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3 Specification Management Trends to Look Out for in 2021

3 Specification Management Trends to Look Out for in 2021

As technology becomes more and more advanced, companies across the globe that manufacture products or design packaging have begun moving away from manual, paper processes and are opting for electronic specification management systems. Optimizing the spec management process has always been an important part of business operations, but newer methods differ greatly from those of the past. As the use of these systems grow, certain trends have begun to emerge that your company could use to its advantage. This article will discuss three of the major specification management trends to look for in 2021, including an emphasis on sustainability, movement to the cloud, and increased security.

  1. Emphasis on Sustainability

Sustainable practices are becoming the new norm within the manufacturing and packaging industries. Companies around the globe are committing to increasing their sustainable actions, for both moral reasons and business benefits. Companies save money shipping with lighter, eco-friendly packaging as well as avoid high taxes imposed by countries trying to reduce their carbon footprint. But to begin making sustainability a reality, you need the ability to seamlessly communicate with suppliers to make the move to eco-friendly materials. This is where spec management comes in.

In order to create more sustainable products, your company needs a transparent specification management system. Spec management software offers features to help you reach your sustainability goals such as; the ability to view where used across your product line, create reports on material use, and collaborate with suppliers on material substitutions more quickly and efficiently than ever before. Once a company utilizes a spec management system, they can start to turn their environmentally conscious goals into definable, quantifiable actions. Sustainability is the wave of the future and in 2021 spec management software is going to reflect that.

  1. Movement to the Cloud

As the world continues to battle COVID-19 and businesses are committing to long-term remote offices, companies are continuing to move to cloud-hosted business applications. Your employees aren’t always in the same department or even the same country and tracking down approvals through email is time-consuming and inefficient. With a cloud-based spec system, it is easy for all of your employees and suppliers to log in and access specs from anywhere at any time. Instead of making your users log in through a virtual private network (VPN) to collaborate, a cloud-based spec system is open and secure. As a bonus, applications generally run faster in the cloud than on a VPN.

Another important benefit, and a reason so many companies are making the switch, is the scalability cloud systems allow. New document software implementations often start with a few users or a single department. But, as people learn about the capabilities of the software, usage expands to other departments or the entire company. Scaling users with an on-premise system may require additional hardware to provide adequate storage and processing power. With a cloud spec management system, licenses can be added as needed. In a matter of minutes, users can easily be added to a cloud-based system.

Lastly, a cloud-based specification management system reduces your company’s IT overhead. With your software in the cloud, companies essentially transfer the IT responsibility to vendors whose primary job is to maintain the cloud environment. And unlike an on-premise solution which may take months to setup, getting your company info into the cloud can usually be completed in much less time. If you ever have questions or technical issues, the response time and resolution time from a vendor (who is a cloud specialist) can often be quicker than your own IT department. In addition, your system upgrades and security patches are done automatically in the cloud. 

  1. The Need for Increased Security

In direct correlation with the growth of cloud storage has come an increase in cybersecurity. Due to the recent massive growth in remote work, cyber crime has become more and more sophisticated, resulting in a boost in online security options. This means ensuring your business content is secure will be a major trend going into 2021.

The need for increasing security standards is expected to continue over the next 10 years. This trend comes in light of the risks associated with technology including hacking, security breaches, and even unencrypted confidential documents. Because the consequences of being vulnerable to cyber risks can range from the destruction of a company’s reputation to client harm, regulations have been implemented, compliance is now expected, and security has become more important than ever.

These three trends give us an idea about what 2021 holds for specification management and how packaging and manufacturing companies can adjust their competitive posture. Businesses are moving on from outdated, legacy systems in favor of integrated, user-friendly solutions. Sustainability, cloud computing, and increased security will be continuing trends in the future of spec management, impacting packaging and manufacturing professionals across every industry.

If you are currently stuck with an out of date, manual specification management process, consider switching to a software like DocXellent’s ENSUR Specification Management System. The ENSUR system is available validated, both on-premises and in our GxP cloud, and has built in functionality to help you meet and exceed regulations, including the US FDA 21 CFR Part 11, US Fair Packaging Labeling Act, Canada Consumer Product & Labelling Act, Canada Cannabis Act, EU CELEX, Germany VerpackG, and others.

Contact us for more information about how our ENSUR Specification Management Software can improve your company’s efficiency and help your company plan for the future.

Tags: specification management, cyber security, managed cloud, sustainability