June 28, a relevant pilot project for data integration starts in Frankfurt
28/06/2019Mespelbrunn (Frankfurt, D)
On June 28, 2019, GCS Consulting organized the first meeting of the self - financed pilot project for data integration for the upstream supply chain of fashion in which various fashion companies participate.
At the eBIZ conference in September 2018 held in Frankfurt and organized by GCS Consulting with the support of ENEA and EURATEX a reflection was opened on the need for an initiative to integrate data in the fashion chains, a reflection that took place in Germany but looked at the whole Europe, Italy and France in particular for the very close connections between actors in these countries.
In June 2019 GCS organized, again in the outskirts of Frankfurt, the first meeting of the pilot project for data integration in which various companies of the fashion participate, self-financing the initiative.
The reasons behind the initiative are contained in a few sentences:
“Historically, the interaction between the players in the supply chain is more determined by price wars and "pushing prices" than by collaboration.
Combined with other causes, this is the reason why today we suffer from system and logic breaks in the textile value chain, which create non-value-added complexities, decreasing margins and longer lead-times.
Consumer driven value chains will be hard to come by, and even big players will not be able to change that on their own.”
The project has focused attention on the upper part of the supply chain, that is supply chains towards fashion brands, and has limited the focus to only three areas:
Use of DMIx Technology (colour communication with spectral values) in n:n relationships between fabric suppliers and fashion companies to gain operative experiences and critical mass.
Reduction of complexities in generating upstream master data with best practise definitions of the right data structures, defining the right transformation ways, by choosing the right standard and the right transmitting technologies.
Structured elaboration of clean foundations for an industry recommendation to significantly reduce lead times and inventory levels through collaborative planning & forecasting and data sharing between fabric and trimming/material suppliers and apparel companies
Methodologically the project intends to start from modeling the business processes involved (only some of the 216 identified by GCS in September - see news and article) and then move on to define data needs and best practices in specific fields starting from participants' use cases .
The project is born intersectoral, it will be moderated and technically managed by GCS Consulting GmbH and will end in September 2020 with operational guidelines and pilots; these will be based on the technical specifications that will be elaborated starting as far as possible from the existing standards in the various areas that can be connected or in any way useful to the fashion processes (eBIZ, EANCOM, GS1 GDSN, etc).
The idea is to attempt to propose a paradigm shift in supply chain collaboration, not driven by technology but by convergence between actors on the requirements and optimal processes.
Several leading German fashion producers who have involved both their material suppliers (including several Italians) and their technology suppliers have already joined the project.
Furthermore it is to mention that the game is still open for joining to any other company (manufacturer or technology provider) of the sector from Europe and the world.
The initiative is attended by German industry associations such as GermanFashion Modeverband e.V. and ENEA was invited as technical secretariat of eBIZ.
In fact, the project is not designed to necessarily implement eBIZ but to bring the inter-company processes of the upstream segment of fashion producers into convergence and therefore eBIZ has very good chances to make a very significant contribution to the solutions that will be implemented (not to mention that several of the participants already use it, perhaps towards Italian or German subjects not involved in the initiative).
Finally, a comment on the initiative: it is absolutely not common, at least in our experience, that a group of companies that do not have commercial relations each other decide to self-finance a supply chain project with the aim of contributing to defining best practices and reference specifications for the entire sector and for different countries, a project that aims to be as neutral as possible with respect to market solutions to be adopted. This is certainly due to the authoritativeness of GCS Consulting which is also often working in support of sectorial associations in Germany.
A presentation of eBIZ benefits for the fashion supply chains explained by entrepreneurs and technician of the firms already adopting it:
IN.CO, Cariaggi, Piacenza, Loro Piana, Albini and others.
Why a standard language?
eBusiness is based on digital data and documents exchanged between IT systems of firms.
Adoption of a standard language and of shared procedures offers to firms immediate advantages,
like costs and errors reduction as well as time and labour savings.
In respect of proprietary formats, a standard language facilitates the creation of new eBusiness relationships and cuts maintenance costs, in parallel it assures
good scalability for future uses.
eBIZ allows to fully deploys RFID potentials
The current eBIZ Reference Architecture has a chapter dedicated to RFID technology adoption.
Who uses RFID technology for logistic optimisation gets great advantages by connecting RFID and eBIZ technology.
RFID enables logistics optimization (picking, goods delivery, ecc.), the parallel adoption of eBIZ
allows to share advantages with the commercial partners, from inventory reporting to despacth advice anticipating the physical flow o freights.
Sinergy between flows of digital information supported by eBIZ and traceability actions for anti-counterfeiting initiatives and for contrasting parallel sales channels are highly interesting.
Sentences that we want never find out
“If I have sell-out data…”
“If I have a faithful inventory report, I could activate a never-out-of-stock service …”
“If the warehouse systems had the list of freights going to be delivered …”
“Se non dovessi continuamente richiamare al telefono per avere le date delle consegne …”
“Suppliers fill data on IT systems when they have the time, often in a uncomplete way …”
“Each order is uploaded manually and sometimes we get an error…”
“The solution could be nice but our supplier does not want to invest so much for me only …”
“each customer ask for the same information but with a different format and different procedures …”
How to use eBIZ
In order to setup eBIZ you should, firstly, identify the collaboration processes that have to be implemented prioritarily.
Later, through the Reference Architecture of eBIZ, the job of the IT manager to adapt the company information system to eBIZ is facilitated.
eBIZ for your company
ENEA CROSS-TEC laboratory aims to support firms in new technologies adoption.
In the framework of its institutional activities, the laboratory can help you and your IT providers to understand opportunities and advantages of adopting eBIZ in your business.
For more information or to receive further material you can contact the laboratory responsible: firstname.lastname@example.org
eBIZ-TCF, WS eBIZ, eBIZ 4.0: the history in short
Launched by European Commission, eBIZ-TCF project (2008-2010) was co-ordinated by EURATEX (European Confederation of textile and apparel
industry) with the support of CEC (European Confederation of footwear industry) and ENEA, and developed a
Reference Architecture for data exchanges that is publicly available and based on the harmonisation of experiences and results from Moda-ML,
Shoenet and GS1.
Launched at CEN (European Committee for Standardisation) in 2012, CEN Workshop eBIZ is an European standardisation
initiative, promoted by EURATEX with the support of ENEA, with the aim of improve eBIZ results and
foster a more extended adoption in the fashion industry. The Workshop lasted for 18 months and was the opportunity for stakeholder to work jointly and propose new developments
(for example to better support RFID usage).
eBIZ 4.0 is an European COSME project, launched on December 2016 and addressing the joint adoption of eBIZ and RFID in the European supply chains. The project is based on three industrial pilots in Spain, Italy and France.
The CEN CWA version of June 2013
Since June 2013 the Reference Architecture, version 2.0, is available as CEN WS Agreement (CEN CWA 16667), up-to-date and supporting new market requirements, as identified
by an international experts group working in the framework of CEN. Among the other novelties, beyond RFID, there contributions from GS1 about business
collaboration models between producers and retail organisations.
Compared with previous 2010 version (click here ),
the new eBIZ Reference Architecture 2.0 for eBusiness harmonisation in Textile/Clothing and Footwear sectors"
has new contents related to:
A method to represent and classify Business Models,
Production Scenarios for customised footwear products for fashion and for health,
Cross-organisation RFID adoption support,
Test and compliance checking,
Yarn techical properties modelling and management in supply relationships,