GMA and FMI Release GDSLaunch Pad Global Data Synchronization Roadmap Tool Nov 18, 2004 WASHINGTON, DC – November 18, 2004 – The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) selected Deloitte Consulting LLP to assist GMA and FMI in developing the GDSLaunch PadTM, an interactive tool providing a roadmap to Global Data Synchronization (GDS) for manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers that includes:a detailed, customized GDS feasibility business case;tools to develop an implementation plan based on individual organizational strategic goals; a benefits calculator to measure and compare goal-specific benefits attributable to GDS implementation; step-by-step instruction at each level of GDSLaunch PadTM interaction; and recommended studies and white papers to help educate organizations about GDS. GDSLaunch PadTM was initiated by the GMA/FMI GDS Taskforce and development began in October 2003. The task force’s mission is to identify ways to help companies understand the business case for GDS, examine processes, functions, and changes required for strategic GDS implementation, and to assist those companies to develop a business case specifically for their organization, ensuring that GDS objectives were aligned to corporate strategic goals.The GDSLaunch PadTM tool was piloted at Publix Supermarkets, Inc. After extensive review and testing by other companies such as Ahold, Gillette, Kraft, Procter & Gamble, and Wegmans Food Markets, the task force directed GMA and FMI to disseminate the GDSLaunch PadTM, on a complimentary basis, to companies in all industries interested in GDS.“This is a great tool! I can see us using this internally within our many global divisions, organizations, and various departments to help identify the ROI with Global Data Synchronization” said Rhonda Horn, Director of Global Strategies, Ahold Global Standards.GMA and FMI have launched a campaign to introduce GDS allied organizations such as AIM, CIES, ECR Europe, the Global Commerce Initiative, GS1, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, and GS1 U.S., to the GDSLaunch PadTM. The taskforce vision is that all GDS-allied organizations will participate in GDSLaunch PadTM dissemination to their respective memberships. GMA and FMI also plan to conduct a series of web-based GDSLaunch PadTM educational seminars for association executives, manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers, and will host one-day seminars for more in-depth GDS analysis. Deloitte Consulting LLP will be among the speakers at these seminars as well as additional campaign events.For more information about the GDSLaunch PadTM, contact Jeanne Iglesias, Senior Manager, Industry Affairs for GMA at (202) 337-9400, or Pat Walsh, Director of Industry Relations at FMI (202) 220-0703 or visit www.gdslaunchpad.com to download a free copy.