product data sheet

The product data sheet, a key document for production

The importance of describing a product well is fundamental. This is something that marketers are well aware of, as a large part of sales depend on the definition of an item. However, in imports, the description of an item is important long before manufacturing begins, and therefore the product data sheet is considered a key document for production.

As we have seen previously in this blog, some of the most common mistakes made when importing are related to poor product definition. These are serious mistakes, as in most cases they are not easily solvable and can force us to rethink our entire sales strategy.

In general terms, we can say that the product data sheet details all the characteristics of a product: composition (materials), physical and technical characteristics, operation and other important data.

It is important to differentiate the technical data sheet for commercial use from the technical data sheet for production. In the first case, it is an important sales tool, duly designed, in which the manufacturer or seller presents the product’s features in an attractive way. This document, which can have different formats, is especially relevant in online transactions (e-commerce or marketplace), where the consumer does not have the opportunity to see what he/she is buying and, consequently, the technical data sheet (together with photographs) is the best way to clarify doubts and concerns.

The production datasheet is usually a much more comprehensive document, which does not have a specific layout but contains all the details about a product that has not yet been manufactured. It is a key instrument for a successful production and, therefore, it is necessary to make every effort and involve all the necessary departments so that the product data sheet perfectly defines the article that we are going to manufacture.

What information does the production data sheet contain?

As we have already seen, the product data sheet for production is a very important document indeed. In fact, it must be reviewed and approved by the company, usually by a quality manager.

Some companies have systems for generating product data sheets, which facilitate both the collection of information and subsequent approval. However, it is important to bear in mind that depending on the type of product to be manufactured and the company’s infrastructure, the data to be included in this document may vary.

The production datasheet should be considered as a manufacturing guide. In fact, it is a tool to be used in the production line to know if the work is being carried out as the customer expects, with the established requirements and guidelines.

To ensure the maximum quality of the products we are going to manufacture, the production data sheet must contain the following information (always adapted to the type of product):

  • – Important information about its manufacture (brand, model, etc.).
  • – Information enabling the product to be classified (category, subcategory, etc.).
  • – Data on the format of the product (size, weight, colour, etc.)
  • – Data on labelling and packaging (if required)
  • – Information on product quality and safety controls.

Thanks to all this information, the production of our articles should be carried out as smoothly as possible, following the desired requirements and specifications.

Description of products to be shipped VS production data sheet

Although we are dealing with two clearly different concepts, when searching on the Internet we can find confusing information about the description of products for import.

When we outsource production to other countries, such as China, shipping is a very important part of the purchasing process for which we must be properly prepared. In this context, one of the requirements we will be asked for during the transport of the goods is the shipping document.

This documentation required for transport contains a field known as the product description and, although it is not related to the description in the technical data sheet, it must be correctly completed.

The product description in the shipping document must be brief but sufficiently complete to leave no room for doubt. Thus, it is essential that it answers the questions: “what is the product”, “what material is it made of” and “what is it used for”.

Following the above instructions, it is important to be clear that the shipping document must not only state “screws”, but must also specify in more detail, e.g. “aluminium screws for car rims”.

Simplify your production with a sourcing partner!

Outsourcing the manufacturing of products is not an easy task, especially when we decide to do it in areas outside our continent, such as China or other Asian countries.

In this context, the importance of perfectly developing each of the steps of production and subsequent import is fundamental, and when you do not have extensive experience in this, it is preferable to rely on the services of a professional.

This is where the work of a sourcing partner can be key to the success of our international purchases. It is not just a matter of looking for an intermediary for our imports, but to have a service that is able to support the entire production process, reviewing each of the steps.

At S3 Group  we have been specialising in the development of products in Asian countries for more than 15 years. Our experience in the entire import process is an added value for our clients, who obtain a series of competitive advantages over their competitors that end up improving their commercial results.