions position it. Common ERP solutions handle packaging specs as part of their supply chain functions and define a packaging spec as including all the necessary packing levels.

For a product, a packaging specification mainly describes in which quantities you can pack the product into which packaging materials in which sequence. This definition is rather limiting and does not come anywhere near close to fulfilling the needs of those directly working with packaging in any company. PLM solutions take a completely different approach believing that packaging/artwork management is part of the product and COGS and therefore is a subset of PLM.

While this can be a broader scope potentially encompassing more that how to pack the product, PLM solutions fall short in taking into account how packaging and related specs impact the entire supply chain of the product and eventually a company. Additionally, other shortcomings of these archaic systems includes:

  • Limited search capabilities
  • No pre-built spec templates
  • Time-consuming and expensive coding required to make any changes
  • No way to analyze or report on specification data
  • Sharing of spec data & documents has to occur outside the system

While both PLM and ERP software offer some level of support for managing packaging specs, in the end, neither is designed specifically to do so. As a result, these systems fall severely short of delivering a solution that meets most companies’ needs when it comes to managing hundreds or even thousands of SKUs and their accompanying specs.

Do you want to use an afterthought add-on or a platform that is designed with your specific packaging needs in mind?

Specright is a best-in-class, point solution specifically designed to manage packaging specifications - structure, artwork, logistics, BOM's, supplier details, etc. As a point solution built specifically for managing packaging specs, Specright offers numerous advantages over ERP/PLM solutions:

  • Ease of navigation & search
  • Flexible spec template customization
  • Dozens of pre-made packaging commodity types
  • Simple internal & external sharing tools
  • Supplier management tools
  • Robust analytics including sustainability reporting
  • Unlimited reporting functions
  • Standard APIs to integrate where needed
  • Mobile-accessible by all stakeholders
  • Automated workflows & approvals

Specright customers across many segments are using Specright’s:- Analytics to find cost-savings & evaluate sustainability impact- Sharing tools to increase speed to market & unlock massive bid savings- Audits to prevent costly packaging failures before they happenBest of all, Specright requires minimal implementation or development time and this means your company is up and running, effectively managing your packaging specs to take advantage of potential immense cost-savings. Built by people who know packaging, Specright is the only solution built for managing your packaging. Leave the old world behind and bring your company to the forefront of packaging innovation with Specright.


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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