WASHINGTON, DC — February 13, 2003 — The latest trends and issues in food retail and wholesale distribution, including the electronic product code (ePC), mechanized warehouses, supply chain e-collaboration, workplace safety and transportation planning, top the agenda for the 2003 Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Distribution Conference, March 16-19, at the Wyndham Palm Springs Hotel, Palm Springs, CA.

“The Distribution Conference offers attendees the opportunity to discuss distribution ideas and challenges with their peers,” said Conference Chair Gerry Greenleaf, vice president, distribution, Hannaford Bros. Co. “Each session offers valuable research and insight into the most important issues facing the distribution industry today.”

The Distribution Conference provides a forum for operations executives to discuss competition, responsiveness and productivity within the supply chain. Session topics include:

  • CPG Company Perspective — The Procter & Gamble Co. will share its current and future supply chain efforts, including a discussion about distribution networks and industry-enabling information technology.

  • Mechanized Warehouse of the Future — Representatives from three material-handling companies will offer their views on the mechanized warehouse of the future and discuss real time data systems, SKU growth, cross docking and total connectivity between vendors and customers.

  • Good Ethics is Good Business — Marianne Jennings, professor of Legal and Ethical Studies, Arizona State University, will present a history of the demise of companies who failed to examine the ethical implications of restating earnings.

  • Safety and Wellness in the Workplace - A business case for investing in the health of your employees will be presented.

  • Best Places to Work — The most important attributes, as declared by employees, of a great place to work will be explored.

  • The Supermarket Industry Speaks — Michael Sansolo, FMI senior vice president, will review trends and issues driving change in the supermarket industry.

  • Supply Chain of the Future — Karl B. Manrodt, Ph.D., Georgia Southern University, will share research about the changes facing distribution networks today — what attributes mangers should focus on to provide the greatest long-term-sustainable competitive advantage, and the six major forces that influence the supply chain.

  • ePC/RFID — Kevin Ashton, director, Auto ID Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will share the status of ePC pilot tests and how this technology will enhance supply chains now and in the future.

  • Transportation Planning — A panel of experts will share how companies are improving their transportation management processes through new technology and streamlined workflow.

  • Collaboration — Members of FMI’s Distribution Committee and GMA’s Logistics Committee will talk about the work being done jointly on data synchronization and other initiatives.

  • Voice Selection: Current and Future Impact — Ken Kolenik, product marketing manager, Vocollect, Inc., and Gerry Greenleaf, Hannaford Bros. Co., will give an overview of current voice technology applications that have been successfully implemented and explore its future impact on distribution operations.

For more information or to register for the Distribution Conference, please contact Elizabeth Newton (202-220-0711, enewton@fmi.org) or visit the FMI Web site (www.fmi.org/events) or e-mail distribution@fmi.org.