JÄGER Busi­ness Blog

Is it worth cre­at­ing a spec­i­fi­ca­tion sheet

for rub­ber and plas­tic articles?

08.06.2022   | Jörg Zitzelsberger

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WHITEPAPER

Rub­ber and plas­tics in mod­ern agri­cul­tur­al technology

Learn how agri­cul­tur­al tech­nol­o­gy can meet most of today’s challenges

In devel­op­ment projects for mold­ed plas­tic and rub­ber parts, good plan­ning is the be-all and end-all. The more detailed the spec­i­fi­ca­tions of the request have been defined in advance, the smoother the project will run. How­ev­er, it some­times hap­pens that com­pa­nies only approach a rub­ber & plas­tics pro­duc­er with a rudi­men­ta­ry cat­a­log of require­ments and clar­i­fy all the details in a con­sul­ta­tion meet­ing. While this approach is effec­tive, it leads to delays that could have been avoid­ed with some pre­lim­i­nary work and a well-devel­oped spec­i­fi­ca­tion sheet.

Why should com­pa­nies pre­pare specifications?

In con­ven­tion­al rub­ber and plas­tics projects, spec­i­fi­ca­tions are rare. Most cus­tomers tend to explain their require­ments dur­ing a con­sul­ta­tion meet­ing. The rea­son for this is that many design­ers come from the met­al sec­tor and have lit­tle expe­ri­ence with the devel­op­ment of rub­ber or plas­tic com­po­nents. They lack the know-how.

For this rea­son, many com­pa­nies pre­fer to call on the con­sult­ing ser­vices of a man­u­fac­tur­er and clar­i­fy open ques­tions in dia­log. As a rule, a spec­i­fi­ca­tion sheet is still pro­duced in this way, but it is drawn up by the sup­pli­er and rep­re­sents a doc­u­men­ta­tion of what has been discussed.

How­ev­er, dis­pens­ing with an inter­nal­ly pre­pared require­ments spec­i­fi­ca­tion pos­es chal­lenges that com­pa­nies should keep in mind. For exam­ple, the rub­ber and plas­tics producer’s review of the project request runs much faster and more smooth­ly if all the impor­tant infor­ma­tion is already avail­able. Clar­i­fy­ing require­ments dur­ing the con­sul­ta­tion process often means that cus­tomers have to dis­cuss open ques­tions inter­nal­ly before pro­duc­tion can start. Aspects often come up that the cus­tomer has not yet thought about or has not spec­i­fied to a suf­fi­cient degree of detail. This can lead to delays that could have been avoid­ed with a pre­pared specification.

In addi­tion, a require­ments spec­i­fi­ca­tion can facil­i­tate the selec­tion of a suit­able devel­op­ment part­ner for the project, because the detailed spec­i­fi­ca­tions record­ed there also rep­re­sent deci­sion cri­te­ria. They allow the sup­pli­er to clar­i­fy whether he can imple­ment a solu­tion with his exist­ing capa­bil­i­ties and capac­i­ties and at what con­di­tions. At the same time, the cus­tomer receives valu­able feed­back, which he can use to bet­ter com­pare the man­u­fac­tur­ers contacted.

Zwei Kollegen arbeiten an Unterlagen

Dis­cus­sion between two busi­ness partners

What infor­ma­tion belongs in a good require­ments specification?

The opti­mal con­tent of a require­ments spec­i­fi­ca­tion (or equiv­a­lent check­list) always depends on the project. Infor­ma­tion that is essen­tial for one prod­uct may be option­al for anoth­er. Men­tion­ing every­thing that might be rel­e­vant makes it dif­fi­cult for both sides to iden­ti­fy impor­tant key points.

When in doubt, you can use the fol­low­ing list of con­tent com­mon­ly found in spec­i­fi­ca­tions as a guide:

You should not regard this overview as the bind­ing struc­ture of a spec­i­fi­ca­tion, but rather as a check­list. Go through each item and decide which aspects are rel­e­vant to your project. If you are unsure, include the top­ic in your spec­i­fi­ca­tions and address it in the con­sul­ta­tion meeting.

Con­clu­sion

Prepar­ing a spec­i­fi­ca­tion sheet before mak­ing an inquiry to a rub­ber and plas­tics pro­duc­er is an effort that many com­pa­nies shy away from. They pre­fer to clar­i­fy their require­ments in direct dia­log with the sup­pli­er. How­ev­er, this pro­ce­dure has its pit­falls. Ques­tions often arise that the cus­tomer can­not answer ad hoc, or aspects that must first be clar­i­fied inter­nal­ly. In addi­tion, com­pa­nies give up a tool that can help them pre-select poten­tial devel­op­ment part­ners. Both can delay the start of the project. It is there­fore advis­able to clar­i­fy the require­ments for the rub­ber or plas­tic arti­cle as far as pos­si­ble before con­tact­ing them and to doc­u­ment them in a spec­i­fi­ca­tion sheet.

Whitepa­per:
Rub­ber and plas­tics in mod­ern agri­cul­tur­al technology

Learn how agri­cul­tur­al tech­nol­o­gy can meet most of today’s challenges

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Author: Jörg Zitzelsberger

Jörg Zitzels­berg­er has been part of the Jäger Gum­mi und Kun­st­stoff team since 1993. With many years of expe­ri­ence, he serves our cus­tomers as head of the Stuttgart location.

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