Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Electronic commerce pilot in the garment industry

The Elegant project takes the newly appearing commercial possibilities offered by the Internet, and puts them to use in the garment industry. In particular, Elegant rises to the following challenges: development of the use of the world wide web both internally and externally, allowing better communication between production, marketing and sales personnel, the management, and, most importantly, the client; stimulation of on-line sales; employment of an electronic ' textile workbook' targeted at both clients and personnel; installation of multimedia points in shops. Benefits of these improvements are: better production, distribution and retailer intercommunication; multimedia presentations, aiding sellers when counselling clients; more choices for customers regarding garments models and purchasing methods; increased customer feedback, improving quality. Providing benefits to consumers, retailers and manufacturers alike, the above-mentioned aspects create a win-win situation where the garment industry as a whole benefits.

The implementation of Elegant follows the Shewart Plan-Do-Check-Act scheme. In the first phase (Plan), Elegant determines pertinent business requirements and, based on the results, creates specifications for the information infrastructure, web sites and the electronic textile workbook, as well as security issues. In the second phase (Do), the specified elements from the first phase are set up. Web sites and Intranets are made functional, the electronic workbook is taken into use and the electronic shop stands are opened. Elegant then checks the results of the initial phases (Check) and improves the methodology before disseminating to the European market (Act). The checking part consists of quantitatively measuring the results, keeping customer feedback in focus. The lessons learnt are then put to use by extensive training of personnel and improvements in the technical implementations.

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