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June 28, a relevant pilot project for data integration starts in Frankfurt
28/06/2019   Mespelbrunn (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.

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