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Case Study – Consorzio IPSA

An Italian pilot (originally not an eBIZ Pilot) Consorzio IPSA

The example that follows was developed by the IPSA Consortium independently and outside the eBIZ-TCF project work. The IPSA case is relevant in present contest as it shows a positive case of e-Business development which, starting from an independent project, decided to adopt the eBIZ-TCF architecture to solve their interoperability problems.

the companies involved and their business relationships

The IPSA Consortium was formed in 2007 by four Italian enterprises operating in the textile industry, with the aim of designing and implementing a state of the art B2b cooperation system based on the ICT technologies.

The main partner of the project is Cariaggi Lanificio Spa, located in Cagli (PU) and a leader in the production of high quality yarns. The other three companies are Cariaggi’s partners specialising in the different stages of the textile manufacturing process:

  • Tintoria Ferrini Srl focuses on the yarn dyeing and located in Torgiano (PG);
  • Filatura Lama Srl, located in Benna (BI), focuses in the spinning phase;
  • Gruppo Colle Srl has two plants in Prato and Pistoia and specialises in the raw dyeing

the e-business network set up and the documents being exchanged

The project was funded by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and managed by the Fondazione Politecnico di Milano.

An initial analysis led to the choice of Moda-ML (which is now part of the eBIZ-TCF framework) as the standard communication language, after which the project designed and implemented technical infrastructure to supporting the exchange of business messages. The platform is based on the HERMES 2 technology and operates as a mediator assuring compliance with the ebXML framework.

The infrastructure is characterised by good flexibility and can be used either in “web mode”, a light way which does not impact the existing Information Systems, or in “P2P mode” which allows the direct communication between companies’ ERPs, but requires adaptation of the connectivity systems.

As of now, both types of communication allow the exchange of an initial set of business documents, such as orders, order responses, order changes and despatch advices between Cariaggi and its partners.  the pilot workflow: e-business network set up and the documents exchanged
the pilot workflow: e-business network set up and the documents exchanged

Resulting benefits

As the platform is in the testing and consolidation phase, little statistical data is available at present. However, the qualitative benefits which have been experienced so far include:

  • Automation of low value activities (eg. data entry) and lower error rate;
  • Reduction of time spent in coordination activities (eg. order tracking);
  • Reduction of paper use.

Planned future activities

The project is foreseen to be extended in two directions:

  • Increasing in the number of business partners adopting the platform, in the upstream and downstream phases of the supply chain
  • Increasing the number of business documents supported by the platform and managed by IS.
  • The aim is to make the infrastructure and the eBIZ-TCF/Moda_ML standard well known and for it to become a de facto standard for the whole textile industry

    Lessons learnt

    During the project, two main issues have had to be faced:

    • The need to make the Moda_ML standard more general and flexible and capable of supporting a wider set of phases in the textile supply chain.
    • Thanks to the Moda_ML creators it has been possible to enrich the business documents in order to create value for all the possible users
    The need to adapt the IS to get the benefits of the advanced P2p integration.

    Contact:

    Contact: Fondazione Politecnico di Milano
    Via Garofalo, 39 - 20133 Milano
    Fabrizio Amarilli Fabrizio.amarilli@fondazione.polimi.it
    Damiano Dal Santo Damiano.dalsanto@fondazione.polimi.it


    Resources

    DOC - The IPSA case study
    The case st of IPSA Consortium: adoption of eBIZ outcomes by an external consortium.
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