Color is a major factor in consumers’ purchasing decisions, but apparel companies don’t always understand how to integrate color management into their overall process—and the result is unnecessary delays, costs and quality issues.
Dustin Bowersox, market manager for textile and apparel at Datacolor, said working closely with trusted supply chain partners, like mills, can improve color quality, improve speed-to-market and free up resources for brand partners. “If [mills] have proven performance to deliver the brands’ quality expectations, you can relinquish the validation steps for color approval or even they can help in the design phase,” he said. “Mills are elevating their expertise to market to a larger audience so relying on those folks to take on responsibilities allows brands and retailers to free up internal resources to focus on other customer focused activities.”
Focusing on color management can have a big impact on a brand’s bottom line: according to Bowersox, color plays a pivotal role in about 85 percent of consumers’ purchasing decisions.
That’s why delivering on the color of the season is so important, said Andrew Fraser, director of global quality control at private-label swimwear company InMocean Group. However, there are many factors that determine if the brand can deliver—and deliver on time. “Having pre-production meetings with mills so they understand what the end goal is, is something I think needs to be re-examined,” Fraser said, adding brands need to spend time in the mills in order to facilitate product development. “Boots on the ground is the best way to understand what’s happening to your production and your product.”
Watch the video to hear Bowersox and Fraser discuss how technology can slash time out of the development calendar, the reason color consistency is even more important in home goods, and why striving for perfection can undermine speed-to-market initiatives.