Product specification management systems offer a flexible, automated and more efficient option than complex spreadsheets for food, beverage and consumer goods professionals.
From the ashes of the last 12 months, businesses across the globe will rise again and (we think) prosper in a working world where organisations are more naturally decentralised and flexible, and at the same time under heavier scrutiny to succeed in uber-competitive markets with increasingly conscious consumers.
As technology becomes more advanced, and more readily available, organisations across the globe that manufacture products and goods are moving away from manual, paper processes and are opting for online specification management systems to streamline their wider product lifecycle programmes.
With adoption of specification management systems growing, more and more businesses are realising how much value they can contribute to the overall business strategy. In this article we dive into three key areas that can be positively influence by the implementation of a cloud-based specification system.
If you’re reading this article it’s likely you’ve experienced the frustration associated with spending precious time tracking down data. The manual nature of managing specifications on spreadsheets will inevitably result in inefficiencies and, unfortunately, more cost to your business.
For food, beverage and consumer goods professionals, product specification management systems offer a flexible, automated and more efficient option than complex spreadsheets. Using such a system makes the day-to-day management of process much simpler. But, more crucially, an automated system can reduce the time it takes for your business to launch a product to market by streamlining the approval process.
Establishing one centralised platform for managing specification maximises efficiency, can reduce the time your production timeline takes and ensures compliance, which all translates as money saved!
Sustainability is the wave of the future and there is no denying it. Sustainable practices are becoming part (if not entirely already) of the mainframe for food, drink and consumer goods businesses all over the world. Whether for moral reasons or genuine benefit, consumers around the globe are committing to sustainable actions.
What is apparent from current research is that here is a new and growing body of consumers that are actively looking to make more sustainable choices, whether it be in their weekly grocery shop or at a café, restaurant or take away. However, one issue exists, a lack of transparent information. Consumers need clear facts in order to make appropriate purchasing decisions.
Approximately 35 to 36 percent of respondents would buy additional sustainably packaged products if they were more available in stores, available for more products, and better labelled (McKinsey report).
Brands, manufacturers and retailers need to respond to the demand from consumers to clearly demonstrate sustainable data. But there is a solution! Organisations can harness a specification management system in order to create more sustainable products. A system will allow the correct teams and individuals to access information across the product line to create reports on materials use and collaborate with suppliers more effectively, all of which can contribute to wider sustainable goals.
Migration to the Cloud
An undeniable truth from the Covid era of working is that businesses have become more decentralised. Organisations are committing to long-term remote office with online solutions such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom filling the void of the meeting room. Now, many businesses are continuing to move to cloud-hosted applications to manage more complex projects which sometimes require teams who aren’t even in the same country, let alone department, to collaborate.
A cloud-based specification management system allows your teams and suppliers to log in and access projects anywhere at any time with added security levels applied – cloud solutions generally run faster than virtual private networks which is also an added bonus!
A major reason so many businesses are making the switch to cloud solutions is their level of scalability. Unlike increasing the number of users with an on-site system, cloud specification management system licenses can be added as needed with extra team members up and running in a matter of minutes.
There’s also the added benefit of unburdening your already over-worked IT teams. Software vendors can alleviate the internal workload by acting as subject matter experts to understand your team’s challenges, advise best practice ways of working and solve key business issues to deliver success and drive efficiencies.
And whilst on-site systems can take months or even years to setup, migrating your businesses product and packaging information into a cloud-based specification management system can usually be completed in much less time, dependent on the complexity of the system. In addition, your system upgrades, and security patches are done automatically in the cloud.
We’re Specification Experts
At 4Pack we live and breathe Specification Management, especially when it comes to product and packaging. It’s where a big part of the power of 4Pack comes from and we see our clients benefiting from it every day. For your Food & Beverage and Consumer Product Goods businesses, adding cloud or web-based Specification Management to your digital ecosystem is a potential game-changer.
Profitability, sustainability and cloud migration are cornerstones of your future-proofed business strategy, which can be supplemented by implementing a specification management system. But looking at the day-to-day, there are a host of benefits that will add value to your ways of working NOW!
- Centralise and digitise all specifications in appropriate structures and hierarchy
- Create one connected repository for related file assets such as technical drawings; tooling diagrams; cutter profiles etc
- Collaborate more effectively across the supply chain
- Reinforce rationalisation and support simplification
- Make faster decisions and perform quicker impact analyses
- Integrate with ERP for the synchronisation and maintenance of master data.
4Pack is an intuitive and easy-to-use solution that allows each individual user access to customise their own dashboard, create their own searches and reports.
Our team has over 20+ years of working with organisations to solve their packaging, pack change and commercialisation challenges through digital transformation.
If you haven’t read our other articles on Specification Management, you can view them here:
Getting to grips with Specification Management can be a challenge. Our team can offer you the support you need so get in touch and let’s start making your life easier!
Blake & Stevens (2021), ‘Market Guide for Labelling and Artwork Management’, Gartner
Blake & Stevens (2021) ‘Market guide for Packaging and Product Specification Content Management’, Gartner