27 September 2020 Business

Cloud platform aims to close materials gap in inkjet

The ColorBase Exchange will improve the supply chain between producers and resellers of inkjet suitable substrates.

Dutch inkjet consultant Color Concepts is launching a platform to connect substrate manufacturers with resellers through the cloud.

The ColorBase Exchange was introduced last week as a frictionless way for resellers to discover and order new materials while helping manufacturers optimise their production runs. It is “a marketplace that matches supply and demand, giving material manufacturers the global reach to build partnerships and generate exposure for their newest products,” says the developer.

It achieves this through the creation of a data format that allows every substrate to be described in terms of width, gauge, suitability to different print processes, finishes and more. It amounts to thousands of touch points per product and slashes the time for a reseller to bring a new product into its portfolio, say, a floor graphic material.

Marco Roos, CEO and founder of Color Concepts, says: “The past couple of months have shown that a disruption of patterns can lead to entirely new challenges, for both manufacturers and resellers. It also showed the vulnerability of systems and markets and the inability for companies to react fast to an ever changing situation. ColorBase Exchange does not aim to change the current market structure, but rather to optimise it and help resellers and manufacturers to interact more effectively, streamline their processes and adopt new agile methods of manufacturing and procuring materials.”

There are no prices shown on the platform, this being subject to negotiation between manufacturer and reseller. Color Concepts will earn its money through a percentage of the value of each transaction.

The manufacturer will gain through greater visibility of demand for products, helping refine the production plans and eliminating over production though making substrates that for which there is a declining demand. Equally it will be able to respond faster if demand rises sharply.

Each product can have profiling and other certification attached, which might otherwise take a barrage of emails to collect over several weeks.

ColorBase Exchange is currently restricted to roll materials for inkjet printing, though the structure can expand to cover rigid materials. It will be introduced with a handful of smaller manufacturers. Larger producers, Roos points out, will look to integrate the digital ordering system into their ERP and production planning applications which would necessarily slow adoption.

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ColorBase Exchange is a cloud based platform intended to make the connections between material manufacturers and substrate resellers smoother and faster than it has been. Currently on roll materials are covered.

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