Product specification sheets are a great resource for Amazon sellers to prevent delivery issues. Just like many large businesses today, many Amazon sellers rely on offshore manufacturers for their product sourcing. The big difference is that large businesses can send someone to inspect in-person the quality control of offshore manufacturers. The Amazon seller is usually a solo entrepreneur who doesn’t have such a luxury.
Unfortunately, miscommunication with the offshore manufacturer can result in Amazon delivery issues. These Amazon delivery issues are caused by products that are unusable because they are of low quality and/or don’t match the seller’s product listings, for example, the colors or sizes are wrong.
Needless to say, Amazon sellers get burned in multiple ways. They must backorder and fail to fulfill their customer orders, causing customer dissatisfaction and risking their business standing with Amazon. In the meantime, they aren’t selling merchandise they expected to profit on.
There’s a simple way for Amazon sellers to avoid miscommunication with manufacturers and avoid Amazon delivery issues. A product specification sheet ensures that manufacturers and Amazon sellers are literally on the same page.
What a Product Specification Is
A product specification sheet details exactly what expectations must be met in terms of such criteria as:
While the product specification sheet is typically no more than a couple of pages, it needs emphasis on the “specification.” For example, specifying you want “high quality” isn’t really saying anything. What “high quality” might mean to you and what it might mean to a manufacturer that might decide to switch to a cheaper component to improve its profitability could be debatable. The point here is to eliminate any and all possibilities of debate.
Here are some examples of how to define a specification for “high quality”:
No more than 1 defect per run of 50.
Scratch more than 1mm on the product surface is considered defective and must be discarded.
Only acceptable product material is steel; substitutions in material will be rejected as unacceptable to terms and conditions.
Product is blue as specified by the provided pantone color standard. Color must have a consistent appearance across product runs. Any variations in color consistency or shading will be rejected.
How to Create a Product Specification Sheet
While you might find some product specification templates on the Internet, no one generic template is going to fit every manufacturing situation. As a general outline, the product specification sheet can comprise:
Product Summary. A few sentences that describe the product, its application, and general expectations for production. This is also the only part of the sheet that uses actual sentences; this is an overview, the details that follow should be bullet points and as specific and unambiguous as possible.
Functional Product Specs.
Dimensions, color, weight of finished product
Bill of materials
Product performance (e.g., must withstand certain temperatures, must be waterproof to a certain depth, or must open/close within a certain time)
Safety standards (e.g., no toxic materials or small parts children could swallow)
Other special needs/requirements
Target price of manufacture
Initial order quantities
Compliance Standards. Regulatory requirements of regions/countries where products may be sold, durability
Manufacturing Standards. Examples are ISO and QC certifications, commitment not to use child labor.
Illustrations/Photos. Photos are best if you are replicating or duplicating an existing product. Otherwise, diagrams are important to illustrate what a product should look like and how it should be assembled. This is particularly important when dealing with foreign manufacturers.
Packaging. Instructions on packaging materials, weight, labeling, case size, case count, individual piece dimensions.
Shipping Instructions. Where and expected delivery times, product tariffs.
It is highly advised that you translate the product specification sheet into the native language of the manufacturer. This help avoid any potential misunderstandings due to language differences
Product Specification Sheet Uses
Besides making absolutely clear of your expectations and standards so you receive goods from the manufacturer that are exactly what you are paying for, the product specification sheet also helps avoid Amazon delivery issues and improve business success in other areas. Use it to:
Source quotes from competitive manufacturers
Analyze the costs that go into manufacture by product components, assembly methods, or other criteria identified in the product specification sheet
Address and fix problems encountered by manufacturer in following specs and identify possible substitutions in materials, assembly, or sourcing to attain desired results
Resolve potential disputes with suppliers, manufacturers, shippers
Expand Manufacturing to Improve Amazon Delivery
Using a detailed product specification sheet avoids unwelcome and costly surprises and prevents Amazon delivery issues. Amazon sellers might even consider expanding their manufacturing.
Of course, the problem with any business expansion is the need for additional capital. Unfortunately, traditional ways to acquire that capital come with added expense. High-interest rates, the burden of monthly payments, and, should you decide to take on an investment partner, some loss of control over your business.
Fortunately, there is an alternative that works to your best advantage. AccrueMe is a funding source that is uniquely different.
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