Two software companies have formed a strategic alliance to integrate precision colour management capabilities into PLM and help fashion and related companies streamline the colour management and approval processes.

The partnership sees Visual Next and ColourMart add ColorLifecycle Management (CLM) tools into the Visual PLM platform.

The move should improve the speed and accuracy of colour palette management, lab dip approvals, bulk fabric colour QC, and other colour processes – all of which are traditionally manual, subjective and time-consuming.

"With so many fashion retailers, brands, and manufacturers challenged by the lack of speed and accuracy around colour-related processes, we saw the addition of CLM capabilities as a natural extension of PLM," explains Charles Benoualid, Visual Next's vice president of research and development.

"In much the same way PLM accelerates and brings transparency and collaboration to product development, CLM can transform traditionally manual, time-consuming, and subjective colour tasks into more accurate and responsive processes with permanent removal of time, costs, and errors."

ColourMart's PaletteManager solution is used by colourists, designers, and developers to develop and manage colour palettes.

Advanced search tools enable users to quickly search libraries by colour, text and other attributes. Users can sort, filter, edit, annotate and manage library colours to build new palettes that can be split, combined, compared, and analysed visually in 2D or 3D.

The ColorFlow tool uses an intuitive dashboard display to track and manage the entire colour approval process. It provides a much higher level of visibility and control to both specifiers and colour suppliers (dye houses/mills) as they manage digital and physical colour submissions and approvals.

"While colour is one of the most important aspects of fashion, most PLM systems do not support digital colour measurement and management processes," explains ColourMart owner Richard Lawn. "We have long believed that the marriage of PLM and CLM could accelerate and improve colour decisions and applications."