[April 17, 2001] Global Commerce Initiative (GCI) "aims to promote a global supply chain efficiency and effectiveness and consumer value created through a co-operation between manufacturers and retailers operating at the global level. The idea is to build an inter-business process that will endorse a set of recommended open and voluntary standards, enabling technologies and best practices with worldwide application, which will provide benefits to all users, large and small, wherever they operate. This set will be developed and implemented by international standardisation organisations. GCI builds from a solid foundation created by the Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) Initiatives in Europe, the United States, Latin America, Asia and Africa, the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standards Association (VICS) in North America and by the work of the standardisation organisations EAN International and Uniform Code Council, Inc. (UCC). ECR and VICS continues to help thousands of companies share best practices and remove costs from their operations. Yet there remain substantial process barriers between continents. EAN-UCC standards for identification and EDI are widely used, but cross-border divergences remain at implementation level. GCI is encouraging dialogue between trade associations and organisations, that represent 850,000 large and small companies that utilise the EAN-UCC standards and endorse a universally applied solution..."
The GCI working group on "Globalisation of CPFR [Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment] and Interoperability of CPFR between Exchanges will define standards for the technical interoperability of exchanges related to the CPFR process and provide XML Tags and Schemas and EANCOM messages..."
In September 2000, members of the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI) "announced plans to use ebXML as the backbone of their new data exchange standard for business-to-business trade in the consumer goods industry. ebXML, an initiative of the United Nations CEFACT and OASIS, will provide the technical infrastructure for the Global Commerce Internet Protocol, a set of recommendations governing the management of data for Internet communication and other B2B interactions. GCI members include 40 major manufacturers and retailers as well as eight trade associations, which in total represent 850,000 companies around the world. Exchanges such as Transora, the WorldWide Retail Exchange, GlobalNetXchange, and CPGmarket.com are taking active roles in the GCI development."
[July 23, 2001] "Global Commerce Initiative Launches ebXML Messaging Interoperability Conformance Pilot. 'Critical Step in Adoption,' Says Rik Drummond, Vs.1 Chair ebXML Messaging Specification." - "The Global Commerce Initiative announced today they would launch the 'ebXML Messaging Interoperability Conformance Pilot.' Drummond Group Inc. will facilitate the interoperability testing of messaging software between various vendors to develop recommendations for implementations of these standards. 'Standards are often developed and not adopted,' says Rik Drummond, Chief Scientist, Drummond Group Inc. 'There was a tremendous amount of work in developing ebXML and the ebXML messaging specification. Interoperability testing ensures that this work will get adopted by the user community quickly and on a global scale.' 'It is our principle within the Global Commerce Initiative to test the standards and recommendations we are endorsing,' states Peter Jordan, Director IS Strategic Projects Kraft Foods International, Member of the GCI Executive Board and Co-Chair of the Business Process Group. 'Our XML pilots have clearly shown that messaging systems were not interoperable and this pilot is a big step forward in providing this missing bridge.' Drummond Group Inc. is now formally soliciting participation in the ebXML Messaging Interoperability Conformance Pilot." See: "Electronic Business XML Initiative (ebXML)."
[September 11, 2000] "Global Manufacturers and Retailers Adopt ebXML. 850,000 Companies Select ebXML for New Global Commerce Internet Protocol." - "Members of the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI) announced plans to use ebXML as the backbone of their new data exchange standard for business-to-business trade in the consumer goods industry. ebXML, an initiative of the United Nations CEFACT and OASIS, will provide the technical infrastructure for the Global Commerce Internet Protocol, a set of recommendations governing the management of data for Internet communication and other B2B interactions. GCI members include 40 major manufacturers and retailers as well as eight trade associations, which in total represent 850,000 companies around the world. Exchanges such as Transora, the WorldWide Retail Exchange, GlobalNetXchange, and CPGmarket.com are taking active roles in the GCI development. 'It is clear to us that ebXML will soon become the standard for all global trade,' said Peter Jordan, director of European systems for Kraft Foods and member of the GCI Board of Directors. 'By implementing ebXML as part of our infrastructure, GCI takes advantage of the excellent development work that's being accomplished to streamline many EDI processes and remove waste and redundancy from supply chains.' EAN and the UCC have made a major contribution to GCI's effort to quickly standardize Internet trading in the consumer products industry with the first in a series of electronic commerce standards. In order to support the GCI Internet Protocol, the UCC and EAN undertook an ambitious effort to provide GCI with a series of electronic commerce standards for the following processes: Item Synchronization, Party, Simple Purchase Order and Dispatch (Advance Ship Notice). This project encompassed the creation of business models, global data dictionaries, and XML schemas. GCI proof-of-concept trials are underway and the organization plans to demonstrate its protocol at the upcoming ebXML meeting in Tokyo, November 6, 2000. . . Founded in October 1999, the Global Commerce Initiative is the result of joint industry efforts in North and South America, Europe and Asia where, since the early-nineties, strategic collaborations have been developing between stakeholders of all sizes across the complex supply chain for consumer goods. Made possible by some of the world's best-known companies, they include the Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) movements in Europe, North and South America and Asia, together with the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standards Association (VICS) in North America, EAN International and UCC, CIES, The Food Business Forum, FMI, AIM, the European Brands Association, and GMA." See: "Electronic Business XML Initiative (ebXML)."
[July 31, 2000] "EAN International and Uniform Code Council to Play Major Role in Global Commerce Initiative." - "EAN International and the Uniform Code Council, Inc. (UCC), leaders in facilitating efficient international business, today announced that the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI), a voluntary joint effort between the consumer products industry and international standards bodies, has selected the EAN-UCC System as the foundation of its effort to simplify standards for retailers and consumer goods manufacturers around the world. EAN and the UCC have made a major contribution to the GCI's effort to quickly standardize Internet trading in the consumer products industry with the first in a series of electronic commerce standards. Formed in 1999, the GCI has brought together more than 40 of the world's major retailers and manufacturers of consumer products to work with key industry trade associations with the purpose of creating greater supply chain efficiency through global standards. GCI operates through an Executive Board, co-chaired by Luc Vandevelde, Chairman, Marks & Spencer plc., and Christian Koffmann, Worldwide Chairman, Consumer and Personal Care Group, Johnson & Johnson. EAN International and the UCC, along with six other sponsoring organizations, are actively supporting this major initiative. These include: AIM (the European brands association), CIES (the Food Business Forum), ECR (Efficient Consumer Response), FMI (Food Marketing Institute), GMA (Grocery Manufacturers of America), and the VICS Association (Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Standards). In order to support the GCI Internet Protocol, the UCC and EAN undertook an ambitious effort to provide GCI with a series of electronic commerce standards for the following processes: Item Synchronization, Party, Simple Purchase Order and Dispatch (Advance Ship Notice). This project encompassed the creation of business models, global data dictionaries, and XML (eXtensible Markup Language) schemas. The speed at which these standards were developed and delivered characterizes the benefits of the global collaboration between the UCC, EAN and the international user community. The selection of the EAN-UCC System will allow the GCI to leverage EAN and UCC's proven leadership in global commerce and their ability to deliver standards and supply chain solutions that cross over industries and national borders. Ralph Drayer, Vice President of Efficient Consumer Response for Procter & Gamble and GCI Board Member said, For over 25 years, the Uniform Code Council and EAN International have been leaders in commerce, creating a truly global language of business. The 850,000 member companies using the EAN-UCC System provide the critical mass for GCI to immediately establish a strong, global foundation. The UCC and EAN bring a user-driven approach that emphasizes consensus, cooperation and neutrality regarding industries and technologies. We intend to follow this proven model to help companies better navigate the complex consumer goods supply chain'." [The EAN-UCC System embraces 99 member countries. Businesses in over 140 countries use the standards of the System.
[January 13, 2000] "Uniform Code Council Announces XML Strategy for Electronic Commerce." - "The Uniform Code Council, Inc., (UCC), leaders in facilitating efficient international business, has announced a comprehensive electronic commerce strategy will be built around Extensible Markup Language (XML). The goal of this effort is to promote the global development and implementation of XML standards for Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer electronic commerce. This strategy was presented at the UCC Electronic Commerce User Commerce in October and approved by the UCC Board of Governors in November 1999. The UCC's commitment to XML to facilitate electronic commerce has been based on the extensive feedback and participation of UCC member companies, spanning a wide range of industries, geographies and company size. Dennis Epley, Vice President of the UCC said, 'With the Internet becoming a dominant force in electronic commerce, we feel XML offers our members the greatest flexibility and functionality to conduct electronic commerce effectively. A global standard for XML will revolutionize electronic commerce, Web content, and enterprise computing. Based on its impressive capabilities, XML will give all members of the EC community the ability to speak a single, global language of business.' Leading technology experts are predicting that XML will transform the World Wide Web and electronic commerce. XML, like its more familiar counterpart, Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), is a markup language that uses 'tags' or sets of codes to instruct a computer how to handle a text file. While HTML has primarily focused on how the information is displayed or formatted for printing, XML goes much deeper. XML uses these tags to give the information greater functionality, including richer content and the ability to run fast, accurate queries. In addition to creating more 'intelligent' information, XML is an open, 'technology neutral' standard. This is especially important to companies who deal with many companies that may utilize many different types of software programs. Epley added, 'As XML continues to generate increased interest and support from major vendors, companies and standards organizations, its role in electronic commerce will continue to grow in scope and importance.' The UCC's strategy for Electronic Commerce will encompass four key areas: (1) common business processes and the data that supports them; (2) the generation of XML schemas (3) the building of 'bridges' to the existing Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) infrastructure by mapping XML data to both X12 and UNEDIFACT EDI transactions; (4) the initiation of a global XML Pilot to validate and refine the XML strategy. Key highlights include: (1) establishing and supporting user forums to define common business; processes and reach consensus on key practices for them; (2) establishing and maintaining the standard dictionary of data elements; needed to support the business processes; (3) developing and maintaining the XML schemas that provide the contextual relationships between harmonized business process and the standard data dictionary; (4) developing an 'XML converter' that will enable transparent trade between X12 EDI-based companies and XML companies, as well as between XML and EANCOM-based companies, thereby avoiding the need for mass conversion from one EDI standard to another; (5) encouraging all new EC development to follow the XML development model, and committing the resources necessary to ensure X12 and EANCOM-based implementation guides and standards are brought into synchronization as needed."