Title: Supply chain interoperability for enhancing e-business adoption by SMEs: a case study from the European clothing sector

Authors: Stavros T. Ponis; Pim Van der Eijk; Vassilis Masselos

Addresses: Section of Industrial Management and Operational Research, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 157 80 Zografos, Greece. ' Sonnenglanz Consulting BV, Bakkersweg 7, 3951 CS Maarn, Netherlands. ' Nota Masselos S.A., Leocharous 13, 105 60, Athens, Greece

Abstract: The fragmented nature and the large number of SMEs of the clothing and textile industry increases the importance of innovative e-collaboration which combined with other new manufacturing and supply chain paradigms can potentially provide some of the answers to strengthen or re-gain global competitiveness, especially in the turmoil of the current economic crisis. Our study presents the works of a pilot project, funded by EU, which applied a simplified approach and deployed an SME friendly e-business solution based on the eBIZ profile of Universal Business language (UBL) and further enhanced by ebXML messaging and GLN and GTIN, GS1 identification standards. The ultimate objective of our approach is to provide SMEs with the necessary justification for withdrawing their current reservations for investing in interoperable technological solutions, thus enhancing their competitiveness, visibility and extroversion, all of them qualities necessary to survive in the new European single market.

Keywords: supply chain management; SCM; interoperability; e-business; electronic business; online collaboration; e-collaboration; universal business language; UBL; ebXML; eBIZ-TCF project; SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; clothing industry; garment industry; apparel industry; textiles industry; case study; European Single Market.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIS.2012.048336

International Journal of Business Information Systems, 2012 Vol.10 No.4, pp.417 - 435

Published online: 16 Aug 2014 *

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