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The Dangers of Spec Creep and 4 Ways to Manage it

May 31, 2017

Spec creep, when a product’s actual specifications drift over time from those set down on paper, is any manufacturer’s nightmare. It leads to reduced quality, lost confidence and lost customers. So how can you avoid it?

Cell-Based Manufacturing Eliminates Spec Creep

At IRD Glass, we use a cell-based approach to manufacturing that eliminates the risk of spec creep. Our system revolves around small, dedicated teams working on individual client projects. Each cell is responsible for the entire lifecycle a component will experience, from the ordering of raw material to the manufacture, final inspection and shipping of the product.

This process has ensured unwavering quality and fidelity to our clients’ original specifications year after year. That’s why we are a sole-source provider of precision glass and ceramic components for large and small corporations across the globe.

Four Ways to Manage Spec Creep

Spec creep, and all the ensuing headaches and costs it can entail, can be avoided with good communication, self-discipline, and planning. Here are some specific ways to manage spec creep.

  1. As a first step, make sure you start with a detailed product brief. The less detailed the brief, the more opportunities there are for spec creep to begin. A good product brief will explain the specifications (of course) but also provide an explanation of the product’s features, the reasons for the features, and the products’ objective.

 

  1. Get complete buy-in from stakeholders for product designs first. Don’t put the carriage in front of the horse, in other words, and start developing the product before getting commitment from all decision makers.

 

  1. If changes are requested down the line, deal with them decisively. If unavoidable, make spec alterations as quickly as possible.

 

  1. Save updates for version 2.0. Rather than requesting changes and updates to your design piecemeal, implement numerous changes at once for a version 2.0, 3.0, 4.0. This approach simplifies the supply chain and the manufacturing process, but it’s also good from a marketing standpoint; significant updates can be announced and marketed better than minor alterations.

About IRD Glass

IRD Glass manufactures precision glass and ceramic components with unmatched precision and unparalleled customization. We also achieve a 98%+ on-time delivery rate on everything from low-volume runs and large-volume orders to custom specials. To learn more, please visit our homepage today!