X-Rite and Pantone have announced that Asda, one of Britain’s value retailers and a wholly owned subsidiary of Wal-Mart, will employ PantoneLIVE™, a cloud-based colour service, throughout its global supply chain.

PantoneLIVE allows Asda to standardise on a single platform and manage digital access rights to facilitate colour communication across packaging materials and suppliers, improving operational efficiencies.

Andy Wilson, print manager at Asda said, ‘The proposition was challenging: develop a solution that not only enables us to assess print quality across the entire list of Asda approved packaging printers, but also present complex, technical colour data in an easy-to-understand format. As most of the print validation solutions on the market were aimed at printers rather than brand owners, it quickly became apparent that selecting the right partner to develop the solution was crucial, and X-Rite/Pantone ticked all our boxes.’

With colour so critically tied to brand equity, maintaining colour consistency across product packaging is essential to ensure authenticity and consumer confidence. The PantoneLIVE suite of solutions provide Asda with a secure, cloud-based repository for its precise colour data, allowing brand managers to communicate colour specifications across the supply chain and validate compliance and track supplier performance anywhere in the world.

‘Printers being able to validate their own work in real-time makes PantoneLIVE a game changer,’ said Jason Gilmartin, senior print manager at Asda. ‘With its implementation, we will now be able to manage our print base intelligently with true ‘closed loop’ colour management from initial concept to final print whilst slashing waste, reducing cost and driving greater brand consistency. At last, the days of print managers approving print at the end of a printing press are coming to an end.’

‘It is mission critical for a large retailer such as Asda to achieve better and more consistent colour results across different categories, suppliers and regions. We are extremely pleased that PantoneLIVE is the chosen solution for accurate colour communication and control in their entire packaging supply chain,’ explained Dr Sonia Megert, vice president of the Pantone Digital Business unit at X-Rite/Pantone. ‘Spectral data for Asda’s main brand colours are stored securely in the PantoneLIVE cloud, thus helping reduce colour variation in the production process, ensuring their colours are correct every time, on every packaging material.’

In addition, PantoneLIVE’s centralised colour management system helps achieve speed to market efficiencies from initial design to final production, ultimately lowering product development and manufacturing costs. Asda will begin to deploy PantoneLIVE immediately with Smart Price, Chosen by You and Extra Special private label brands.