Moda-ML deals with one of the most relevant problem of the T/C (Textile/Clothing) industry in Europe, that is the enhancement of the flexibility and responsivity of its supply chain to gain competitiveness towards extra-european competitors.
The information and communication technologies (ICT) can offer flexible application tools and open networks (Internet) that can enhance the management and operational aspects of the intercompany processes.
In the T/C sector, tools based on EDI, that were thought to exchange documents between large hosts, in the past years, have not been widely diffused because of their intrinsic complexity and of the characteristic of the supply chain (a lot of SMEs networked with larger companies).
From a technological point of view Moda-ML faces the gap between the EDI (Electronic Document Interchange) technologies (that are used only by few big companies, in the T/C sector, because too expensive, too complex and with a too rigid technology structure) and the new Internet paradigm that is mainly based on XML (that is lacking of consolidated tools specifically dedicated to the T/C sector and has a very low entry level, with the consequence to enable each company or technology supplier to create its own, proprietary, information exchange protocol).
The XML technologies are well established (with the W3C official standard) and begin to be diffused, but well established sets of documents, dedicated to vertical application, are available only in some industry sectors (like computer industries with Rosetta.net) other than the T/C sector.
Finally, it is to be observed that the XML based exchange enables the communication between different systems, without an interface at programming level (DCOM, CORBA or with inclusion of external modules inside the systems).
The T/C supply chain and exportability of the approach to other sectors.
Some figures on Textile-Clothing industry in EU-15 (year 2002):
The T/C supply chain features that have been considered to define the Moda-ML approach:
It is reasonable to consider the Moda-ML approach fitting other supply chains with similar features.