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A Context for Interoperability Standards for the Footwear Industry



Howard T. Moncarz


Emerging technologies for footwear manufacturing in combination with advanced information infrastructure and virtual enterprise technologies have the potential to revolutionize the footwear industry. The developments could create a large market for custom footwear (CF) and greatly expand the availability of custom therapeutic footwear (OTT) for people with foot problems. To service a customer an array of diverse organizations will work together as a virtual enterprise. To avoid islands of automation, a comprehensive set of complex information must be standardized so that each organization can provide its particular value-added service using its own particular set of systems. Data standards that provide a limited exchange of data between pairs of functions (or services), rather th in comprehensive information that is sharable among 11 functions, runs the risk of requiring multiple iterations to produce the correct product specifications. A product information model that can enable effective communication of product requirements and design specifications within a virtual enterprise is key to realizing the market potential. The model must be information rich and unambiguous to enable the first-time design of a product that will meet a customer''s footwear requirements. For a product information model to be practical as an industry standard it must apply within a business context that is a sufficiently realistic representation of the busine and information flows of the industry. This report proposes a business context for product development therapeutic footwear and will list requirements for information model within that context. The requirements for custom footwear is a subset the more extensive requirements needed for custom therapeutic footwear. In addition, practical considerations involved in standards, largely derived from experience in the industry, are discussed.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6006
Report Number


custom footwear, footwear manufacturing, interoperability standards, therapeutic footwear


Moncarz, H. (1997), A Context for Interoperability Standards for the Footwear Industry, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created April 1, 1997, Updated November 10, 2018