Data Or Die (Part 3) – Behind The Scenes



We had a discussion with natific’s senior partners Andreas Roth, Doug Bynum and Christoph Bergmann concerning the history of the natific system ColorWarehouse. We discussed why it is crucial to work with digital color data in the supply chain, how the system was born and what it is that makes ColorWarehouse unique.

Below is an interview with Andreas Roth (picture), one of the co-founders of natific AG and creator of the natific system ColorWarehouse.


Andreas explained that it is critical to have digital color production measurements that are both reliable and timely in order to speed up development and shorten lead times. It is also crucial to have transparency into production color data across the supply chain.

Transparency allows brands to make objective quality management decisions and monitor key performance indicators, says Andreas Roth. For example, lot to lot consistency on the same color from one supplier and consistency of a brand’s range of seasonal colors across their global supply chain is made possible using the ColorWarehouse.

Daily production transparency in the color summary view

Andreas emphasized that the dyeing process is a time and resource consuming industrial process that requires exact specifications (input) and also strict parameters for verifying product compliance at the end of the production process.

“The ColorWarehouse gave brands a unique tool to monitor
global compliance versus color and testing specifications.
/ Andreas Roth, natific AG


A collaboration with a major US retailer – the story behind the ColorWarehouse
In order to shorten lead times in product development and production processes, Andreas explained that a major US retailer in collaboration with natific redesigned its traditional color processes.

A production centric mill assessment program was developed, and the Color Accreditation Program (CAP) was born. The web-based system ColorWarehouse was created to let CAP accredited dye houses upload their production color measurements.

This allowed the retailer’s Color and Sourcing Offices to have numerical verification and meaningful statistics on production performance throughout their supply chain.

By doing this, Andreas says that the true capability of any mill is benchmarked against industry best practices and compliant mills are granted lab dip self-approval privileges.

What makes the ColorWarehouse unique?
Andreas explained some of the major reasons why the ColorWarehouse successfully spread among international retailers/brands, suppliers and vendors, and became the industry-first solution for Color Managers.

First, let’s look at them in short:

  • ColorWarehouse is easy to use – in general users prefer convenient functions that require no additional work or changes to their established procedures.
  • Brand and Retailer Color Offices value the powerful statistics and unique features to monitor their supply chain performance down to material and test level.
  • Textile mills with one or several dye house operations in various locations can manage their dyeing facilities down to the dyeing machine level and fabric roll number.
  • All-in-all, the ColorWarehouse system creates global transparency into color consistency and provides meaningful statistics that allow mills, brands, and specifiers to make informed decisions on quality and statistical process control.

In more detail:

1. The ColorWarehouse makes it easy for brands, multi-site manufacturers, and individual mills to monitor and track lot by lot performance without sending e-mails, editing spreadsheets, or clicking through hundreds of samples in traditional color QC software.

2. The “notifications manager” in ColorWarehouse allows users to subscribe to notifications on out of tolerance or metameric production lots compared to the brands specifications. This was the first live production monitoring for color conformance that we were aware of.

Monitor ongoing production and get out of tolerance notifications

“The key thing was that the notifications had to be

timely before the fabric was shipped to the garment
factory or was already cut for assembly.”

/ Andreas Roth, natific AG

3. Accuracy and precision in color have become well-known terms in our industry as a result of “the ColorWarehouse Accuracy and Precision Plots” and the corresponding data. The precision plots give ColorWarehouse users a clear view of the color consistency on a color over a selected time period.

Accuracy and Precision plot

4. The ColorWarehouse “Compare Shades view” was a really important innovation from natific. This view allowed brands to easily see all results on the same color from multiple suppliers and on multiple fabrics.

Being able to compare consistency on colors from all suppliers helps to ensure good color integrity in the same garment or coordinating items.

See all fabrics by color for coordination

5. The ability to collect both testing data and color data by production lot is another unique feature in the ColorWarehouse. Mills input color measurements and performance testing results, and reports are available for the mills internal tracking and for the brand. This allows the mills to only use one system to track performance on a production lot and the brand can also track color and testing compliance.

6. natific continuously adds and updates features to address industry needs. Andreas explained some of the latest:

In 2016, the ColorWarehouse Network was added to the ColorWarehouse. This innovation allows mills to share data from the ColorWarehouse with Tier Ones, Fabric Vendors, other internal locations and even other mills.

Instead of printing reports, e-mailing data files or filling out tracking sheets, the mills can simply share the data with an invited ColorWarehouse Network user and handle the communication of mill results compared to the standard within the system.

Diagram of the ColorWarehouse Network 

The latest update to ColorWarehouse came just recently, natific introduced the WhiteWarehouse module in 2017. The WhiteWarehouse uses proprietary calculations to accurately assess and provide mills and brands feedback on the consistency of optically brightened whites. Comments are given to the mills on how to adjust out of tolerance whites to get them within digital and visual acceptability limits.

Data or Die.


your natific team

Contact our support team at for a demonstration of the natific ColorWarehouse system.

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