The tech pack is one of the foundational steps in the development of any product. It is an extensive document that provides a detailed visual and technical representation of your design. You can think of it as an instruction manual for your garment, detailing all its components and specifications, from measurements to construction instructions. It serves as an important communication tool between designers and manufacturers, who must speak the same language.
The tech pack is crucial, especially in the world of fashion. You have to create a tech pack before you can look for manufacturers to produce your collection. It helps you define your requirements and communicate them clearly to a manufacturing partner. Once that’s finalized, the tech pack acts as documentation for any changes or fixes you might make during production. It also demonstrates what changes are expected from each sample to the finished product. Once all this information has been recorded and agreed upon, the tech pack becomes a written set of specifications that manufacturers must follow so that they can produce your vision correctly.
A comprehensive and well-organized tech pack allows manufacturers to execute patterns and samples better. It ensures that everyone involved in bringing your design to life has a clear understanding of what needs to be done—and how—to avoid costly manufacturing errors.
Without tech packs, manufacturers can make mistakes that can lead to costly rework. Here are some interesting ways that tech packs can help you save you time and money.
1. Tech packs can help reduce communication-related problems
The first benefit of a tech pack is that it can help you to avoid any kind of communication-related problems. As mentioned, a tech pack is written documentation. It contains all the information about your design, pattern, sample and measurements.
A tech pack provides complete clarity of design intent. This means that everyone involved in the research and development process will know exactly what you want to create. They won’t need to make assumptions based on their own experience or understanding.
So, using a tech pack as a technical document ensures that there is no room for error or confusion when you are developing your product with the factory or supplier. Everyone has access to the same information (instead of just verbal instructions) and everything is clear from the beginning so there is less risk of miscommunication and misunderstanding.
2. Tech packs take care of time zone troubles
As a brand, your goal is to produce high-quality products and ship them quickly. Time zone differences can create problems that may lead to delays while you or your manufacturers wait to get back in touch. With tech packs, this is less likely to happen because a tech pack is an easy reference point that can be accessed 24/7.
In addition, with tech pack tools you can make any adjustments by updating the tech pack in real-time so that everyone has access to the most current version.
3. Tech packs help manufacturers set and stay on budget
Product costing errors generally occur when brands and manufacturers don’t communicate their expectations clearly. Tech packs are the antidote to this problem.
One of the main reasons for product costing errors is a lack of clarity about materials. If your tech pack does not include a comprehensive list of materials needed, with exact quantities and measurements, you can expect your manufacturer to make their own judgment. This may not align with your vision and certainly not your budget. Your tech pack should mention all required trims, materials and construction requirements so that pricing can be done correctly.
4. Tech packs help manufacturers to allocate resources more effectively
Reducing the number of rounds of prototypes is a key benefit for manufacturers. Once you have a finalized and approved tech pack, the manufacturer can move from prototyping to production without wasting time on corrections or alterations.
In fact, tech packs allow them to allocate manpower and equipment more effectively—a clear set of instructions for each item’s construction enables them to decide whether certain value-additions need to be outsourced and estimate the resources required in-house. A clear tech pack will also ensure that all finished products meet your standards. This can help you avoid errors such as mistakes in stitching, wrong material specifications, incorrect embellishments and so on.
5. Tech packs make it easier to create a Time & Action calendar
In case you’re not familiar with the concept, a Time & Action calendar is used to schedule and monitor all the activities involved in the production and delivery of a product. The T&A gives you an overview of the whole production process, from sampling to delivery. And a tech pack is essential in helping you create this calendar by providing you with all the required information. This includes:
- The complete specifications of your product
- Measurement details for each part or item on your garment
- Style number, color and material specification for each style
- Bill of Materials (BOM) for each style
6. Tech packs help reduce lead times
A tech pack streamlines the steps of the design process, allowing your team to be able to move quicker from one step to another. This is crucial for reducing lead times as well. Without a tech pack, you have to rely on constant communication with your factory in order for them to re-create your designs or understand your ideas.
With tech packs, communication between you and the factory is simplified because all necessary information is gathered (and recorded) in one document. This process can be further improved by using a digital tech pack tool like PLM/ERP where the design and factory teams can collaborate on a single platform and get real-time updates to get the job done. This allows manufacturers/designers/brands to work together efficiently—helping companies get their products out faster without delays caused by errors or rework.
We can all agree that manufacturing errors are costly and need to be avoided whenever possible. At the end of the day, tech packs can help minimize the risk of these mistakes being made. Now that you’re aware of the importance of tech packs, and why you need them—check out some of the best practices and tips for creating a successful fashion tech pack.
If you want to make sure that product quality doesn’t suffer as a result of miscommunication or inaccuracies, investing time in tech packs could be a solid decision. After all, it’s better to spend a little upfront than risk throwing away hundreds if not thousands of dollars on faulty products.