Design specifications set the requirements for the product or solution being purchased by detailing the desired characteristics. To fully describe the agency's need, design specifications may be very lengthy. However, great care must be taken to ensure that design specifications are not written so tightly that they unfairly preclude other suppliers from offering their supplies or services.
Design specifications set forth the physical characteristics of the item to be procured in definitive terms. Design specifications may also include the dimensions, tolerances and specific manufacturing processes. Drawings or other detailed instructions should describe the product when utilizing design specifications. Design specifications are not conducive to procuring commercial off-the-shelf products and the specifications are not tailored to the commercial market place. Design specifications, may, as a result of being over-specific, unnecessarily limit the competition for a particular product, solution or service.