Responding to the fact that colour development and approval is one of the single largest deterrents in getting fabrics from the mill on time, GretagMacbeth and Ai have announced a new partnership aimed at reducing lead times within the colour management supply chain. By integrating GretagMacbeth's NetPalette B2B colour communication software with Ai's Collaborative Product Management tool suite, the two companies can now offer what is thought to be the first comprehensive, web enabled colour measurement and PDM (Product Development Management) capabilities. According to Jim Davis, president, GretagMacbeth LLC: "Our more innovative customers have recognised that the old single vendor, proprietary approach of colour management solutions is outdated and limiting. Our collaboration with Ai reflects the success of our investment in open architectures and Internet technology, and will result in a compression of colour approval cycle times unachieved until now."NetPalette utilises a web-based architecture that supports the authoring and accessing of colour data throughout the textile/apparel supply chain. Through NetPalette users can create palettes, monitor details of submissions and manage the flow of colour related information. Direct input of spectral measurements is possible from multiple points in the supply chain, contributing to shorter cycle times and reduced operator error. All functions will operate with a browser type interface and be will compatible with most Internet related databases.Mike Keating, Ai VP of e-commerce and product strategy, added: "This partnership was designed to directly target those inefficiencies that prevent speed to market in colour development for apparel, textile and trim companies, and GretagMacbeth's leadership in B2B colour management makes this a perfect match."