A Key Document For Production – The Product Data Sheet.

The product data sheet, is considered a key document for production when looking to import from overseas.

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.

The most common mistake made when importing is related to poor definition. These can be serious mistakes, as in most cases are not easily resolved, forcing 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
  • Other important data

It’s important to differentiate the technical data sheet for commercial use from the technical data sheet for production. In the first case, it is a 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 relevant to online transactions such as e-commerce. As the consumer does not physically have the opportunity to see what they are buying, the technical data sheet along with photographs is the best way to sell your product.

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 successful production and, therefore, it is necessary to make every effort and involve all the necessary departments involved.

What information does the production data sheet contain?

The product data sheet 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 and the company’s infrastructure, the data may vary.

It is a tool that can 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 and can be used as a manufacturing guide.

To ensure the maximum quality of the products that are going to be manufactured, the production data sheet must contain the following information, adapting to suit each 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
  • Information on product quality and safety controls

Having all this information will help the production run as smoothly as possible.

Description of products to be shipped VS production data sheet

Although you 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. One of the requirements during the transport of goods is the shipping document.

This document contains a product description field, 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”.

It’s important to be clear that the shipping document and can not only state “screws”, but must also specify in more detail, for example, “aluminium screws for car rims”.

Simplify your production with a sourcing partner!

Outsourcing the manufacturing of products isn’t easy especially when we decide to do it overseas.

It’s fundamental to perfectly develop each of the steps of production and subsequent import, however, if you do not have extensive experience in this, you may need 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.

We have been specialising in the development of products overseas 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.