Techpack best practices and software

Howdy Gang,

Traditionally. I have developed techpacks in Adobe Illustrator. After the development process and the product is finalized all the AI notes are put in excel. This hasn’t been the most efficient system and I am wondering what software/methods others are using to build, update, and communicate their techpacks to factories?

PLM? (If so what software?)
Other Project Management Software?

The goal is to find an efficient system that translates the tech pack, BOM, grading…etc efficiently. I would imagine it will be a combination of software (i.e Drawings done in AI and translated into _________________ which is then put into a PDF and sent…etc)




I can’t stand excel. We generally keep them in illustrator as multiple pages and then just send it all out as a PDF. I’ve been doing it that way since 98.
Excel can be used for some parts like a separate sheet for just showing materials used for the project, but then all the drawings and specs are just done in AI and saved as a pdf, that seems to be the simplest way to do it

As of now, footwear, we use Illustrator for lineart and then screenshot it into Excel with BOM/Color tables. Works alright, I set up the template to be locked so that the seniors can’t mess up the template. They used to make a word file with tables which looked like mayhem…

Previous job was also AI+Excel, but a quite complicated one with size charts (apparel) that adjusted with values that were typed into the Measurement lists.
It worked great on PC, but when I saved it on mac, they were compromised. Some transperancy settings were killed etc, which kind of destroyed them. Technical designer liked them a lot though. This became a big issue during heavy workload periods, and i hade to switch between pc and mac to make a complete tech pack.

Job before that, also apparel, had a PDM system called QuestPDM. Worked alright, but still did the base in illustrator and exported images in to the system where the BOM and colors were. MM-list was inside the software as well. Was nice to have a dedicated software with all materials available inside. Does of course mean that someone has to maintain it, which is usually a problem. There were a lot of development with the software supplier to make it fit our process and needs.