Newsletter n.2 June 2018
Introduction

Traceability is the keyword of the last months: textile/clothing and footwear sectors are investigating new, simple and economic solutions to deal with it. Traceability is also one of the topics of eBIZ-4.0 project, focusing on the adoption of both eBIZ specification and RFID technology. Some solutions are under test with the project pilots, and soon it will be possible to measure results and benefits.
The focus of this newsletter is on the flavor of the evolving landscape and renewed attention of the fashion companies on the opportunities offered by the digital technologies that eBIZ-4.0 met when it was at IT4Fashion 2018, last April 18-20th, in Florence. More details below.

>Main Topics

eBIZ 4.0 perspective on TRACEABILITY

Traceability, is an hot point of discussion in this period, and might be addressed from different points of view, as it deals with a lot of concepts and needs of the fashion industry.

Based on ISO and “UN Global compact” definition (enclosed) we can identify traceability as the “Capacity to carry on and share information on products and processes across the whole value chain”.

In garment value chains Traceability can sustain “the ability to substantiate a policy Claim via the collection of relevant data generated along supply chains[1]”, as where companies claims are supported by evidences that are faithful and clearly demonstrable.


An overview of information and business interests in traceability include:

  1. Origin of the product
  2. Information on social and environmental practices
    (we respect workers, not exploit children, we do not waste,…)
  3. Customer safety/healthy
    (we use safe chemicals/we do not use chemicals, we tested our products, …)
  4. Transparency as a value for the Customer
    (we produced it with fresh water of the Alps; it is organic..)
  5. Tracking/Logistic monitoring
    (I always know where are my products, when planning is respected, if a defect occurs I know where it is originated)
  6. Anti-counterfeiting (black market)
    (I control my channels, this products is not mine, country of origin)
  7. Anti parallel markets (grey market)
    (My original goods but on a parallel un-authorized channel)
  8. Normative/Customs support
    (I give evidence about where is my product, where does it come from,…)

With its standard digital language and 10-years in digital data exchange, with SMEs and large groups, eBIZ can contribute to create an agreed IT infrastructure that allows the collection and diffusion of many business relevant information that are necessary along the supply chains, whatever the goal that a company pursues.
eBIZ – compatible systems can offer valuable information to the companies, business customers, public authorities, certification bodies that are involved in the traceability processes and which have the right and the interest to access it.

More information on traceability in the next issues of the newsletter.

[1] Elaborated from UNECE Traceability for Sustainable Trade framework, ECE/TRADE/429

eBIZ at IT4Fashion 2018

eBIZ was at the IT4Fashion conference, one of the biggest European events dedicated to IT for the fashion industry. The conference is like a thermometer of the issues of greatest interest to the industries and, above all, of the major achievements and experiences that they have concretely realized.
It is also interesting to note how the international dimension of the event is growing, you can perceive it walking through the rooms and listening to the many languages spoken by visitors and looking at the list of speeches, sometimes entire sessions, in English.

This year a new of attention was on customization and 3D representation as well as on the tools to deal with new retail/logistics paradigms.
It was interesting to get figures from who experienced these new channels: the very high return rate from B2C channels due to unfitting sizes then the needs for online ‘sizes predictors’ for the customers, or the need to perform a sentiment analysis on the social media to try to predict market opportunities.
Very interesting the evolution on the fields of RFId adoption for fabrics, where a large market leader of fabric production announced to experience devices able to survive to treatments of 6bar presses and 120 degrees dyeing.
Again in the discussion emerged the difficulties of having visibility and control of the production and logistic processes in the multi-enterprise supply chains, a relevant issue for brands aiming at claiming the sustainability and ethicality of their production. Among the topics that sometimes emerged in the speeches and discussions was the role of Amazon or AliBaba, seen by some as an imminent threat for retail organizations but also for logistics operators in the supply chains.
Customisation was combined with both single final consumer (i.e. the customized shoe, MyShopnet project) as well as B2B customers (i.e. the fabrics for the brands that wants it as exclusive); in this field the 3D technologies are promising and are declined from many different points of view: the creation of virtual fabrics that are twins of really producible articles (Visage project), the 3D representation of goods for eCommerce, the augmented reality in the shopping experience (i.e. start-up zakeke).

eBIZ was presented in a session dedicated to European projects addressing the Digital Fashion Supply Chains, moderated by Piedad Rivas, COSME project manager of EASME, the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises of the European Commission. The session was dedicated to three projects: myShopnet about customized shoes, NextNet (Next generation technologies for networked Europe) and eBIZ 4.0, (the new step to digitize the fashion supply chains).
At the conference eBIZ 4.0 presented its evolution from eBIZ-TCF outcomes through with the enlargement widening and reorganization of the vision of the TCF supply chains: no more linear processes from raw materials up to the final customers but a more complex process where brands play a role with their external producers and supplier. The retail world, particularly, is moving towards the so called “omnichannel paradigm”, where retail channels are parallel but interconnected; new services gives value to the customers thanks to this breaking of barriers and new players come in to the game.

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