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“Lack of end to end data model for textile value chains leads to little automation, significant manual workload”- Andreas R. Schneider, CEO, Global Textile Scheme

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image002Global Textile Scheme (GTS) is the new industry standard for easy communication & transparent data exchange in the textile & fashion industries based in Germany. They have developed a powerful & user-friendly automation tool which neither IT providers nor larger companies have been able to establish as standard to-date. They supplement & support existing system landscapes. Their solution is exceptionally helpful for smaller suppliers & brands, as a foundation for increasing your competitiveness in the sustainable use of limited recourse – thus preserving our environment.

Recently Textile Focus Coordinator Pranta Biswas talked with Andreas R. Schneider, CEO of Global Textile Scheme where he talked about GTS initiative. For our readers the key conversation is below-

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Fig: Andreas R. Schneider, CEO, Global Textile Scheme

Textile Focus: How Global Textile Scheme supports Textile & apparel industry?

Due to various reasons an end to end data model for textile value chains is missing. This leads to little automation, significant manual workload and to the fact that critical data for CSR-, Sustainability and Circular Economy are difficult, if not impossible to generate.

This need has been evaluated in a crowd funded Pilot Project Data Exchange from May 2019 to July 2020 with a European group of 37 innovative Fashion Brands, Suppliers, and IT Providers where the Global Textile Scheme (GTS) approach was developed.

The group proved that the market needs a new end to end data exchange standard, which is based on “pulling data” when needed, like we know it from our private environment with online bank statements.

Because most market participants are small and smallest companies, the GTS technology accompanying such a standard is  able to deal with poor IT-infrastructure and is inexpensive.

Textile Focus: What are the technological advancement in GTS?

APPROACH:

GTS has developed the first, standardized industry language & technology that can be used to automatically exchange important data in real time and with a dynamic data model throughout the whole textile supply chain.

Brands can share with GTS their demand data (for value chains capable to reacting closer to consumer needs) and the supplier shares relevant master data.

Heart of the GTS concept is the so called “GTS Language”, a catalogue of standardized master data, mainly product describing attributes. As each datum is individually encoded, the user can work in his/her own language – because only the codes are exchanged.

GTS is the new industry standard for easy communication & transparent data exchange in the textile & fashion industries.

We have developed a powerful & user-friendly automation tool which neither IT providers nor larger companies were able to establish as standard to-date.

We supplement & support existing system landscapes.

BENEFIT:

Clients can use the shared GTS platform to communicate their current demand requirements with suppliers, for shorter delivery times, less low-quantity surcharges, reduced inventory capacity & lower capital commitment.

Thanks to GTS Language, data no longer need to be generated tediously & manually. Rather, it is automatically requested from suppliers – with greater data quality and at significantly lower process costs.

A benefit asking survey at the end of Pilot Project Data Exchange showed that GTS can reduce manual workload between 10% (worst) and 30% (best case).

The multilingual & end to end approach allows GTS to automatically generate critical KPI data like e. g. CO² or water consumption in a systematic and automated way and with improved data quality.

Our members strongly believe, that upcoming legal requirements like the EU Digital Product Pass won’t work without automated data exchange based on our standard.

Textile Focus: What motivates you to start such business?

I am not a business – I founded and manage an industry initiative.

After 35 years in managing positions working in Fashion I see what is needed for less Green House Gas and better use of limited resources and I wanted to deliver my share to make our industries more sustainable.

Textile Focus: What are the challenges you face?

We are currently facing the following challenges:

  1. Our target group are operations manager, drowning these days in work due to the latest Corona related chaos in textile value chains.
  2. We have the usual “what came first: the chicken or the egg-problem” that a limited volume of users creates limited benefits for the existing and new members – doing this with a totally new method.
  3. A relatively small group of today 25 companies finance the GTS project, yet – so funds are there but quite limited.

Textile Focus: Any message to the industry?

Global Textile Scheme Initiative has been started initially to increase efficiency. Now we see more and more that we can provide a toolset to support any sustainability efforts AND legal requires coming very soon regarding circular economy and a significantly higher recycling rate. The benefits are in proportion as valuable for big companies as for small ones and the technology and the GTS concept is designed in a way, that also small companies can enjoy the benefits.