WASHINGTON, DC — September 12, 2003 — Technological advancements and requirements that are rapidly transforming the food industry supply chain will be the subject of the first ever Chain Reaction Conference, October 26-28, Nashville, TN.

Presented by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA), Chain Reaction will examine relationships in the supply chain that strengthen and secure strong business partnerships and highlight technologies to support the speed, efficiency and convenience needed to manage a successful supply chain. Attendees will learn about leading trends among manufacturers and retailer partnerships, and network with business partners to enhance supply chain collaboration. Primary topics include Sunrise 2005 compliance, the potential of the electronic product code (EPC) and radio frequency identification (RFID), data synchronization benefits and implementation, and the supply chain economics of trade promotion.

The conference kicks off with a keynote presentation from Don Tapscott, discussing his book The Naked Corporation: How the Age of Transparency Will Revolutionize the Business. An expert on business strategy and technology, Tapscott challenges traditional thinking on transparency between business partners. In addition, Charles Green, coauthor of The Trusted Advisor, will offer strategies for individuals and organizations to create more effective, trust-based relationships.

“Every trading partner in the supply chain has a direct and immediate impact on the actions and reactions of others in the chain,” said Pat Walsh, director, industry relations, FMI. “The way to effectively manage change is through the aggressive implementation of business solutions that are available today.”

“Over the past several years, there have been a number of new technologies made available to trading partners,” said Pam Stegeman, GMA’s vice president, supply chain and technology. “Now it’s time to truly integrate these tools into the working relationships between trading partners, and this forum will help companies understand how to incorporate new technology into their daily business.”

Conference sessions will explore a variety of subjects:

A Manufacturers View: Improving Supply Chain Performance — Leveraging current and emerging technology solutions to deliver significant improvements in efficiency and supply chain effectiveness.

The Retail Food Business: A 30-Year Evolution — Eight evolutionary drivers from the last thirty years that have significantly impacted the way companies do business today.

The Supply Chain Economics of Trade Promotion — Insight into new supply chain technology tools and the resulting improved efficiencies.

2005 Sunrise and GTIN: Are You Compliant and Ready to Implement? — How must companies prepare for 2005 Sunrise? Industry experts examine the managing systems, software and processes required to assess changes required to implement Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs).

Data Synchronization Case Studies: Benefits and Implementation — Benefits achieved through successful implementation of data synchronization and how the process enables efficient e-commerce between trading partners.

Auto ID, Inc.: Unleashing the Potential of EPC and RFID — What must companies do to develop business strategies, cross-functional teams and action plans to make EPC and RFID a reality?   

Connecting the Dots: Delivering Better Value to Consumers — A look at how the convergence of multiple collaborative technologies will effect supply chain; strategic links between data synchronization and the emerging efforts behind the implementation of EPC and RFID technologies.

The Future of Sales & Merchandising Organizations — How are retail merchandising and supplier sales organizations preparing for enhanced ways of doing business together? What are the new approaches in communication and business integration? An industry panel reviews current trends.

The Disruptive Supply Chain: Can You Manage It — Disruptions in the current supply chain and the collective affect on business relationships.

For more information on the 2003 Chain Reaction Conference, please contact Pat Walsh (202-220-0703, pwalsh@fmi.org) or Chad Stark (202-220-0706, cstark@fmi.org) or visit www.fmi.org/events/.