Industrial thread business Coats Group Plc has launched a new service which it claims will "revolutionise" zip sampling for the fashion and textile industries.

Coats Opti Express, which delivers zips via a web-based sampling system, claims to cut average lead times for standard zip samples from 14 to five days, and for customised zips from several weeks to ten days.

The system uses a digital tool to help customers choose the most appropriate sample for their needs, along with shade and puller type.

Describing the system as an "industry game-changer", Rajiv Sharma, global CEO, industrial, at Coats Group, said: "It makes zip selection simple, quick and easy and significantly reduces sample delivery time."

The service has been piloted in China, Sri Lanka, the UK and the US, and is now being rolled out to more customers. The next phase of the project will be to add a bulk order facility for customers.