Product specification management is the discipline of managing all of the data needed to make a product and its related components, such as packaging, raw materials, formulations, ingredients.
Over the past decade, managing product specifications has become increasingly important. Consumer demands for different products has led to SKU proliferation, which has resulted in an explosion of product specifications that companies must manage throughout the product development process and across their supply chain.
But the principles of product specification management are more than just managing data. It’s about managing relevant templates, workflows, automation, regulatory constraints, and stakeholders that ultimately result in a final product.
Historically, most companies have managed this granular level of product data in excel spreadsheets, PLM systems, and quality management software. This is especially true for packaging specifications, which today are necessary for sustainability reporting and regulatory compliance, such as the UK plastics tax in Europe and extended producer responsibility laws.
Managing this data in legacy systems is no longer feasible – it slows time to market, frustrates product teams by distracting from business needs, and results in supply chain teams focused on data management instead of product innovation.