Ralph Lauren Leads the Digital Transformation of its Industry

Ralph Lauren Leads the Digital Transformation of its Industry

Achieves business agility and customer experience innovation through full product digitization -- Highlighted by the World Economic Forum for best practices

Last week Ralph Lauren revealed its partnership with EVRYTHNG. Working together, the global fashion and apparel leader is connecting its full product portfolio to the web — assigning each product item a unique Digital Product ID to generate real-time data intelligence throughout each product’s journey from manufacture to the end customer, and beyond. Beginning with the Polo brand, and involving hundreds of millions of individual products, the strategy — case studied by the World Economic Forum in a report published during the Global Futures Council meeting in Dubai last weekend — is proof of Ralph Lauren’s intent to Lead with Digital, and establishes a new competitive benchmark for the apparel industry.

 

Ralph Lauren’s Digital Transformation

Working with EVRYTHNG and our strategic partner Avery Dennison, Ralph Lauren is making every product item #borndigital with a unique Digital Product ID added as each item is made. A stitched-in label with a QR code specific to each item connects the garment with its Digital ID in the EVRYTHNG Product Cloud. The unique Digital IDs capture and apply information as each product moves through the supply chain, to the point of retail, and into the hands of the end customer. Consumers simply point their smartphone camera at the code on the label, authenticating the product, accessing information and engaging in digital services and experiences linked with the specific item. The experiences are dynamically tuned to their location, sales channel and other CRM or contextual information.

 

The scale, depth and ubiquity of Ralph Lauren’s product digitization strategy are ground breaking. By digitizing each item as its made in third-party production locations, Ralph Lauren is achieving unprecedented real-time visibility into its manufacturing operations. This creates better control of supply chain integrity, and provides the data intelligence needed to operate with more efficiency and agility. At the other end of each product’s journey, Ralph Lauren has a powerful channel for direct engagement with its end customers. The new Digital Product IDs allow Ralph Lauren to engage directly with customers with contextualized experiences and share product and brand information. What’s more Ralph Lauren now has the ability to gather real-time product data as each item travels through the global supply chain, to retail and into the hands of the customer, a critical step in a world where circularity in fashion is a goal.

 

Our role at EVRYTHNG is to:

  • provide Ralph Lauren with the global cloud platform to commission millions of Digital Product IDs as product items are made in partnership with labeling provider Avery Dennison,
  • gather and manage product data across the product life cycle, and
  • provide the tools to apply that data to facilitate Ralph Lauren’s operational objectives and to dynamically shape the end customer experience with each item.


An Industry In Need Of Digital

The global apparel market is expected to be worth $1.4 trillion by 2021 according to Ecomonitor International – a growth of 8.1% or over $100-billion from 2016. The US and China account for 42% of industry revenues, driven by purchasing power and scale, respectively. Yet despite the growth, the industry faces significant challenges with consumers demanding more transparency, changing sales channels and business models, counterfeit and parallel trade leaching incomes, and regulatory and consumer demands for sustainability that push toward more circularity in the supply chain and huge growth in the secondary market.

 

How to respond?  Like other consumer industries, the apparel industry has a fragmented supply chain with many brands relying on networks of production partners – predominantly in Southeast Asia and China – to produce their products. Effectiveness, integrity control and nimbleness in the supply chain depend on visibility of what’s being produced where and when.

 

Revenues lost to counterfeit across the clothing, textiles, footwear, handbags and watches markets amounts to $450 billion per annum according to Fashion Law, the lion’s share of a $1.2 dollar problem according to a 2018 OECD report. While gathering data intelligence to mitigate this problem, apparel brands also need to evolve their business models with faster cycles, more dynamic shipment, and shorter, faster runs to work with new sales channels. All of this requires a large scale mechanism to gather data from the point of manufacture.

 

At the same time, consumers are looking for new and authentic brand experiences and the convenience of on-demand services, while demanding transparency and sustainability. Where did an item come from?  What is it made of?  What are the credentials of its production?  The challenge: Even if a brand puts in the effort to do all the right things during sourcing and production — making that information accessible to the consumer hasn’t been easy — there is only so much space to communicate on a hangtag or a label after all.

 

Growth in the secondary market — the resale of used products and/or the rental of products to consumers enabling re-use — is growing massively and presenting new challenges. Most painfully illustrated by The RealReal’s recent problems with counterfeit products. It’s tough to manage brand integrity later in the product life cycle and until now, almost impossible for brands to play a key role after the point of initial purchase. Digital traceability provides a compelling opportunity, making it possible for each item to be tracked and authenticated at any point in its life cycle, thereby providing important tools for a robust secondary market and the creation of new business models that need to track products between multiple owners or users.

 

Finally, the apparel industry – which is the largest consumer of water outside of food production – has talked a great deal about circularity. The concept of recovering fabrics and materials for re-use in making new items is tremendously appealing. Yet it’s a vision that largely remains aspirational. A key reason is the difficulty in capturing source information. Unless recyclers can access information about the fabrics they are sorting they can’t economically separate materials to make circularity possible. A digital identity traveling with an item and carrying information about its composition can help to address this problem.


Data Across the Product Life Cycle

The World Economic Forum has case studied Ralph Lauren as an example of advanced manufacturing with its application of data sharing across the supply chain. As a recent McKinsey study identifies, the supply chain is fundamental to performance improvement. The fine grained data that can be generated through internet of things technologies, and the methodologies to share data across the supply chain, are market leading strategies highlighted by the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

 

The end-to-end digitization program implemented by Ralph Lauren provides a powerful example. Ralph Lauren’s Digital Product IDs linked to each product item enable data to be captured and shared as product items move from manufacture to distribution to retail and to the consumer. Operating as a ‘digital twin’ for the item in the cloud, the digital identity is accessible via the web and able to build an aggregated data set of the product’s journey. This methodology of data sharing creates visibility not previously possible, and with the application of adaptive analytics and machine learning, makes it possible to apply data in real-time for business efficiency and dynamic personalization.

 

Data about the product journey can be generated after the point of purchase as well, with consumers able to interact with products — on a consent basis — to authenticate products and access product information. This provides Ralph Lauren with a powerful means to ‘crowd source’ traceability information in the field, helping to authenticate products, identify gray marketed products, and gain real-time insights on retail trends and consumer behaviour.


Pointing the Way

It’s hugely exciting to be playing a central role in Ralph Lauren’s digital strategy. By putting an end-to-end product traceability and data generation capability in place, Ralph Lauren is creating an innovation platform based on the application of data-driven intelligence. While we can clearly point to specific applications like factory visibility and consumer engagement as immediate areas of value creation, it’s the ability to apply real-time knowledge to every area of Ralph Lauren’s operations and its customer experience that is the long-term opportunity Ralph Lauren has created for itself, and the reason brand owners across all consumer markets should pay attention.


Niall Murphy, CEO and Co-founder, EVRYTHNG

 

Press Contacts:
Susan Baldwin

EVRYTHNG
susan.baldwin@evrythng.com
+1 (509)939-1137

Fish Farm to Fork: The New Normal Of Transparency & Trust in Food

Food traceability

Fish Farm to Fork: The New Normal Of Transparency & Trust in Food

(and World’s First Mass-Scale GS1 Digital Link Roll-Out)

This week, Mowi — the world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon — and EVRYTHNG announced the first end-to-end food traceability platform to deliver full visibility into provenance of salmon bought and consumed by customers worldwide. Consumers around the world can point their phones at a packet of salmon, authenticating the item and accessing information about the provenance of that specific portion of fish, including where it came from and how it was farmed. What’s even cooler is that the experience, powered by EVRYTHNG, is also the industry’s first mass-scale application of the new GS1 Digital Link standard that has upgraded the traditional barcode to connect every product to the web.

The Transparency Mega Trend

Consumers are demanding transparency in the products we buy, particularly anything we put in our bodies. A recent study from the Food Manufacturers Institute (FMI), in partnership with Label Insight, showed a dramatic increase in the value consumers place in brand transparency, with more than 93% of consumers saying it’s important for brands and manufacturers to provide provenance data for food. And that’s not the most interesting part — what’s pivotal for brands is that 74% of consumers say they’d switch to a brand that provides more in-depth product information, beyond what is on the physical label.

Clearly, brands able to adapt quickly to meet this rapidly growing market demand for full transparency and provenance will come out on top. The challenge is how to do it simply, quickly and cost effectively.

GS1 Digital Link in Action, at Scale

Last August, EVRYTHNG announced that our platform is the first to support the new GS1 Digital Link standard. GS1 Digital Link upgrades the ubiquitous barcode used by two million manufacturers on more than four trillion product items per annum, so that every product item can now be smartphone-interactive, transact with point-of-sale systems and connect to the web — all with one code on the product.

Mowi is the first global brand to roll this out across its product portfolio. Each Mowi product item carrying a GS1 Digital Link-enabled QR code connects to a unique Active Digital Identity (ADI) on the web. The ADIs are managed by EVRYTHNG and deliver digital access to item-specific product information directly to consumers. Consumers simply point their smartphones at the QR code on the Mowi package. Simple, massively scalable, transformational.

Every Mowi Product Item Connected

Mowi turned to EVRYTHNG for a simple, cost-effective, future-proof solution to improve transparency and differentiate its brand. Beyond delivering unprecedented transparency to consumers to protect brand trust, Mowi has achieved supply chain traceability and can now capture valuable insights from widespread consumer engagement to inform precision marketing programs and drive direct-to-consumer experiences. Every item is now an interface to its customers.

With EVRYTHNG, Mowi has been able to collect data from all of its different production and supply chain systems where the salmon are raised. This data is then harmonized and structured so that every salmon produced has a single, searchable source of truth in the cloud, including detailed information like:

  • Where and when the salmon/roe was hatched
  • The freshwater facility the salmon was in and how long it was there
  • The sea site the salmon was raised in
  • How the salmon was processed when harvested

By integrating Mowi’s supply chain systems and printing processes with the EVRYTHNG platform, every individual pack of salmon is now scannable by consumers. Consumers simply scan the QR code on the packaging with their smartphone cameras — no app required — to enter the world of their specific farm-raised salmon — tracing the full life cycle of the salmon.

Consumers will find Mowi products with the new GS1 Digital Link codes on shelves initially in Poland this spring, with the global roll-out planned to proceed throughout 2019.

Food traceability

New Normal

In a world where trust is the defining commodity, the level of transparency Mowi has achieved will fast become the new normal for every consumer product. Check out the full case study of Mowi’s new end-to-end traceability platform in action to see how the future is happening now.

MOWI: Seafood Industry’s First End-to-End Food Traceability Platform Powered By EVRYTHNG

Mowi and EVRYTHNG partnership

MOWI: Seafood Industry’s First End-to-End Food Traceability Platform Powered By EVRYTHNG

Delivers Real-time Data Intelligence to Protect Brand Integrity and Create Direct-to-Consumer Experiences

LONDON & OSLO, May 22, 2019 – EVRYTHNG, the IoT platform that activates every consumer product to make it intelligent, interactive and trackable, and Mowi ASA, the world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon, today launched the seafood industry’s first end-to-end food traceability platform to deliver full visibility into provenance of Mowi-branded salmon. Adding to the significance of this announcement, Mowi’s new platform — powered by EVRYTHNG — is also the industry’s first mass-scale application of the new GS1 Digital Link standard that upgrades the ubiquitous barcode to make every product smartphone-interactive and web-connected.

Consumers will find Mowi products with the new GS1 Digital Link codes on shelves initially in Poland this spring with plans to continue the global rollout through 2020.

“The trustability of the world’s food supply chain is a major question mark in the industry today,” said Ola Brattvoll, COO, Mowi. “Consumers want to understand how the food they consume is produced and where it comes from. Mowi is addressing this need by bringing greater transparency to the market. Think of it as we’re opening our ‘black box’ to consumers.”

Mowi’s innovative industry initiative is powered by EVRYTHNG Active Digital Identities (ADIs) and uses the new GS1 Digital Link standard to provide consumers direct access and visibility to item-specific product traceability information. Consumers now have full insight into how Mowi operates and cares for its salmon, including origination, farming activities and harvesting, simply by pointing their smartphone at the product item’s unique code.

“This announcement marks a huge milestone in the food industry,” said Niall Murphy, Co-founder and CEO, EVRYTHNG. “Consumers are seeking transparency, while brands are seeking visibility into the journeys of individual products from production to consumption. Linking EVRYTHNG ADIs and the new GS1 Digital Link standard to every product item, brands now have complete supply chain visibility and real-time data intelligence to protect brand integrity and create individualized direct-to-consumer experiences — all with one on-pack code per item to drive multiple applications.” 

How It Works

EVRYTHNG collects data from different Mowi production and supply chain systems where the salmon are raised. This data is then harmonized and structured so that for every salmon produced, there is a single, searchable source of truth including detailed information like:

  • Where and when the salmon/roe was hatched?
  • What freshwater facility the salmon was in and how long it was there?
  • What sea site the salmon was raised in?
  • How the salmon was processed when harvested?

By integrating Mowi’s supply chain systems with its printing processes, every individual pack of salmon is now scannable by consumers. Consumers scan the QR code on the packaging with a smartphone camera to enter the world of farm-raised salmon — tracing the full lifecycle of the salmon.

“This is important for us strategically,” said Brattvoll. “With the help of EVRYTHNG we will be able to forge direct customer relationships to build trust and ultimately grow sales. Beyond supply chain traceability and being the only platform to deploy GS1 Digital Link globally, we anticipate the real-time engagement data and insights will help us learn about consumer behaviors so we can meet future needs.”

EVRYTHNG Active Digital Identities + GS1 Digital Link

EVRYTHNG co-chaired the GS1 standards development process that yielded GS1 Digital Link and is now the first platform to allow consumer product brands, like Mowi to utilize the codes at mass scale. The key words being mass scale. What’s more, the upgraded codes are scannable by any smartphone, meaning over two billion smartphones around the world can now connect with products to access and share information.

“It is exciting to see the first large industry deployment of the GS1 Digital Link standard in this very important area of the global food supply chain,” said Robert Beideman, Chief Solutions & Innovation Officer, GS1.

Read more about the partnership in our case study.

About Mowi
Mowi ASA is one of the largest seafood companies in the world and the world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon. Mowi supplies healthy, delicious and sustainably farmed salmon and processed seafood to more than 70 markets worldwide. In 2018 harvest volumes of salmon were 375,237 tonnes (GWT). Mowi is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE) and its shares also trade on the US OTC market.

About EVRYTHNG
EVRYTHNG is the market leading Internet of Things SaaS platform for consumer products, managing billions of unique digital identities in the cloud. Brands and their service providers work with EVRYTHNG to apply data science intelligence on an item-by-item basis, drive new digital applications, gain visibility into supply chains and engage with their customers. EVRYTHNG led the creation of the new GS1 industry standards that have upgraded the world’s barcodes and product tags to connect every product to the web.

Contact info:
Susan Baldwin
susan.baldwin@evrythng.com
+1 (509)939-1137

Supply Chain Transparency and Cryptocurrency Rewards with Every Drink

Almond

Supply Chain Transparency and Cryptocurrency Rewards with Every Drink

Almond has launched a new drink brand – “FACT” – digitized on the EVRYTHNG platform to meet consumer’s growing thirst for knowledge about the products they’re buying.

We’re really excited to tell you about FACT, a new healthy fruit-flavored drink, available in stores across the UK now.  Every FACT can tells the product’s unique story – where, when and how it was farmed, where and when it was packaged, and its journey to store. It even shares its carbon footprint, based upon the journey the ingredients and ultimately, the finished product, took to reach consumers’ hands. The story of FACT is best told directly by Almond founder, Oliver Bolton:

Consumers are changing. Brands need to change too.

By engaging with consumers directly at ‘point of consumption’, Almond can better understand their customers and see where and when their products are being consumed.  And at the same time, build deeper relationships with customers by building trust through product & supply chain transparency.

“When a brand offers complete transparency, 94% of consumers are likely to be loyal to that brand.”

Label Insight Transparency ROI Study

Almond’s Ecosystem

Almond has built its own ecosystem around the EVRYTHNG platform-as-a-service (PaaS), using our partner integrations and toolkits to create an offering that can be expanded to other brands in the future. FACT is the first brand and later this year What a Melon will be added.  Almond’s goal is to attract other B Corps wanting to offer transparency to consumers. (B Corp is a global movement of pioneering companies that are using their businesses as forces for good.)

How does it work?

  • Integrated with Crown Packaging to embed digital identities which are encoded in DataMatrix codes printed onto the ends of cans at point of manufacture.
  • Connected into the Almond.io blockchain ecosystem, linking an immutable ledger of product information and events with the unique digital identity of each can of FACT.
  • Uses EVRYTHNG’s mobile SDK to build the consumer app which can access product data and crypto-rewards.

Product Digitization is happening now

FACT’s launch is evidence of a shift in the way brands manufacture and take products to market. Product digitization — where every physical item becomes an interactive, trackable and intelligent asset — is at the heart of this change. Now any physical item – whether a can of drink, box of cereal, or handbag – can be connected to the web to start telling its story to consumers and to brands alike.

When 4 trillion products digitally come to life, things are going to get interesting!

Stay tuned… we’re just getting started.