Tech packs! Love them or hate them, if you’re in fashion – you simply need them!
Like anything in life, the quality of the outcome depends on the quality of the input. In fashion, this is truer than in most other industries. Without a proper brief, a visual and verbal accurate communication, the end result will be a disappointment. Luckily for us entrepreneurs, it has never been easier to communicate better with manufacturers.
Sayam Kochar – the co-founder of fashion tech company Techpacher spent years creating an easy to use software that allows new and experienced fashion creatives to spec out their ideas and communicate them in the best possible way to manufacturers.
Here he tells us why making tech packs an integral part of your development process is a MUST.
Let me ask you this: What is a tech pack?
For most of you, it’s a static blueprint. A bundle of all your design requirements.
Fashion brands have treated tech packs as mere documents for far too long. They spend hours meticulously assembling them on Excel just to shove it to their manufacturers and hope for the best.
But tech packs can be so much more.
More than just a starting point, tech packs can become the cornerstone of your entire product development process.
What do I mean by that?
Picture a tech pack not as tables, numbers and sketches plastered on a spreadsheet, but as an interactive tool to communicate with your team and manufacturers in real-time.
Imagine tech packs unifying your entire supply chain: designers, product developers, merchandisers, and QAs, all using your tech packs as a single source of truth, from planning and design, all the way to sourcing and quality control.
And finally, imagine being able to create said tech packs in just minutes.
That’s exactly what Techpacker does.
It’s an intuitive platform used by hundreds of fashion startups to create beautiful tech packs in minutes, update with teams in real-time and keep manufacturers up to date.
You can use it to transform tech packs from static spreadsheets into design environments where you can manage, reuse and iterate your designs visually.
Related reading: Tech Pack vs Specification Sheet – What’s the difference?
Here are 5 ways you can use these improved tech packs to save time and money.
1. Reduce your sampling costs
Imagine having to create a product sample, without the exact instructions.
How many tries would it take you to get a product 100% right?
You get my point.
Without a good quality tech pack, your manufacturer will surely misinterpret your designs.
This extends your product development timeline and costs you money.
With a good tech pack, your final sample will take just a few tries, maybe even on the first one if you’re lucky. This drastically reduces your sampling costs.
Bottom line: the more accurate your tech packs are, the fewer adjustments your manufacturer will have to perform during sampling, the more money you’ll save in sampling costs.
It’s not uncommon for brands to spend weeks in product development and go through several rounds of sampling.
These samples can stack up to thousands of dollars that could’ve been better invested in your collection.
By investing in a tech pack before sampling starts, you invest in your product upfront and reap the savings later.
Like mentioned before, Techpacker is the easiest and fastest way to create industry-standard tech packs.
Instead of spending hours and hours formatting on Excel, copy-pasting, and awkwardly stitching technical sketches and tables together, Techpacker does it all for you.
All you have to do is enter your product spec, click one button and voila!
Your tech pack PDF is instantly formatted for you including images, tables, comments, annotations and descriptions.
Want to see what the final result looks like?
Check out some of the tech packs made on Techpacker.
2. Cut down data entry to virtually zero
Assembling tech packs using Excel has been the status quo for years.
For those who’ve done it from scratch before, you know how much of a grind it is.
Gruelling hours spent changing tiny details, formatting and copy-pasting the same design specs again and again.
Most of it is grunt work that involves adding the same design info across tech packs, for different styles, season after season.
There has to be an easier way.
Techpacker lets you save individual design elements like a front and back sketch or a zipper design in a Library.
If you want to reuse a design detail, simply drag and drop it into your tech pack.
This way, you won’t have to recreate anything from scratch again.
This neat feature is one of the many benefits that come with redefining tech packs from static spreadsheets to interactive workspaces.
3. Get accurate quotes
Techpacks let you research and compare quotes.
You can send it to a factory and they can give you a price estimate for your product. For some suppliers, having a tech pack is mandatory to give you a quote.
It’s easy to see why.
Without a tech pack, a factory can’t see all your product’s details upfront so they can’t give you an accurate quote.
The worst-case scenario is to jump the gun and go with a manufacturer who hasn’t seen and considered all your specifications.
When it’s time to actually produce your design, that price you started with will start to inflate because unexpected details are being tacked on.
So it all boils down to this:
Researching and vetting suppliers before you start manufacturing can pay off, especially in the long run.
Price quotes can vary wildly depending on what, where and how your product is being made.
Getting the best price per unit can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars.
And it all starts with an accurate tech pack.
4. Stop wasting time on emails
Did you know fashion designers can spend up to a third of their time on nothing but emailing and meetings?
How much is your time worth to you?
How much are these back and forths grinding away at your product development speed?
Every extra day it takes to bring your product to market is an extra day of 0 sales.
How much money are you loosing per month, per week or per day as you delay production?
Plus, this endless back and forth piles up in your inbox.
Soon enough, you’re not sure which tech pack version we’re talking about or which detail your manufacturer is pointing to these long emails threads.
It’s silly when you think about it.
Why are fashion designers explaining and comment on designs via email instead of right next to the design itself?
The tech packs on Techpacker have instant communication built right in.
You and your team can chat directly on the platform and keep your manufacturer up to date.
Every user is instantly notified of any replies or updates.
Your conversation history plus your shared files are saved next to your designs. You can easily refer back to it at any time.
Related reading: How to best communicate design ideas (even if you can’t draw)
5. Remove human error
Human error is potentially a huge cost to production and a surefire way to stretch out a product lifecycle.
You could stick to the old-school way of doing things aka creating tech packs using Excel, copy-pasting specs and double-checking for typos.
But every time you key in specs manually, you incur a micro-risk.
These compound over time and could cause a huge problem down the line, ranging from grinding production to a halt to getting samples that are not up to spec.
Techpacker automates many of these repetitive manual tasks, making mistakes less likely.
To learn more about Techpacker and try it for free, create your profile here.