WASHINGTON, DC — September 6, 2001 — How will the e-business revolution impact the way consumers shop for food and the manner in which products reach supermarket shelves? The food industry’s 2001 e-Business Summit will focus on the vision and tools needed to implement the Internet-driven technologies of today while preparing for the revolutionary applications of tomorrow.

Industry technology experts will provide a “from-the-trenches” perspective on the applications that have worked and those that have not, covering business-to-business (B2B) exchanges, online retailing and systems to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Special sessions will be devoted to emerging technologies that could revolutionize distribution and retailing. These include wireless and mobile systems that enable trading partners to communicate and do business over the Internet.

Attendees will learn about the electronic product code (EPC) project underway at the Auto ID Center of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With EPC microchips embedded in packages, this system could automate inventory management, distribution, shopping and cooking.

Attendees will also learn about the B2B capabilities of the industry. The results of a new survey of retailers and suppliers that assesses technical and organizational readiness will be revealed. Distributors’ requirements for manufacturers to support B2B e-commerce and suppliers’ ability to support those requirements will be presented.

Sponsored by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) and Food Distributors International (FDI), the conference will be held October 7-9 in Phoenix, AZ. Key sessions include:

  • Wireless/Mobile Commerce: Current and Future Applications - An overview of m-commerce applications used to communicate with trading partners and consumers.

  • Global Commerce Initiative - An update on this ambitious effort by retailers and manufacturers worldwide to develop international standards for data communication and e-business.

  • Efficient Electronic Promotions: Can We Change the Paradigm? - How technology can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of trade promotions, using such practices as data synchronization and collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment (CPFR).

  • Industry Panel: What Does the Future Hold? - How EPS technology, B2B exchanges and technology advances will fundamentally change the industry and what companies can do to prepare.

Individuals responsible for guiding e-commerce strategy, making future resource allocations and investment decisions on e-commerce technologies, and predicting the impact of e-trends are encouraged to attend, along with senior executives from marketing, merchandising, information technology and operations.

The conference registration fee is $695 for FMI, FDI and GMA members, $995 for GMA associate members and $1,295 for nonmembers. To register or to obtain more information, visit the websites of FMI (www.fmi.org), GMA (www.gmabrands.com) or FDI (www.fdi.org), or call Aileen Dullaghan (FMI) at (202) 220-0704, Charles Driest (GMA) at (202) 337-9400 or Mike McCarthy (FDI) at (703) 532-9400.