Event Date: 
Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - 11:15

Ecologistics project was invited to chair a one-hour workshop session on 7th July (11:10-12:10) in the framework of the 2nd International Physical Internet Conference. The focus is "Digital Protocols and Platforms for Interconnected Logistics".

The workshop is one of among several events organized in Mines Paris Tech from 6th to 8th July dedicated to the International Physical Internet Conference, different workshops as well as the final conference of Modulushca project.

The workshop was chaired by Bertrand Tiberghien from University of Mons, the lead partner of the project. The panel speakers are Frederic Semet, from Ecole Centrale de Lille, Joffrey Zamba from Euralogistic and Yann le Roch from 4S Network.  

Bertrand Tiberghien gave a quick overview on the project and explained the link between the use of sharing traceability standardized data thanks to EPC Network and Physical Internet. Indeed, two main reasons were demonstrated by him: importance of the traceability of reusable assets (concept encouraged by Physical Internet) and identification of the last position of goods in case of problems (when goods are damaged and the responsibility of the damage origin needs to be identified).  He then gave the floor to the speakers of the panel to introduce themselves and explain their interest in Physical Internet. Frederic Semet explained the role of Ecole Centrale of Lille, as a developer of IT systems tools to support of decision makers.  Joffrey Zamba, represented Euralogistics explained how difficult is to attract the interest of SME in Physical Internet concept even if they understand this is the future. Indeed, small scale companies have other short-term concerns to tackle. Yan le Roch, represented 4S Network, shared his experience on implementation and use of EPC and EPCIS standards on reusable cardboard pallets (reusable assets). 

Few questions are raised after the presentations:

1. Ecologistics promotes the share of standardized data but lot of companies mainly SME are fear about this. How to tackle this?
Joffrey Zamba: he has not sold immediately the EPC Network concept at the first meeting with SME. They need to be convinced about the importance of traceability and tracking data then smoothly step by step he has introduced them the EPC and EPC network standards.
Yann le Roch: share information is not necessary share all and any kind of information, especially sensitive information. It is important to combine data share with the peer-to-peer communication. Moreover, the entry cost to adopt this technology must be low for SME which can't afford big investment) and the tailor access of data to SME can be done.

2. If I don't use RFID but barcode, so I cannot use Epc network? Is the localization standard GLN used satellite signal?
Yann le Roch: actually the EPICS and EPC network work independently the technology of capture of data. Data contained in barcode or in RFID can be read in the same way and stocked in EPCIS in the same way. Bertrand Tiberghien confirmed this information again.
As far as the GLN standard is concerned, it is not automatically linked to a sensor which can catch satellite signal as in EPC network, GLN enables to locate the last position of goods (information got from the read point). But of course the sensor for position localization can be integrated in GLN.

3. Can available data on EPCIS help optimization of logistics?
Frederic Semet: Yes, of course as to make decision, data is needed. The decision support tools can be adapted to different targeted audience: manager and logistic operator.

4. What is the time necessary to implement a EPC network?
Yann le Roch: of course the EPC network must be implemented step by step as it can only be workable if all the player of the supply chain use the same system. He adviced to test the system on the company first then extends to the community (kind of intranet). Adoption of Epc network is a long process and should be tackled step by step. A point on contract was mentioned in linked to physical internet. Actually, in physical internet concept, there are multi service providers. The individual contract may be no longer satisfied and should/could be replaced by a chart of collaboration. The notion of time depends highly on trust between partners in the supply chain.