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Functional Specification Description

By Anonymous - Posted on 07 January 2012

Functional specification can be described in the following ways or by a combination of them:

- By brand;
- By specification of physical and chemical characteristics, material and method of manufacture, and performance;
- By engineering drawings;
- Miscellaneous.

1. Description by Brand
The price specification represents the economic value that the buyer puts on the item—the amount the individual is willing to pay. If the item is to be sold at a low price, the manufacturer will not want to pay a high price for a component part. The economic value placed on the item must relate to the use of the item and its anticipated selling price.

Items are patented, or the process is secret.
The supplier has special expertise that the buyer does not have.
The quantity bought is so small that it is not worth the buyer’s effort to develop specifications.
The supplier, through advertising or direct sales effort, has created a preference on the Dart of the buyer’s customers or staff

When buying by brand, the customer is relying on the reputation and integrity of the supplier. The assumption is that the supplier wishes to maintain the brand’s reputation and will maintain and guarantee the quality of the product so repeat purchases will give the buyer the same satisfaction.

Most of the objections to purchasing by brand center on cost. Branded items, as a group, usually have price levels that are higher than nonbranded items. It may be less costly to develop specifications for generic products than to rely on brands. The other major disadvantage to specifying by brand is that it restricts the number of potential suppliers and reduces competition. Consequently, the usual practice, when specifying by brand, is to ask for the item by brand name or equivalent. In theory, this allows for competition.

2. Description by specification
Whatever method is used, description by specification depends on the buyer describing in detail exactly what is wanted:

- Physical and chemical characteristics,
- Material and method of manufacture,
- Performance.

Whatever the method of specification, there are several characteristics to description by specification:
- To be useful, specifications must be carefully designed. If they are too loosely drawn, they may not provide a satisfactory product. If they are too detailed and elaborate, they are costly to develop, are difficult to inspect and may discourage possible suppliers;
- Specifications must allow for multiple sources and for competitive bidding;
- They provide a standard for measuring and checking the material supplied;
- Not all items lend themselves to specification;
- An item described by specification may be more suitable and a great deal more expensive, than a supplier’s standard product;
- If the specifications are set by the buyer, they will be used only where there is sufficient volume of purchases to warrant the cost or where it is not possible to describe what the buyer wanted in any other way.

Sources of specifications. There are 2 major sources of specifications:
- Buyer specifications,
- Standard specifications.

Buyer specifications. Buyer-developed specifications are usually expensive and time-consuming to develop. Companies do not use this method unless there is no suitable standard specification available or unless the volume of work makes it
economical to do so.

Standard specifications. Standard specifications have been developed as a result of much study and effort by governmental and non-governmental agencies. They usually apply to raw or semi-finished products, component part or the composition of material.
There are several advantages to using standard specifications. First, they are widely known and accepted and, because of this, are readily available from most suppliers. Second, because they are widely accepted, manufactured and sold, they are
lower in price than non-standard items. Finally, because they have been developed with input from a broad range of producers and users, they are usually adaptable to the needs of many purchasers.

3. Engineering drawings
Drawings are a major method of specifying what is wanted and are widely used because often there is no other way to describe the configuration of parts or the way they are to fit together. They are produced by the engineering design department and are expensive to produce, but given an exact description of the part required.

4. Miscellaneous
The method of description is a communication with the supplier. How well it is done will affect the success of the purchase and sometimes the price paid.

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