With the end of November the eBIZ 4.0 project has come to its natural end and this should be the time to give a summary of all the achievements of the project; in fact the conclusion of the project is only a step in the long path of the 'eBIZ initiative', that was launched some years ago and continues going forward to better support the Textile Clothing and Footwear industry, with a special attention to SMEs.
The most relevant event of the project was the conference in Frankfurt, on September 2018, in a country that traditionally was only partially involved by the eBIZ activities and that now is reflecting about the next steps in the direction of a complete and pervasive digitalization of the manufacturing activities.
We think that very interesting outcomes came from that event, not only for German industry, and we dedicate a part of this newsletter to the conference.
Secondly, the conclusion of the three eBIZ 4.0 pilots is producing a lot of material and outcomes that we are still elaborating and that will be the content of next issues of the newsletter.
Thirdly, the most relevant outcome for the immediate application is the release of the new version eBIZ Textile Clothing Upstream specification (the other parts remain unmodified): the conclusion of the project proposes relevant improvements and extensions that are consolidated in a formal version of eBIZ 2018, that follows the last official one delivered at the end of the CEN CWA initiative in 2013.
The BOARD of the eBIZ initiative, after a consultation on the current draft version of eBIZ, has published the new official version of eBIZ specifications, namely version eBIZ 2018, based on the results of the eBIZ 4.0 project and on the collection of other further requirements emerged after the release of the last official version, eBIZ 2013.
In the policy of eBIZ initiative the evolution of the specifications, year by year, is based on continuous requirements collection, selection of general interest requests, deployment of Draft improvements, final discussion and comments before to consolidate the Draft into a new official version.
For this reason now, after the end of eBIZ 4.0 up to the 20th of December, a discussion was opened to collect comments and feedbacks on the last draft version.
In this new 2018 version eBIZ 4.0 project has contributed with a lot of work based on three pilots that explored various aspects of the fashion supply chains (textile, clothing, footwear, etc.) across different countries (Italy, France, Spain, but also Germany, Hungary, Portugal, just to mention some of the involved countries).
Indeed, the eBIZ pilots allowed to explore scenarios not yet supported by the specifications (like the "Subcontracted fashion manufacturing" processes) and, at the same time, to discover further requirements for the already supported ones (for example, for better supporting the RFID information in the logistic electronic business documents).
It is important to highlight that the changes to the eBIZ specifications do not compromise its backward compatibility; this ensure the interoperability between systems based on older versions and others adopting the new one.
The implemented changes (deeply explained in the public deliverable D4.2) involve all the components of the specification: documents, processes, elements of the vocabulary and code lists; as a result of the huge work done there are two new business processes, 3 new documents, more than 130 terms and 300 updates in the existing terms.
Thanks to the inputs coming from the eBIZ-4.0 pilots, the initial domain of eBIZ has been enlarged in order to support scenarios with new players/roles, the Brand and the nth-tier suppliers, and new sale channels like the eCommerce Platforms.
From the content point of view, the main enrichments in eBIZ deal with:
- Fashion subcontracting: master data, commission order and dispatch advice in a multi-tier supply chain
- Improved management of (multiple) serial codes for the products (support to RFID as well as NFC multiple codings)
- Multilingualism and multimedia contents for feeding eServices platforms
- Inclusion of documentation such as certificates as embedded or external elements
- Accessories supplying with the introduction of a color-size matrix to describe the different varieties of articles
- Improved logistic information through packing list information and detailed description of 'types of packages' and actual packages lists.
Finally, some of the already available tools have been improved and new Tools are available on-line to browse the set of documents and collaboration processes supported, for example the ATLAS that allow to show documents categorized for function (for example dispatch advice) and for product (for example fabric).
It is important to note that, and it is evident when looking to this version through the ATLAS WEB PAGE, the traditional organization of eBIZ documents by TYPE of GOOD (Raw material, Yarn, Fabric, Accessory, Garment…) has evolved and a new concept has been added to support the transactions of BRANDs and FASHION operators that deal with the whole range of fashion products: for this reason a number of ‘Fashion’ documents are now available and can manage the all this kinds of products with a structure that allow to choose between different types of products (and features) for each line.
You can find the technical documentation already online on the technical documentation site.
For more information:
From eBIZ Fashion Forum an open perspective for the fashion industry: 64 experts from IT, Material Supply, Manufacturing, Brand, Retail, Associations shared their insights in an open and constructive atmosphere at the conference organized by GCS with the support of EURATEX and ENEA in the framework of the project eBIZ 4.0.
The challenge is a medium-term approach for the issues of the fashion industry that is threatened by monopolistic ePlatforms (i.e. Amazon and AliBaba), logic- and system breaks, lacking rules and incomplete best practices/standards and missing real time technologies and as a result increasing complexity of the processes in the omnichannel and customisation perspectives.
The conference, hold in Frankfurt on September 19th 2018, was the point of arrival of the work launched by a collaboration between eBIZ 4.0 project (ebiz-tcf.eu), specifically ENEA, and GCS Consulting (GCS Consulting GmbH, München, Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org). The aim was to verify the potential of eBIZ for the German fashion industry and understand the industry requirements relevant within this country in a wider European perspective.
The activity was structured on three steps:
- market and business scenarios analysis in Germany on perspective of eBIZ and RFID technologies adoption (including interviews to a focus group of relevant stakeholders)
- definition of a potential scenario for the adoption of eBIZ as part of a platform for the fashion industry in Germany
- presentation of the study’s results and the potential scenario at the conference 'eBIZ & GCS Fashion Forum' in Frankfurt in order to discuss its outcomes and get feedbacks.
The conference was concluded by the proposal of the 'Initiative - Connection Textile Sector' for creating a Digital Master Plan for the sector.
For more information:
- Read the detailed conference outcomes from the report HERE.
- Where is and where is eBIZ going? see the technical slides of the conference in Frankfurt slides