If you’re a packaging or manufacturing professional, you’ve likely experienced the frustration of spending precious time tracking down data. The manual nature of managing specifications using spreadsheets and shared drives has likely caused inefficiencies in your processes, rework and even money loss. These pain points may initiate an investigation into Specification Management Systems which provide a centralized platform for managing and sharing your specs and related documents. This article will explore the benefits of these systems and provide insight into their return on investment.
More Efficient Specification Workflows
The downfall of using a manual specification management process is that there isn’t a streamlined system in place to store and analyze spec data or facilitate the approval workflow. Additionally, the visibility in your manufacturing workflow is likely very limited when using outdated systems, file shares and email to collaborate on specs. A lack of visibility limits your ability to quickly pull accurate data. This leaves your processes vulnerable to inefficiencies and errors and your employees prone to rework and wasted time gathering data.
With a specification management software in place, companies that once needed hours to locate accurate data about their own specifications can now gather and act on the latest spec data within seconds. It does not stop at just viewing or reporting accurate spec data today; these systems track data over time, which only enhances analytic and predictive power moving forward. Additionally, the timeline for the approval process and time to reach the manufacturing plant is slashed as these systems automate email notifications to stakeholders and suppliers when specs need to be approved or become effective. Such capabilities allow your company to greatly reduce the time your production timeline takes, saving you money and eliminating unnecessary work in the long run.
In today’s product development environment, products change rapidly; therefore, time to market and finding ways of optimizing it are critical components that directly affect revenue. The better control you have over your product development processes, the better you will be able to control and predict your time to market. Using a centralized system that stores structured data facilitates finding similar specifications based on key characteristics since users can search at the field level. The ability to replicate/clone a specification to make as similar one makes the development phase swift and reduces human error of manual re-entering similar data again.
Specification management systems are flexible, automated, and more efficient than their manual counterpart. This means that using an automated system can reduce the time it takes your company to manufacture a product and get it to market. The purpose of specification management software is to streamline the creation, collaboration, review, approval, and distribution of your specifications and automate the parts of your processes that are highly manual and prone to human error. Establishing one centralized platform for managing your specifications and other critical business documents gives you the power to implement standards across your organization and align different departments to maximize efficiency, save money, and ensure compliance.
In addition, spec management software hosts version control capabilities. This guarantees that your employees and suppliers are always working from the correct version of a spec or document, and the reason for change is not only tracked but can be required and visible on the specification automatically. Versioning of specifications and their associated BOMs can also be automated so that BOMs are immediately updated when specifications are revised and approved. Using the correct version at all times reduces rework, waste, and confusion when inventory and specifications are not in alignment.
Reduce Product Liability Risks
Product liability is always a concern for manufacturing companies. Depending on your industry and company processes, you likely have specific compliance standards to adhere to. Whether it’s ISO 9000, 21 CFR Part 820/Part 11, or OSHA manufacturing standards, attempting to comply with these regulations can be difficult and time-consuming. Through the use of a spec management system, your company can ensure that your products are designed using a consistent structure and done in compliance with necessary regulations such as having electronic signatures, validated systems, etc. and the data is accessible years down the road if there was a question about compliance or specific specification that was effective at a certain point in time.
A specification management software with robust document management features helps you comply with government regulations easily and efficiently. The ability to enforce controlled, approved values on your structured data provides confidence that specs are accurate and compliant. Even further, document control features allow you to track and report on changes to documents, and manage incidents, audit forms, CAPAs, and nonconformances right within the same, centralized platform. These systems take the stress out of customer and government audits, saving you time and money and ultimately preventing sanctions and fines.
Contact DocXellent today to help you streamline your specification management process for efficiency, quality control and compliance. We are glad to advise you on how you can accomplish your goals and demonstrate how our specification management application can maximize your company’s efficiency.