According to research conducted by Kurt Salmon Associates, the $200bn apparel industry can eliminate $34bn annually in supply chain inefficiencies through the use of the Internet.

Designed to enable the apparel industry to greatly reduce this operational waste and offering companies an effective alternative to the traditional way of doing business, The Thread www.thethread.com, a Bowstreet-powered B2B infrastructure located in the heart of New York's fashion district, was officially launched today.

A powerful vertical applications service provider, The Thread offers a variety of global services to manufacturers and retailers using its intelligent platforms the Private Supply Chain(TM) and the Global Trading Hub(TM). These two key applications enable companies to extend market reach and build new strategic partnerships while reducing their risk and transaction costs. They also decrease participating companies' reliance on spreadsheets, e-mail, faxes and phone calls for communications and process management.

"Apparel organizations have to be enabled to rapidly find trading partners, collaborate, accelerate product delivery, and synchronise information flow over the Internet on a project by project basis," said Jeff Poploff, The Thread's co-founder, president and chief operating officer. "With The Thread's flexible intelligent platforms, organizations can accomplish these tasks quickly and with minimal investment in technical infrastructure."

Innovative Technology Developed by The Thread
The Private Supply Chain(TM) developed by The Thread enables manufacturers and retailers to link members of their own supply chain to act as one, with seamless synchronisation. The application features real time information sharing, dynamic collaboration, and complete visibility with effective management and business analysis tools. These tools include factory profitability reports, production matrix, letter of credit management, design and spec tracking and work-in-progress status, all of which are vital to apparel companies, large or small.

Companies Currently Using The Thread's Services
--Children's Place
--Regatta USA
--Gloria Vanderbilt
--Kids International

The Expert Executive Management Team "Spinning" The Thread
The Thread has assembled a first-class management team comprising executives with experience from Liz Claiborne, The Limited Inc and Warnaco. Jack Listanowsky, global sourcing specialist who played a major role in increasing Liz Claiborne annual sales from $60m to $2.2bn, has signed on as president of sourcing and global business development. Also joining the team is Gene Ostrovsky, formerly of Warnaco, where he was VP strategic planning since 1997. Gene brings significant depth and experience in supply chain management, and has joined The Thread as executive vice president of operations.

"We are thrilled to welcome both Jack and Gene as part of our executive team," said Morris Dabah, co-founder. "Both bring significant expertise in building and managing large-scale operations units. They will undoubtedly play a key role in our success."'

About The Thread
The Thread www.thethread.com delivers a "new generation" of Internet-based supply chain technology and service solutions, created specifically for the apparel, accessories, footwear, and textile industries. The Thread's tools enable organizations to easily connect to all their existing trading partners, or identify and engage new ones. Once connected, all trading partners can collaborate with unprecedented efficiency, while lowering cost of doing business, accelerating the mind-to-market process, and exceeding customer expectations.