When you create a new line of products, having your designs manufactured at the right time, price and quality is key to a brand’s success.
To get products made correctly, the designer and manufacturer must have the exact same understanding of every little detail about the product. This ensures that you physically get what you visualized in your design process. Delays and quality problems start when the manufacturer does not have a clear understanding about all the details of a product’s design. A Tech pack helps solve this.
What is a Tech Pack?
Tech pack or Technical Package is a detailed blueprint describing a product’s design so it can be manufactured accurately to achieve the look desired by the designer. A Tech pack is typically a document created by designers, technical designers, and product developers. It includes design sketches, measurements and specs, colorways, bill of materials, material images, packing instructions, care instructions, construction details, and much more.
Techpack is a dynamic document that needs to be updated after every product change. Designers and product developers need to continuously work on the tech pack to provide accurate details of a product to the manufacturer. By using a detailed Tech pack, both the designer and the manufacturer are on the same page.
Tech Pack Example
What does a typical tech pack include?
Product Summary – This includes a design cover image (typically a flat sketch). Also, a product code, name, description, color, date of creation, last modification date, season, material description, supplier, selling price, country of origin, and product life cycle stage.
Technical Drawing– Technical drawings specifies product details from different angles – front, back, side and inside. This technical drawing helps the manufacturer visualize the product sample and make it as close as possible. These are commonly created in Adobe Illustrator.
Measurements/spec sheet – This includes measurements (point of measures) across all sizes of the product along with any tolerances.
Colors Pitching – This lists the different product colorways (or options) and describes which color body part goes with which product colorway.
Care Instructions – Details all the care instructions, care symbols, and material composition included in the product’s care label.
Bill of Material – Bill of Material (BOM) is the list of all components required to create the final product along with their quantity, size, price, and supplier. Items included are fabrics, care labels, buttons, zippers, hangers and packaging materials etc.
Material Images – This includes pictures of all the materials and components used in the product.
3D Images and Assets – These include the 3D product images created using 3D design software. This also includes the native files of all 3D assets (materials and components) which are shared with vendors.
Comments and Feedback -This section is used once the first sample of the product is received. Product development team can review the sample and add comments and feedback for any changes they expect from the manufacturer.
Why do you need a tech pack?
Some common questions asked by fashion brands are “How do you efficiently collaborate with manufacturers” and “How can you reduce the number of samples.” A simple answer to these questions is tech packs.
Why is a tech pack important?
- Reduces errors – A good tech pack contains all the information about a product. In other words, a tech pack is a comprehensive explanation of the expectations a designer has from the manufacturer. It clearly communicates all the product details, which decreases the chance of mistakes.
- Avoids Delays – When details are clear in a tech pack, it enables the factory to plan manpower, resources and block production capacity. This avoids delays in launching new products to market.
- Controls Quality – Whenever product samples are ready, a tech pack can be used as a reference to check quality. For example, if a product deviates from any measurement out of the level of tolerance, the tech pack acts as a tool to highlight the difference as well as explain to the manufacturer what revisions to make.
- Saves Time – With tech packs, the manufacturer can make your product accurately the first time around. This saves time involved in re-work, re-approvals and production. Moreover, once the tech pack is ready, it can be used again for future collections by making minor changes.
- Improves Collaboration – Techpack enhances collaboration and removes information gaps. As all changes and comments are in the tech pack, both designer and manufacturer are always on the same page. This is especially important if the manufacturer is in a different time zone and speaks a different language.
- Decreases Cost – Firstly, brands can send a tech pack to multiple manufacturers and receive product quotes to compare and negotiate prices, quantities, terms. Secondly, a detailed tech pack reduces revisions, therefore reducing the overall product development cost and time.
- Accurate Quotations – A tech pack with a detailed breakdown of the product enables the manufacturer to quote product costs accurately. If required, the manufacturer can also provide a detailed cost breakdown by component (materials, trims, packaging, labor etc).
How to create a tech pack?
The most commonly used tools to create tech packs are Microsoft Excel and Adobe Illustrator. While these tools are easy to use, they present a lot of challenges especially as your company grows. As described earlier, tech packs are details that describe a product’s design so a manufacturer knows exactly how to make the product. Products go through many design changes before they are approved and any change creates a new version of the tech pack. Managing this using spreadsheets and email threads across multiple products and vendors is tedious, slow and prone to errors. Even a small human error of a manufacturer viewing an outdated version of a tech pack can increase cost and cause delays.
A better way is to create a digital techpack using a PLM solution. Tech packs created in a PLM software (especially one that is cloud-based) saves time, and makes it easy to share product information with manufacturers. It also provides you with a digital centralized repository of all your products. A cloud PLM software can be accessed anytime, anywhere and provides real-time collaboration, and keeps everyone involved in product development on the same page even as information changes.
WFX PLM is a cloud-based product-lifecycle management software. We are the first company to provide true cloud-based PLM software for the fashion industry. WFX PLM solution integrates with Adobe Illustrator, ensuring fashion designers don’t spend time on manual data entry and speeds up the design and tech pack creation process.
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Create quality tech packs with comprehensive product details in minutes with WFX Cloud PLM. Get a demo and start working on digital tech packs.