Specification management (also known as ‘spec management’) is the practice of digitizing, standardizing, and centralizing specifications — from raw materials to finished goods — in one platform. Specification management is most effectively carried out using specification management software, and it’s used by any organization that interacts with a supply chain. From manufacturing to pharmaceuticals, industries and businesses of all sizes benefit from organizing specifications into a single centralized-platform.
Create Specifications: Create specs with electronic forms where you can structure your data with controlled, approved values.
Searching: Search with precision at the field level.
Automate Review & Approval: Set routing that will notify stakeholders by email when they have a spec to review or approve in the system
Master Specs: Manage the generic spec for various components and propagate W&D, materials, etc. to the individual specs, where master data will not be editable at the specification level.
Visibility: Gain visibility across your product line with the ability to see all parent BOMs where a component is used.
Security: Security model that supports control over who can do what, to which content (Common Specs v. SKUs v. BOMs v. Drawings)
Notifications: Automated email notifications to suppliers and stakeholders when specs and docs become effective
Supplier Management: Collaborate with suppliers on specs in a controlled environment and manage which suppliers have access to specific documents
Reporting: Create different PDF or Excel reports for different audiences and stitch together parent report with attachments and subordinate specs/references/drawings
Why Use Spec Management?
Spec management delivers advantages, including:
Ensuring Product Quality and Consistency
A spec management solution allows companies to associate quality records with certain specs and suppliers — enabling them to identify problem areas better and manage that risk. You’ll proactively prevent quality issues and drive up consistency.
Streamlining Production and Procurement Processes
Specification management gives you visibility into your product data all the way through its lifecycle. By quickly building out a bill of materials (BOMs), you’ll expedite production and procurement.
Reducing Errors and Rework
Manual methods of managing specs like spreadsheets lead to error-prone work and bottlenecks that cause workflow delays. Specification management software allows you to automate manual work and mitigate disruption borne of mistakes.
Enhancing Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
By using spec management to produce and manage higher-quality products, your customers reap the reward of consistent quality from your business and become loyal clients.
Key Components of Specification Management
Specification management is a critical aspect of product development and quality assurance. It encompasses several key elements to ensure that product details are accurately documented and easily accessible. Here are the primary components of specification management:
- The creation and documentation of product specifications — including raw materials, packaging, finished goods, bill of materials, ingredients, formulas, and more.
- Version control and revision management so you can track every version of every document spec. You’ll know who revised what document and when, so you always have a clear record of how specifications have evolved.
- With product specification software, you have a single source of truth in which to collaborate and communicate among stakeholders about specification types.
- Spec management software should integrate with other systems and processes to become a seamless part of your tech stack, workflows, and document control processes.
How to Maximize Efficiency With Specification Management
There are a few best practices for getting the most out of your product specification software:
Establish Clear and Standardized Templates for Specifications
With frameworks for your specs, you’ll eliminate discrepancies and create standardizations that streamline spec management as a whole.
Implement a Centralized Database or Software Solution
Choosing the right product specification software will help you easily migrate from time-consuming spec management practices into a single digital platform.
Ensure Regular Updates and Reviews of Specifications
It’s important to keep up on your spec reviews to keep data accurate and up to date in your software.
Train and Educate Employees on Specification Management Processes
With employees on the same page about how to use software to manage packaging specifications better, you’ll have a more impactful chance of maximizing the benefits of your solution. Utilize a specification data management system to train employees and reduce human error.
How to Use ENSUR for Specification Management
DocXellent’s very own, ENSUR, is a comprehensive specification management software used for creating, maintaining and publishing your specifications and business documents. The cloud-based document management system is available on-premises or in our GxP compliant Cloud so that your employees and stakeholders can access the system anytime, anywhere. Fully integrated with our document management features, the software allows for complete control over who can access which documents and tracks all activities with the ability to create reports for visibility and compliance. ENSUR’s version control features guarantee that your employees and suppliers are always working from the correct version of a spec or document. The document management system integrates with your email client to send email notifications to internal and external stakeholders at each step of the workflow, improving collaboration and increasing the efficiency of your spec management processes.
How Real Users Leverage ENSUR for Specification Management
- DocXellent helped Mesa Labs, a multinational quality control product manufacturer, use specification management to meet compliance requirements and control documents better. Read the case study.
- Ortho Molecular Products, a company delivering nutritional solutions, needed to adhere to strict quality standards in accordance with FDA requirements. It turned to DocXellent and ENSUR for help. Read the case study.
- A pharmaceutical contract manufacturer used manual document management processes for research and development, manufacturing, and packaging services. It needed to overhaul its quality management while adhering to FDA regulations. Enter ENSUR. Read the case study.
See what other users have to say about specification management with ENSUR.
Get Started With Specification Management Today
Spec management streamlines more than just your product specifications — it injects efficiency into your entire operations by eliminating manual methods, improving production, and ensuring consistency and compliance. From distributors to medical device manufacturers, companies across industries can speed up workflows and improve customer satisfaction with spec management. Discover how you can benefit from spec management by getting in touch with DocXellent to see a demo of our specification management software.
- What is specification management?
- Specification management is the practice of standardizing your specifications in a centralized system where you can control and approve the values and inputs of your specs through structured data and automate the review, approval and distribution processes of specs to stakeholders and suppliers.
- Why is spec management more efficient?
- Spec management automates the parts of your processes that are highly manual and prone to human error. By having all of your employees create, manage and share specs in one, centralized system, you can ensure standards are enforced across your organization, increase efficiency and decrease time to market.
- Why do I need a specification management system?
- A spec management system will drastically increase efficiency, provide visibility across your product lines, help you maintain compliance, and decrease your product time to market.
- How does a specification management system automate workflow?
- A specification management system allows you to create enforced templates for your specs so that data is consistent across your organization. A well-designed system will automatically tie revisions to individual specifications to their parent specification (i.e. a revised component will automatically be related to its parent BOMs). You can also set default routing for review and approval and default distributions for when a spec becomes effective.