A step-by-step plan for retailers & brands to execute the "Smart Color Supply Chain"
1. Contact your suppliers to check if they do digital color approval. No need to re-invent the questions yourself, we have a set of questions you can use. Simply email us and ask for the questions. Before you read further: you do not want to wait with this – minimum time invested, no cost and no strings attached – and you might realize that you are already half way there!
2. Pick out some of your suppliers who are curious or already hooked on digital color to start your change journey together. Let us know if you want our help to show the supplier benefits.
3. Education, education, education! Learn the basics of digital color standards and color communication.
4. Create one single procedure to avoid misunderstandings, i.e. write down your new color approval procedure and communicate it to your supply chain to make sure they understand and will follow. Depending on your supplier’s digital color experiences, some training might be needed (step 10 is our best advice). Ps. No need to be too creative, your procedure should be aligned with current global brands and industry best practice, while at the same time fitting your business. We are happy to put this together for you and to educate your supply chain.
5. Designers, hold on! – Check with an expert so your chosen seasonal colors and materials are feasible in production. The same expert should also create a feasible and optimized digital color standard (qtx-file) for you. (Don’t understand the techie talk yet? Don’t worry it is all so easy to understand after step 3).
6. Send your color request digitally (the qtx-file) to your supply chain. You can send this through email but even better - check out and sign up for natific’s online color development and communication system ASAP, and ask your suppliers to do the same. (Heads-up! Give this some time, we need to help you with the installation).
7. Within seconds, your supply chain will receive your color request to start matching the color.
8. Your supplier electronically sends back its digital sample of the best possible color match (through email, or better in ASAP where you handle all assessments, approvals, and track the performance). Ultra fast track tips: this + the next step is not needed if your supplier is pre-approved to go straight to production (step 11 will fix that for you).
9. If the color is a good match, give a go ahead (in ASAP) to your supplier to start dyeing for production.
10. Finally! Time to speed up the production and increase your product quality. We train your suppliers on color, material, lab and bulk production, with the goal to eliminate the need for lab dips and first production submits. At the same time, specified on-site production issues can be addressed for root-cause analysis and problem solving.
11. Measure all your production batches to meet your color goal – Check out and sign up for natific’s online color production tracking system ColorWarehouse, and ask your suppliers to do the same. (Heads-up! Give this some time, we need to help you with the installation.) Good news, if your suppliers have completed step 10 and the ColorWarehouse is already in place and used by your supplier. When the ColorWarehouse is in place for you and your supplier, ask them to measure each production lot and upload to the ColorWarehouse system. You will now be able to see, control and improve your color accuracy, precision and consistency.
12. You are now one of the leading brands/retailers in the textile industry. It is good to know that the plan applies to all components for your finished textile products, garments and shoes.
We are here to guide you to your success – let us know when you are ready to take your first steps. Contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get right back to you.
PS. Do you need additional motivation to act on the steps? read this article.
Download and print your step-by-step plan here