Currently, in this era where big data is a strategic benefit, technology leaders who pay attention to specification data will discover new cost savings and growth chances. However, beyond the supply chain groups, lots of IT professionals are not familiar with specifications.
Specifications are the DNA-level data required to make, buy, sell, and ship a product. Everything is a specification from the raw materials, ingredients, formulas, packaging, finished goods. Besides, even the machinery that makes a product has an unusual specification. Specifications are essential in ensuring that products and packaging are regularly produced, secure, and preserve brand standards.
Although supply chain experts know the significance of managing specifications, it can be challenging for IT leaders to see the importance of operating at the specification level.
How Specifications are Managed Today
Presently, several companies manage specifications using Excel spreadsheets, homegrown systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and also PDFs and shared drives. They are considering the significance of specifications to industries such as manufacturing, food and beverage, beauty and cosmetics, consumer goods, etc. existing approaches are not ordinarily an existential threat. They’re also detrimental to business.
However, lots of technology leaders are assigned to assisting their business partners in functions like packaging, product development, procurement, and other supply chain functions to take on essential difficulties. They have to digitize their supply chain, enhance increased speed to market, monitor and report on sustainability, and discover new methods to reduce costs.
Tackling these difficulties needs a clean, obtainable specification data. However, how will you have the ability to report on the sustainability of your products if you can’t see what’s in them easily?
Unluckily, lots of these struggles turn out to fail since the accurate tools are not rightly placed. Since several IT leaders are using a “lift and shift” method when it comes to handling specifications. This involves customizing or expanding systems such as ERPs, quality systems, or shared drives that weren’t built to manage an intense level of specification data.
Well, it isn’t an existing knock-on system; ERPs, for instance, is the financial support of the enterprise. These tools are essential and required for the specific sector they specialize in.
Whenever IT team members try to remodel these other systems, desiring to actualize the advantages of specification management, a lot of these struggles eventually fail after significant investments in time, money, and effort.
Why Specification Data Management is the Foundation for Digital Supply Chains
This approach enables businesses to manage relevant specifications from a central location.
In the entire tech world, there is no better explanation than cloud enablement. These days, cloud enablement is the aspiration of most IT departments. However, the cloud provides availability, security, flexibility, agility, and other various advantages. The challenge is that traditional software applications are monolithic; they are one great application that has been working on-premises for a while. Elevating and moving these applications to the cloud is a waste of energy and resources.
When IT departments disintegrate those apps into microservice architecture, are they only able to actualize the advantages of the cloud? It is absolutely a distinct approach to application development. Like the specification data management separates products into their parts, it’s also basically a different approach to bringing products to life in a medium that makes the data actionable.
Leveraging Specification Data Across the Enterprise
Specification data is critical and needs to be centrally managed in a live, digital format to develop the traceability and visibility required to handle modern supply chains.
Your procurement workforce can’t reveal purchasing perceptions (for example, on how to merge orders across business units intelligently or product lines) except they have detailed, correct, and interconnected product and packaging specifications.
It will be difficult for your packaging team to accomplish or report sustainability objectives if they are aware of the amount of plastic they’re buying or going to use for a day.
Specification data is challenging to track down and becomes more complicated because organizations must distribute this data across the entire internal departments and with external partners and suppliers. Although, it’s essential not only to collect data for its cause. Businesses should initially begin with the results they want to allow, like cost savings, sustainability, traceability, and then map the specification data needed to act.
By shifting to a specification-first method when it comes to supply chain management, companies can also discover the littlest form of big data in their organizations.
Before you can start digitizing your supply chain or alternating your methods to managing specifications, don’t just elevate and move an existing system. Instead, begin with mapping and locating the data needed to allow your major business drivers, or regard incorporating a specification data management platform to assist you in operationalizing specifications across your supply chain.
Like simplifying applications into microservices to capitalize on the cloud benefits, a specification-first method can assist you in performing a high-quality and profitable business.