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How to Write a Product Specification Sheet: A Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting a Clear and Concise Blueprint
Are you tired of receiving products that don’t match your expectations or meet your requirements?
A product specification sheet might just be the solution you need.
In this blog post, we will explore the importance of product specification sheets and how they can help you get the best products for your needs.
From outlining manufacturing specifications to receiving high-quality products, we will discuss the functions that product specifications provide. Additionally, we will provide examples of different types of product specification sheets and the points to include in a product spec.
We will also share tips on how to prepare, create an outline, and write the content for your product spec sheet.
So, if you’re ready to take control of your product quality, keep reading!
You envision how your products are going to be.
Now, you need a manufacturer that can make it come to life. There are countless manufacturers and factories in China that can do so.
The problem is, will they be able to create the product exactly as you want?
Probably. But if you have heard some complaints from other importers about their product, in some cases, they are the reason. Failure to express their ideas to the manufacturer leads to rejected goods.
If you want to prevent these issues from happening, you need to create a product specification sheet. This sheet contains all the vital data: product info, materials, colors, etc. Manufacturers and factories can easily see and follow this outline accurately.
However, writing this spec sheet involves many factors.
Here is the guide on what you should know and avoid.
We’ll review some of the most critical points, give you templates, and provide manuals.
1)What is a product specification sheet?
A product specification sheet, also known as a product spec, is a document with all details about your product. This document outlines the key points in making your product, such as parts, design, materials, etc.
Your chosen factory will use this sheet to guide them on how they will create the products. If you want to achieve better product results, you need to have this sheet.
2)Why is the product specification sheet so important?
The product spec sheet is helpful as a catalog of information to provide a service or a product. Manufacturers and customers can refer to this sheet if they want to assess the features or components of a product.
There are numerous producers and consumers in the market. If you don’t have the necessary information to make your product and sell it to your customers, they will ignore your product. In this situation, a product specification sheet is critical.
2.Functions the Product Specifications Provide
The primary function of this product spec is that it states all the parameters of your product. However, this function goes beyond creating the products.
1)Outlines Manufacturing Specification Clearly
In most cases, the product fails because the importer needs to give a clear product outline. Or they let the factory make assumptions about the product requirements.
With this sheet, factories will understand what they will do with your products. They will use this sheet to check the thorough description and conditions for the product. You will expect your products to perform as you want them to.
2)Get Better Quotes
Suppose you want your manufacturer to give you a suitable price quotation. In that case, they need to see what goes into making your products. For instance, your products are all about clothing. It would help if you had the design, material, cut, sizes, or other customized points in your sheet.
Your manufacturer will then calculate the cost and how they will make it. If you fail to give them this sheet upon quotation, you can receive quotes based on low-quality standards. That is what you need to avoid. You want them to manufacture your products in the best way.
3)Receive High-Quality Products
As mentioned, there will be cases where you can receive low-quality products. Most of the factories would take a chance to reduce their costs. This issue would be more evident if the factory operated on low-profit margins to grow the firm.
Give the manufacturer a clear understanding of the product. This way, they cannot use cheap tools, materials, and packaging.
3.Examples of Product Specification
There are different types of product specs that you can use, such as the following:
1)Simple product spec sheet
This example is the standard spec sheet, which includes data: about this product, business case, priority scoring, votes & teams discussion, etc.
2)Product spec sheet with diagram
This example uses a flow chart diagram outlining the product development process and space for test results.
3)Product spec sheet for test result
This example has space for jotting down test results. There is also a section where the supplier can jot down problems that have come up or might be in the future development process.
4.Points to Include in a Product Spec
Here are the different elements in the spec sheet, which you can use in writing your own.
1)About the Product
You need to include all the product details in the spec sheet. This section will serve as the summary of the product as a whole. It will discuss the product concept and describe what the product will be.
You will briefly introduce its appearance, its features, and how long it is anticipated to take to develop. It will also explain the purpose behind the product’s development.
What will the product look like after it has been made? This section will provide a visual representation of how the product will look. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
You can use different forms like illustration, rendering, or drawing. However, make sure they are simple and exact as you envision.
You will also include details that outline the product’s dimensions, appearance, and feel. To be precise with the product, have statics: weight, size, color, material, quantity (MOQ), target price, etc.
You can also use a table or a list with bullets to explain these details.
3)Parts and Material List
Each product is unique, especially in parts and materials.
You have to be sure of the questions; what type of parts do you need for your product? What kind of materials will compass these parts?
By answering the questions, the supplier will understand the component they need to create the product.
A tip for writing this section, use bullet forms. You have to be precise in listing the parts and materials.
This way, the supplier will check if they already have everything on hand or if they will order more raw materials.
For example, your products are clothes and require a 60D Nylon fabric to be used.
4)Dimension and Color
The dimensions and materials are among the points you need to include in the spec sheet. The dimensions tackle the product sizes (height, width, and length) and the specific color you want in your product.
These two are essential in making your product accurate.
Your products must adhere to compliance standards.
Most of the time, before your product gets approved to be sold in many countries, it must comply with that country’s universal standard.
Some examples are factory certifications and regulatory standards. Your chosen supplier is in charge of obtaining factory certifications, such as ISO.
In contrast, you are the one who needs to settle any regulations required by a nation before you can sell your products.
What will be the technical details behind the product?
This functional requirement will outline your vision for the product’s functionality and appearance. It will also describe how the users will use it.
In this section, you can also add technical specification documents to clarify the information further, like the tools and resources it needs.
The product development team of your chosen supplier will use this section as a starting point to create the product. You can also include non-functional requirements, which give a general overview. It will describe what the product is, what it does, and why there is a need to make them.
Most buyers tend to miss writing about the packaging details. However, the user’s experience, quality of products, and branding will depend on this aspect. You must ensure that your products are safe and protected when shipped from China to your place.
In addition, you can specify what type of packaging you will use, its sizes, and its durability. You can also highlight the process of packaging your items. For instance, you will pack 50 to 200 items per box and put them in a larger container. You can also explain more about the packaging’s label and color.
As mentioned, you have to ensure the safety of the products. One way to do that is to incorporate a shipping specification. This section will discuss further the following:
- Type of container
- Printing information
- Humidity or temperature
- Shipping company
What value will your goods provide to your customer or company?
The business case will discuss all the essential aspects of the product concerning your company. You will list all the pros and cons the product gives to the customers and market.
This section will also cover information about the budget, for instance, how much money and resources are needed to complete the product.
User stories are messages based on the viewpoint of the product end user.
This section will focus more on describing the product’s features and how customers expect them to be. The information included in the user stories is the goal customers would achieve in using your product.
Writing this section from your customers’ viewpoints and expectations would be best. It should also explain who your target users are and how your products will matter to them.
What kind of impact of the product to the users? When writing this section, remember that you should know the intent of the measurement of your product.
In this way, the supplier will get an idea of the purpose of the product based on the acceptance criteria. An example of user stories you can include from a user’s viewpoint:
“As someone always on the go, I need a product that I can bring anywhere.”
When writing this section, remember that you should know the intent of the measurement of your product. In this way, the supplier will get an idea of the purpose of the product and if it satisfies the set criteria. It will ensure that your customers will be the center of your product.
You can include the amount you are willing to spend on your product in the spec sheet. With this data, manufacturers can adjust and offer you a more competitive price.
A product spec is a written instruction that your manufacturer will use in making your goods. That is where they will determine the consistency, legal, and safety in creating the product. That makes this piece of paper very important when sourcing in China.
Before you can create the final spec sheet, you need to prepare it. You must research, gather resources, and be familiar with your product. To help you with your preparation, refer below for more in-depth information.
1)Gathering relevant information about the product
You can only write the spec sheet if you have something to write. The very first step you need to do is to search for information that can help you in writing. There are different ways you can take to simplify the process of gathering info for your product:
1.Make the right questions.
2.Find sources of information.
3.Utilize your sources to find the information you require.
4.Utilize your expertise and experience.
5.Think about various sources.
From these general ideas, you need to move on to seeking details on your product itself. Searching for unique or popular products in the market would be best.
Later, you can broaden your search with more information: parts, sizes, materials, sources, colors, types, designs, etc. You can also gather points based on the following:
1.Ways to develop product ideas and designs.
2.Details about the market segments for your product.
3.Identify the packaging types available.
4.Identify whether or not there is a market for your product so you can decide whether or not to produce it.
5.Test the effectiveness of the product placement.
2)Identifying the target audience
After you identify the details about the product, it’s time to move on to search for your audience. Your target audience goes beyond the demographics. It would help if you covered factors such as locations, interests, personalities, likes, dislikes, etc.
You can categorize your target audience into two roles: decision-maker and supporter. The decision maker will be the one to make the purchase. The supporter may not directly purchase, but they greatly influence the purchaser’s decision.
Moreover, deciding which audience will give you a great sale takes lots of work. However, identifying the type of target audience you have and will have would be best. There are three: interest, purchase intention, and subcultures.
- Interest means what interests your audience. What are your audience’s hobbies and forms of entertainment? Can your product give meaning and encourage them to buy?
- Purchase intention refers to people looking for a specific product or goods. This type will help you understand their needs and concerns.
- Subcultures refer to a group with similar interests, such as cars, music, colors, etc. Understanding this type will help you connect to your audiences more.
3)Defining product features and benefits
Product features are characteristics that will help the consumers to know what your product can offer. They will also understand how your items are set apart from competing goods on the market.
For example, if you’re selling clothes, the type of textile can be considered a feature. A product’s other materials and dimensions may also fall on the feature.
There are differences between features and benefits. Feature stands in for results. These are part of your and your company’s products for your consumers. On the other hand, the benefits are there results or outcomes users can get when using your products.
Both of these two are vital to the success of your business. So, you need to take advantage of the benefits your consumers would want. Then, decide which features your product requires and which does not to enable your customers to enjoy those benefits.
6.Creating the Outline
You have the needed information to start writing after your preparation. However, you will need more time to dive into writing. You must create an outline to help you sort out your info.
Outlines make it easy to identify the contents of the spec sheet. It will also help your team to formulate ideas and arrange topics in theological order.
1)Introduction to the product
Product introduction is part of the product spec sheet that introduces the product to your supplier. Your supplier needs an idea behind what you envision.
This section will be the one to provide it as it bridges the gap between what your brand represents and the supplier’s capacity to make them. How can you guarantee that you will write a good product introduction? Here are some of the steps.
1.Precisely define your product or service.
2.Discuss the materials, parts, and components of the product.
3.Find the product’s market’s potential.
4.Think if your product qualifies with your supplier. List all the advantages and disadvantages of the market.
5.Specifics of the product or service (location, product categories, items, online/retail).
2)Product Specifications (dimensions, materials, etc.)
As mentioned, the product specification is crucial for the result to be accurate as you foresee them. Whether it is safe and usable depends on specific requirements and specifications.
In writing this section, you can include dimensions, colors, safety requirements, expiration date, and general design specifications.
You can further explain these specs by starting with how the product will be made. However, there is also info that you can exclude from this section, like the color scheme, UI/UX design, etc. Figuring out this part will help your supplier create the product and produce the desired result.
Product features are aspects of products that add value for their customers. Depending on what you have written, it can affect the price and features as they are being developed to improve the user experience.
This section will also help set your product apart from others on the market and provide consumers with a significant benefit.
There are four types of product features that you should know:
- Design – this refers to the appearance and uniqueness of your product.
- Functions – it can boost the satisfaction of your customers. It also helps deal with problems and gives customers the vital resources to finish tasks.
- Quality – this factor matters because it affects the stability and reputation of your items. How good or harmful your products are will affect how your customer perceive things.
- Experience – depending if how the customers enjoy your product or not will be under how they experience the effects. The user’s experience matters as they can give good or negative feedback.
Product benefits are the features a product provides to customers’ needs and wants. These benefits are what the users anticipate once they buy your items. Your customers will notice the short-term and long-term benefits. That’s why it’s crucial to consider what your product can offer.
Suppose you want to know objectively what your customers might see in the product benefits. In that case, you can refer to some examples:
- Cost – how much money does your customer save in buying your product? Is it a cheaper option?
- Ease of Use – does it saves the customer’s time and make their life easier?
- Comfort – is it comfortable to use?
- Productivity – does it help to finish the task quickly?
- Values – does it help customers feel good about their purchase?
5)Product images or graphics
It would be best to include images or graphics in the spec sheet. This way, your supplier can better understand the details and technicalities you have written.
This section consists of sketches with labels rendered using a computer or made as an illustration. You can also use pictures that show the inspiration for your products.
Anyway, the images or drawings can be imperfect. It will be fine if it’s clear and easy to understand.
In conclusion, you can summarize what you have written. Refrain from dwelling much on each info. Just keep it simple. You may do so if you need to add further reminders or information.
7.Writing the Content
In writing the content, you must include all the information you have gathered here. You can also get a reference from other similar businesses so you can gain a better understanding of what consumers anticipate from your products. This step will also aid in eliminating pointless or unused features.
Now that you have all you need, you can focus on creating your spec sheet.
1)Clear and concise language
When writing the spec sheet, the first thing to keep in mind is to use simple words and terms. You have to explain the details of the product in a way that is easy to understand.
Most of the time, suppliers must become more familiar with English. Even if they have staff that is experts in the English language or use a translator, there are times that they will still need to comprehend. Here is some tip you can do:
- Use simple words and terms
- Avoid lengthy sentences
- Change the active words
- Use a translator if needed
2)Attention to detail
Remember, suppliers will read the spec sheet, and the product might result in an error if there is wrong info.
You must pay attention to what you are going to write. No matter how minor the details are, it’s best to review them. This step, it will make the work consistently more accurate and error-free.
Among the factors that you can ensure that you are being attentive to what you’re writing are the following:
- Slow down when writing.
- Prioritize the tasks.
- Schedule time to go over your work.
- Create standard practices and procedures.
- Review your work.
- Ask for help.
3)Use of bullet points and tables
Writing the spec sheet, bullet points, and tables can help highlight information. Bullets help cover and identify essential areas in the content. It also makes it easier for the reader to scan for interesting information.
You can improve the document’s readability by directing the reader to themed lists.
There are many reasons why we recommend using bullets, such as:
- It is effective in conveying information to the reader.
- It helps facilitate the reader’s ability to scan information fast.
- It calls attention to crucial details.
In addition, tables are a must to summarize data. Complex and detailed data can be too much to describe using text.
In this case, you can use tables as it organizes so the reader can quickly see the result. Using the table, you have to take note of the title, column title, and body.
To further iterate, table titles should be concise and descriptive. It will grab the reader’s attention first. Column titles will make it easy for the reader to understand what the table is about. The body of the table is where the majority of the text or numbers are displayed.
The formatting of documents can significantly impact how readable and valid your spec sheet will be. There are many benefits to using consistent guidelines, such as:
- It provides a quick and better understanding of the details.
- It is easy to compile the documents.
- It gives better output.
- It is easier to find errors.
8.Finalizing the Spec Sheet
Your product specification sheet now includes all the details the manufacturer needs to make the item. Please double-check from start to finish.
You can also create multiple revisions up until the manufacturing stage. So, reviewing and making changes before your products are complete is best.
Proofreading means you have to go over the sheet to find possible errors. There are some tips and tricks that you can use to have effective proofreading, such as:
- Ensure that you edited and revised the text before proofreading. This step will prevent you from correcting the slightest error or deleting an entire section.
- Avoid overreading the texts. Rereading the exact words makes it much harder to catch common errors.
- Pay close attention to the mistakes that crop up repeatedly in the text.
2)Adding company logo and contact information
One of the crucial things to add to the spec sheet is your company logo and contact information. This info will help your supplier identify your company. At the same time, contact info will help them reach you if they have questions.
3)Final formatting and layout
One of the elements you must do when you finalize is to check the format and layout. Formatting refers to how you enter paragraph and line breaks, indents, spaces, typefaces, and punctuation marks. Layouting refers to the arrangement of the items in the spec sheet.
Some of the formatting rules that you can follow are:
- First-line indents
- Single-line indents
- Dashes, Hyphens, and Ellipses
Are you ready to write the product ideas that have been on your mind for a while? Read more below to answer more of your questions.
A product spec sheet is super important because it helps express your expectations to your supplier. This way, they would not reduce costs for unclear requirements.
This sheet is also vital in building your credibility and reputation as a company in the B2B market. It will also help your customers in a way that they will get to know and evaluate whether your product is the best fit for them.
This blog post will help you write a spec sheet you can submit to your chosen supplier as you inquire about them. This sheet will help you get a start conversation with them.
Later on, there will be more information becomes available, forcing you to modify the sheet. Regardless, this will help you achieve the outcome of your products.
Are you looking for excellent manufacturers, obtain quotes, or introduce you to outstanding suppliers directly?
JustChinait can take care of everything to turn your ideas into life. We have the best services to turn your concept into an actual item.
You can trust us to write this spec sheet, source suppliers, ship your items, and perform many processes. We have supported hundreds and thousands of clients; we can do the same for you! Don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know how we can help.