February 16, 2021

How to Streamline Collaboration for Production Samples

When getting new products off the ground, the extra time spent collaborating on and finalizing the artwork is crucial to ensuring the production sample is accurate the first time. Unfortunately, when there are several required changes, the back-and-forth messages, revised files, and details can become scattered. Staying on top of every single update is time-consuming and can significantly impact the launch date if there are any hiccups.

This is why it’s important to stay organized. Inefficiencies in your process can cause delays, missed deadlines, and ultimately slow down the growth of your business. We recommend having a standard procedure and centralized location to collaborate with the appropriate parties and map out how you can work with your team to produce timely and quality results.

Finalize the artwork internally

Prior to working with a supplier, ensure that the artwork is completed and finalized internally. It’s imperative that you know the directions and claims of your finished product. If you skip this step, you run the risk of paying for a production sample that isn’t in line with the product direction, wasting money and time for everyone involved. The added benefit of the finalized artwork means you’ll be able to request and compare quotes from different suppliers for the same product specifications.

We recommend aligning on the finalized artwork through your meetings and systems that you have internally, whether that’s google drive, Dropbox, email, or a cloud-based messaging system, such as Slack or Teams. This allows you to keep track of any revisions, changes, and internal discussions through your internal systems, before looping in any external parties to your process.

The limitation with email for production samples

Once your artwork is finalized, you can start engaging with your supplier(s) for production samples. You might think to reach out via email. However, the problem with email is that only the cc’ed recipients are able to read its contents. During a product launch, any communication about the product is likely going to need to be reviewed by internal stakeholders. For example, if you wanted to present a supplier-recommended material change to your leadership team, the information would need to be extracted from the email thread and created into a separate offline document, spreadsheet, or presentation deck that could get lost or outdated as new emails are exchanged.

This inefficiency and information silo will prevent you from getting the necessary approvals to move quickly into production. For that reason, instead of email, we recommend using a cloud-based system that allows you to collaborate with both internal and external colleagues for faster outcomes. Tools like Anvyl allow you to collaborate with suppliers and internal team members, and create tasks for everyone involved, before a purchase order is issued.

Introducing suppliers to the process

Creating a draft purchase order on the Anvyl platform allows you to invite colleagues and vendors to collaborate together on the order. Orders within Anvyl lets you store files, exchange messages, and assign tasks to everyone who is working together.

For example, if you are hoping to get a production sample, you can perform the following steps:

  1. Create a draft purchase order.
  2. Add the finalized artwork in the Parts Library and Files section of your order.
  3. Send a Message to your supplier and tag that individual or group with important information.
  4. Assign a Task with a target due date for the production sample.

As changes are made, revisions are tracked in the platform, and auditable by anyone who is added to collaborate. This helps provide timely access to status updates, streamlines communication threads, and ensures information is visible to everyone involved, even when they’re not tagged on every message sent. 

Try it now

Streamlining processes with Collaborators and Tasks through Anvyl has helped a number of brands speed up their time to market for new products from years to weeks. The platform allows customers to create unlimited Collaborators and unlimited Tasks with their purchase orders.

If you are looking to stay organized with new product launches and are not currently a customer of Anvyl, talk to a specialist today.

Take Control of Your Production Process

Anvyl provides a central source of truth for all your order information, and helps you manage your supplier relationships. All in one simple platform.

Take Control of Your Production Process