Steven Birrell, executive secretary, the Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers
Published:  02 March, 2007

Members of the Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers (ABIM) devote considerable resources to developing product specification documents for customers to help them comply with legislation, certification schemes and codes of practice, as well as answering any questions they might have.

Communicating product specification data to customers, using different formats, is a time-consuming and costly process. Employing technologists to complete what is effectively a 'cut and paste' job of providing information is an ineffective use of skilled labour and expertise, which could be put to far better use in areas such as new product development.

In some cases, ingredients manufacturers can find themselves completing upwards of 50-60 specifications with different formats and with variations in terms of the questions asked for a single product. However, by and large, all of these specifications are asking for the same information - information that is already available on the manufacturer's specification document.

ABIM members support a 'one product, one specification' approach as being the most effective, accurate and timely method for communicating product information to its customers.

We are encouraged that other trade bodies are investigating the feasibility of a universal specification template that could be applied widely throughout the industry. We are keen to engage with other parties to progress these ongoing initiatives.




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