Supply chains have become increasingly complex and no industry is immune. Manufacturing, food and beverage, beauty and cosmetics, consumer packaged goods, and packaging supply chains are more global and disparate than ever.
Navigating global business operations, broader logistics networks, ever changing global trade regulations, and an ever expanding product portfolio has revealed the need for better supply chain data management.
To manage information flow along modern supply chains, companies should start with specification management as the foundation for digital transformation.
Specification Management as the Foundation for Supply Chain Digital Transformation
Specification Management platforms enable companies to digitize, map, and operationalize specification along their supply chain. Digitization creates a single source of truth for how things are made and provides an audit trail of what changes were made, by what partner, and at what time. Mapping helps connect critical data - such as associating suppliers and vendor master data to specifications or finished goods. Existing vendor management software solutions or supplier onboarding tools miss these critical connection points. By connecting specifications to other critical data such suppliers and facilities, organizations can create a digital thread using Specright as their supply chain platform. To learn more, download our eBook about why Specification Management is the future of supply chain.
Master Data Management
The speed at which products change and new products are created has made managing master data a challenge. Not only is this a threat to manufacturing – it could result in the wrong item being made – but it also inhibits supply chain planning. For example, purchasing teams are often chasing accurate specifications to better bid and collaborate with their suppliers.
At Specright, we have a broad view of what should be captured as master data across the value chain. Raw materials, packaging, labels, ingredients, formulas, machinery, product designs, and final product data all need to be managed. Associating this master data to the right supply chain partners, such as distributors, co-manufacturers, suppliers or simply other locations is a critical part of supply chain management. This connectivity – specification to supplier or formula to ingredient – is what enables true supply chain visibility.
The nature of global supply chains also means data needs to be in a format where language or units of measurement can easily change based on region.
How Flowers Foods is Managing Master Data with Specright
What Specright Users Say
Supply Chain Risk Management
When we talk about operationalizing specifications, it means creating the right workflows, processes, and approvals. These are foundational elements of supply chain risk management.
Having the right review process can help limit supply chain disruption and improve material handling through a digital “chain of custody.”
In Specright, workflows can be created for both internal and external review processes. When each user “signs off” and adds comments, a time stamped record is stored alongside that specification to create traceability in the event of an issue. It also accelerates approvals by alerting and reminding users that they need to take action. This helps organizations easily identify bottlenecks in a process and adjust as needed. From a supplier management perspective, it creates accountability and the ability to enforce Service Level Agreements (SLAs) impacting the supply chain.
Organizations can also create workflows that take into consideration major events, such as the coronavirus outbreak. When a force majeure event occurs, organizations need to immediately engage secondary or alternate suppliers quickly. In Specright for example, users that have seniority can easily expedite approval processes to respond to major events.
In addition to workflows and approvals, specification rules and intelligence can help when it comes to risk management.
Supply Chain Intelligence
At Specright, we believe that specifications are the littlest form of big data. As a result, when organizations start to manage their data in a readable format, it becomes easy to apply machine learning or artificial intelligence to identify areas of optimization or improve processes. With Specright analytics, companies can see recommendations on how to consolidate SKUs to save money and even provide cost saving estimates. What would typically take months of analysis to perform can now be done in just a few clicks. Beyond cost savings, companies with corporate social responsibility efforts such as sustainability can get recommendations on how to make products or packaging more sustainable within the platform.
Building a Digital Supply Chain Technical Architecture
A technical architecture is typically used by technologists to map out systems and how they should integrate. When it comes to creating a digital supply chain, it’s critical to map out your organization’s existing technology solutions and understand how data is managed. To realize the benefits of a digital supply chain, such as traceability and visibility, many leading manufacturers and retailers are implementing Specification Management platforms at the center of their tech stack.
A Specification Management platform can manage all the master data for raw materials, ingredient, formula, packaging, and even machinery. To create a more robust data set, Specright’s Specification Data Management platform easily integrates with ERPs, Inventory Management, and other critical enterprise systems to create a best-in-class tech stack.
Download the Forrester Report to Learn More About the ROI of Specification Data Management
Frequently Asked Questions
Supply chains have more moving pieces than ever. As a result, many organizations are working to increase supply chain visibility – but what exactly does this mean? Supply chain visibility means being able to quickly identify all relevant parts of a supply chain and how they are interconnected. For example, the visibility into the ingredients that go into a formula and the suppliers that provide those ingredients.
A supply chain process can refer to a number of different activities, ranging from procurement to product and packaging development. There are various supply chain processes in an extended supply chain. Typically organizations lack insight into how these processes are interconnected and lack the ability to diagnose bottlenecks. With a specification management platform, organizations can easily manage supply chain processes across functions.
A supply chain example for specification management is Grimmway Farms, the largest producer of baby carrots. Grimmway Farms uses Specright to manage their packaging specifications and collaborate and manage their suppliers.
In the simplest of terms, a supply chain consists of all the elements needed to make a product and the suppliers or third party partners who assist in procurement, development, manufacturing and distribution.
While scm definitions vary, the 5 basic components of supply chain management include planning, sourcing, making, delivering, and returning. Historically, many of these steps have been managed by individual systems, such as supplier management software aimed at helping companies source materials. When it comes to a buyer’s guide for supply chain management scm, many organizations look for solutions that address the symptom rather than the root cause. Specification management was designed to manage the DNA-level details of a company’s supply chain and has been shown to solve downstream problems that result from a lack of specification management, such as quality or procurement challenges.