Byline: Valerie Seckler

NEW YORK — Business at most business-to-business marketplaces might be less than spectacular, but at least one information-based sourcing Web site has found success with a software program aimed at the $800 billion global apparel and textile industries.
That’s San Francisco’s Freeborders, which revealed Monday that Levi Strauss & Co. is extending its use of the B2B’s Collaborative Product Management technology beyond the pilot program Levi’s has run with nine of its largest mills, including Burlington Industries, Cone Mills, Galey & Lord and Swift Denim.
Through yearend, Levi’s will be meeting with mills that have facilities in the U.S., among the 50 or so it works with globally, in a campaign for them to adopt the Freeborders software near term. “Our long-range goal is to have all the facilities we work with worldwide adopt this program,” a spokesman for the San Francisco-based apparel giant told WWD. “It has reduced our decision-making time on product specs by two-thirds and enabled us to provide consistent, accurate information to our quality-control area, product-development unit, sourcing and finishing operations on data such as a fabric’s likelihood of shrinking, tearing, or fading. It also is saving time and money to send this data online instead of sending documents and swatches via overnight delivery services.”
The deal with Levi’s is based on an implementation cost and annual licensing fee, said Ramsey Walker, chief executive officer of Freeborders’ U.S. operations, but he did not specify.