A step-by-step plan for suppliers to execute the “Smart Color Supply Chain”
1. Contact your retailer/brand (buyer) and let them know that you are about to get started with digital color approval and encourage them to contact natific to learn more about how to get started too. You might want to pick one buyer who is curious to get in to the fast track of digital color communication as a project partner. If you are a vendor-type company, contact your dye houses too and partner with some (we can help you show the dye house benefits).
Ps. Having your buyer on board means that you will receive color requests that are feasible in production. You will also receive an optimized digital color standard (qtx-file) and be able to electronically send back digital samples. Even if only you are working effectively with digital color you will attain worthwhile measurable benefits, while being ready to capitalize on maximum return on investment when your partners become operational.
2. Education, education, education! Learn the basics of digital color standards and color communication. You can get started with step 9 (the CAP Program) at your dye house, however if color certification is new to your supply chain you might want to start at a basic level and move up in level as your expertise is proven.
3. Ask your buyer if they have a written Color Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) including digital color approval and communication. If not, ask them to develop one or develop your own and let them know about it. Tips! 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.
4. Get connected with your supply chain partners for color development and communication – Check out and sign up for natific’s online system ASAP, and ask your supply chain partners to do the same. Heads-up! Give this some time, natific will need to help you with the installation.
5. Your buyer will send their color request digitally (the qtx-file). Within seconds after a request is sent, you will receive it in ASAP to start matching the color.
6. Hold on! –If your buyer didn’t do this already, you may want to check with an expert so the requested color and material is feasible in production. The same expert should also create an optimized digital color standard (qtx-file) for you.
7. You electronically send back a digital sample of the best possible color match through ASAP to your buyer. You and all your connected supply chain partners will be using ASAP to handle the color communication including digital and visual assessments, approvals and rejections, tracking of performance, storage of digital samples etc.
8. If the color is a good match, you will get a go ahead through ASAP from your buyer to start dyeing for production. Here comes a VERY exciting ps.: when you accomplished step 9, you will be able to (depending on your CAP level) go straight-to-production without sending any lad dip or first of production sample for pre-approved colors.
9. Time to speed up the production and increase your product quality! We will train your colorists 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. (Let us know when you are ready for the Color Accreditation Program’s step-by-step plan).
10. Track your production batches to meet your goal – Check out and sign up for natific’s online color production tracking system ColorWarehouse, and ask your supply chain partners to do the same. Heads-up! Give this some time, we need to help you with the installation. If you completed step 9, the system will already be installed. When the ColorWarehouse is in place, you can start to measure and upload every batch to ensure ongoing accuracy and precision. You will be able to track out of tolerance issues, know where process or recipe modifications are needed, etc.
11. You are now one of the leading suppliers 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