TEST PROGRAM DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION

Don't throw out those spreadsheets, yet. We fast track your LINK implementation by importing configuration data from your existing spreadsheets or systems. Spreadsheet templates with your suppliers, BOMs, users, labs, and test program configuration data (sample types/names, categories, test groups/items, methods, test parameters, units of measure, specifications/limits), along with any special usage or contents (product finishes, age grading, skin contact, destination country).

For RSL programs, we often start with a spreadsheet configured like the one in this example. This spreadsheet is then transformed into individual, discrete rows. Each row represents a single permutation of the testing logic — the specific type of sample, method, parameter being measured, and limit used to determine whether the result passes or fails. The transformed spreadsheet can be quite large (over 10,000 rows), but we use special procedures in Excel to manipulate the data into the format required for upload. The same process and template are used to quickly configure physical/performance testing or any other type of test program in LINK, and even to update test programs when the requirements change. A secure client portal is provided for the project team to exchange these documents and templates during the implementation.

 

 

UPGRADING FROM C*INSIGHT

SaaS applications like Link Services are updated continuously rather than every few months under scheduled downtime. There is only one production version in use (with client-specific configurations), increasing development and testing velocity by dedicating resources on enhancements and innovation rather than backwards compatibility. Feature delivery is further accelerated through a continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline only possible with an application designed for cloud native deployment. Administrator tools in LINK Services allow users to manage their own custom field labels, test programs, test groups, test analytes, specifications/limits, and other configuration parameters. The software provides enhanced user management for more granular roles and permissions, improved supply chain management, and advanced data visualization tools. LINK manages bills of materials across the supply chain, and allows the user to create test requests from BoMs. With its modern, responsive interface, LINK provides a better user experience and supports more advanced browser features and standards.

 

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LABORATORY DATA MANAGEMENT SERVICES

LINK is designed to do most of the heavy lifting for you and your supply chain partners. Some smaller third-party labs may lack automation or otherwise find it challenging to enter/upload lab data in a timely manner. We work with many of the largest independent testing lab networks and can recommend labs that integrate with LINK. Alternatively, your lab(s) can upload test reports to our secure portal and have our team of data entry specialists and data validators handle these tasks for you. Our business analysts can prepare management and investor reports as well.

 

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FUTURE-PROOF YOUR PRODUCT TESTING PROGRAMS

Tariff wars, rising labor costs, a shifting supply chain. There is no better time to roll out automation, quality, and process improvements. Any changes you make to your supply chain will have no effect on your LINK Services implementation. We make it as risk-free and painless as possible, in four simple steps:

Discover/Design

A UX expert maps your workflow and develops clickable prototypes for your approval before we start configuration and development.

Configure/Build

A weekly sprint review will be conducted with stakeholders to review progress and solicit input at each stage.

Test/Train

User acceptance testing (UAT) and system administrator training are conducted in the final stage prior to deployment.

Deploy/Support

The system is launched into a pilot phase or full production, depending on project complexity.

 

Test Program Spreadsheet

REQUIREMENTS GATHERING

The project starts with a survey of your sustainability, risk management, and/or quality program requirements. Some of the questions we'll cover include:
  • • How long has your program been in place?
  • • How are you managing the data?
  • • What management reports and charts do you produce from the data, and how are they shared across the organization and supply chain?
  • • How many suppliers do you have and how much do you know about the factories, subcontractors, and other vendor partners in the chain?
  • • Which labs do you use and do you maintain only the test reports or the actual analytical results from within those reports?
Depending on the goals of your project, a detailed requirements analysis may be necessary. From the survey and/or requirements analysis, a statement of work will be developed, detailing project scope, budget, and timeline.
Product Compliance Restricted Substance List (RSL) Test Program in LINK Services

RESTRICTED SUBSTANCES AND SAFETY TESTING

We will study your test program requirements and configure LINK's workflow to manage those requirements from test request through results reporting. For apparel/footwear and related compliance testing programs, we will start from your existing test program/specifications spreadsheets, or, if preferred, from pre-configured programs modeled after the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) Restricted Substances List or AFIRM Group RSL standards. Multiple sets of standards can be configured for different material types, finishes/treatments, age/usage grades, export regulations, or any other variables that affect the testing requirements or limits.

RSL workflow example

 

Product Quality and Performance Test Program Implementation in LINK Services

PRODUCT QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE PROGRAMS

Your product testing manual is transformed into a "test matrix" spreadsheet, which is then uploaded to LINK to establish your test program configuration. All your material and finished goods quality/performance standards are reflected in the test package selection and lab results screens, along with data collection worksheets if your lab chooses to record data onto paper prior to data entry/upload. We apply subject matter experts and over two decades of lab testing experience to each and every implementation.

Product Component Breakdown in Link Services Software

Automated Data Validation

CUSTOM FUNCTIONS, DASHBOARDS, REPORTS AND INTEGRATIONS

While LINK is highly configurable, we expect non-programmers to be able to configure and maintain the system. Leave the complex programming to us, or utilize your own programmers to connect to LINK's secure microservices. We frequently develop custom functions, reports, dashboard elements, worksheets, validation rules, and integrations to help our clients further optimize their testing programs and automation.
Unexpected Significant Figures Detected in Link Services

 

Supply Chain Management in LINK Services by Green Arrow Labs

SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT

Most often, you (or your system administrator) will provide "first line" support to your LINK users. For smaller supply chains, this requires minimal time and resources and may involve initiating retests and corrective action through LINK and responding to occasional emails from users. For larger, multi-tier supply chains and multiple testing laboratories, more input will be required and you may consider offloading this support and system administration to our Help Desk team. We can respond directly to your users and provide access to our online support tracking system. We can maintain your test program configurations, bills of materials, user management, and all other routine system administration duties.

 

We can also provide supplier benchmarking and scorecards, manage corrective action communications, review supplier self-certification applications for brand approval, and even administer supplier surveys to solicit feedback on further refining and improving your product testing programs.

BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN LABS, SUPPLIERS, AND BRANDS

Perhaps the most challenging problem in product compliance management is having the ability to reliably capture, interpret, and share product, material, and supplier performance data from multiple, dissimilar data sources. These data can originate with manufacturing facilities, raw material providers, laboratories, and retailer business systems, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and product life cycle management (PLM) systems. All major laboratories offer a customer portal for initiating test requests and receiving test results, but rarely do retailers, brands, or other data end-users contract with only a single lab, or exchange PLM data with their lab(s). We optimize your product testing programs through integrations that harmonize cross-laboratory data into a standard format, with consistent rules for determining the pass/fail conclusion. Comparing results across multiple labs is simplified because LINK enforces standardization in parameter names, test methods, test items/groups, reporting limits, significant figures, units of measure, and, most importantly, the specification limits/requirements.

 

 


DATA HOSTING AND INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICES

Our private cloud is certified for compliance with industry standards for application and web site security. A "private cloud" simply means the servers are physically located within our data center on Green Arrow-dedicated hardware, rather than on a server in a closet or room at your corporate office. With either "cloud" or "on premise" deployment, the software will always be exposed to the internet — users from outside your organization must access the public web site in order to use the software. While our software does not contain any healthcare or financial information, our data center complies with these highest standards in the industry:


SSAE 16 / AICPA SOC 2 Type II certified
HIPAA compliance (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
PCI compliance (payment card industry)
Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA)
Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX)
Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA)
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)
SEC Cybersecurity Threats Disclosure Guidance

MANAGED SERVICES

All Green Arrow Labs systems are hosted in a dedicated private cloud in an enterprise-class SSAE 16 SOC 2 Type II data center. LINK Services is a web-based application delivered under the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud computing model. This means that the application, operating system, database, and entire computing infrastructure (beyond the user's machine) — and all the maintenance thereof — are covered by your subscription fee and our data management services agreement.

SECURITY

All critical entry points feature two factor authentication
Biometric fingerprint readers
24/7/365 monitored video surveillance with 90 days trailing of footage onsite
Individually locking, audit-traceable rack systems
Multiple logical security systems including: intrusion detection, vulnerability and risk assessments, and coordinated strategies for combating DDOS attacks

Data Center

PROTECTION

Outside of 100 year and 500 Year Flood Plains
Staffed 24/7/365 with experienced Full7Layer support team members
On the Eastern United States power grids

REDUNDANCY

True 2n power delivered from a redundant isolated path power architecture
Operations at a minimum of n+1 on hvac system
24” raised floor with subfloor cable management
Temperature and humidity regulation and control via building management systems
An hfc-125 fire suppression system with backup dry pipe, dual-action fire suppression
Priority refueling contracts for continuous generator operation during emergencies
Multiple redundant utility transformers, generators, automatic transfer switches (atss), main switch panels, UPSs and PDUs

PERFORMANCE

Independent fiber paths from multiple Tier 1 providers
Multi-homed on several internet backbones
Diverse fiber entry points with connectivity up to 1Gbps
100Mbps, 1 and 10Gbps ethernet drops with full burstability