2005 Supply & Demand Chain 100 Case Study  Levi Strauss & Co. / Inovis

Profiles in Supply Chain Enablement: Apparel company automates item set-up for GDSN initiatives to meet mandates, enable supply chain data exchange with partners

Profiles in Supply Chain Enablement: Profiles in Supply Chain Enablement: Apparel company automates item set-up for GDSN initiatives to meet mandates, enable supply chain data exchange with partners

Company: Levi Strauss & Co. (San Francisco, CA)
Company Size: Large
Company Sector: Manufacturing (Apparel)
Area(s) of Enablement: Fulfillment/Logistics, Product Lifecycle Management, Supply Chain Integration & Infrastructure
Enabler: Inovis (Alpharetta, GA)

SDCE 100 2005Case Study:Levi Strauss & Co. was challenged to automate its existing item set-up process with trading partners and comply with its customers' Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) initiatives.

The GDSN is a network of interoperable data pools and a global registry, the GS1 Global Registry, for communicating master data (catalogue item and party) between trading partners. The goal of the GDSN is to enable trading partners to quickly and efficiently exchange supply chain data that are accurate, up-to-date and compliant with universally supported EAN.UCC System standards.

Levi Strauss & Co. sought a UCCnet solution to automate the existing item set-up process with key trading partners and position the company as a part of the GDSN. This was especially critical as the GDSN continues to grow and becomes more significant within trading partner communities. In addition, it was important for Levi's to ensure compliance with mandates from retailers.

The Solution

Levi's selected Inovis Catalogue based on the company's expertise in the industry and knowledge of the GDSN and industry standards. In addition, Inovis said that its understanding of Levi's business enabled the apparel company to leverage its existing electronic data interchange (EDI) infrastructure.

The implementation at Levi Strauss & Co. was completed within six months, under the expected timeframe. The initial decision to use Inovis Catalogue was made in January 2004, the Beta program took place in February and Levi's was able to register and publish a small amount of GTINs (Global Trade Item Numbers, the 14-digit data structure used to uniquely identify trade items within the EAN/UCC system) in UCCnet's TestRegistry. Levi's moved into production on the Inovis Catalogue side in April 2004 and then with UCCnet in June. The company has continued to refine internal processes and to improve the data being sent to its UCCnet trading partners.

The Results

The major challenges Levi's overcame in implementing the requirements for global data synchronization involved the complex issues of required attributes and hardcode for classification. By implementing the Inovis solution, Levi's no longer exchanges GTINs on spreadsheets and has improved timing of item set-up, item data synchronization and data integrity. Beyond classification, Levi's overcame the challenges of making the final arrangements with UCCnet and establishing that trading partner relationship.

Inovis worked with Levi's to achieve UCCnet compliance without overhauling the company's product information management system. Working closely with Levi's, Inovis was able to leverage Levi's existing EDI infrastructure without requiring a major financial investment in new technology.

As a result of the project, Levi's is seeing the business benefits of automating its item set-up process and ensuring that the mission-critical data needed to facilitate its business are accurate and available on time.

For more stories of successful supply chain implementations, read the "2005 Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100" article in the June/July 2005 issue of the magazine. Also watch the Today's Headlines section of SDCExec.com every Tuesday and Thursday for more in depth best practices drawn from this year's Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100.