WASHINGTON, DC — December 2, 2004 — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) today announces additional details of a diverse and dynamic program of educational workshops that will be offered at MARKETECHNICS® 2005. The annual technology convention — which will be held February 13-15 at the Washington, DC, Convention Center — will bring together retail industry leaders to examine the latest retail technologies.

The expanded program now boasts two added keynote sessions: Thomas Malone, founder and director of the MIT Center for Coordination Science, and author, The Future of Work, will discuss new organizational designs that take maximum advantage of information technology. Linda Wertheimer, senior national correspondent, NPR, and author, Listening to America, will offer an insider’s view of Washington, the political process and a number of significant national issues.

Under the theme “Clearly Focused,” MARKETECHNICS® 2005 will feature educational programming on a wide variety of subjects, from biometrics to IT outsourcing to controlling perishables shrink. FMI previously reported that America Online Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis and futurist Andrew Zolli will serve as keynote speakers.

Newly announced educational programming includes:

  • Making Information Technology a Strategic Asset — In this session, Ron Markezich, chief information officer for Microsoft Corp., will explore how retailers can make information technology a strategic asset. Markezich will also provide best practices for introducing new technologies, reducing costs and implementing security strategies.

  • Understanding the Role of RFID in the EPC Network — The trials, developing standards and new uses of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in the retail industry are constantly generating attention. In this session, participants will learn the latest results from trials currently underway, and how the technology and standards are evolving to address the various issues that are uncovered as the technology is tested in the real world.

  • Biometric, Smart Cards, RFID: Payment Fad or Future? — Biometrics, smart cards and RFID payments have been touted as the next big thing over the past few years, but has the reality lived up to the hype? In this session, participants will learn about the status of recent biometric, smart card and RFID payment projects and discover what the future may hold for each payment type as banks, retailers and consumers adapt in the ever-changing payments world.

  • Outsourcing/Offshoring: When Does It Make Sense? — Is outsourcing a risk or a competitive advantage? This session will examine this timely question and offer retailers some perspective on where they should be positioned in this issue.

  • Technologies to Improve the Customer Experience — This informative session will reveal how technology can be deployed to vastly improve the customer experience. It will also explore ways to reach the customer by leveraging future technology.

  • Building Customer Loyalty Through Technology Innovation — Top retailers in Japan are using mobile phone technology in innovative ways to improve their businesses and customer relationships. This workshop will provide an overview of retail initiatives and innovations using mobile phone technology, and a case study of a Japanese grocery retailer who makes use of mobile phone and in-store technology for consumer marketing, relationship management and feedback.

  • The Forecast for Today: Higher Profits With a Lower Chance of Out-of-Stocks — For years, the promise of using scanning information to improve operational efficiencies has been just that — a promise. Recently, the emergence of retailers that have built their business model upon logistic and operational efficiencies has placed a new emphasis on this potential. In this workshop, participants will learn how retailers and suppliers are putting scanning data to use, building loyalty for both the supplier’s brand and the retailer’s stores.

  • The In-Store Wireless Revolution — Wireless is the most significant technology in retail since the introduction of POS. This session will discuss what leading retailers are already doing and where this technology is going.

  • Data Synchronization: Using the Tools to Drive Implementation — Data synchronization is about business process change. This session provides a practical guide to implementing global data synchronization. Participants will learn how to build a compelling business case and how to create an effective implementation roadmap.

  • Implementing a New Foundational Merchandising System — Pick up any trade journal and read about the wondrous improvements that new technologies provide to grocery retailers. However, a prerequisite to making the magic work is the ability to provide a foundation of accurate merchandising and sales data. This session will help companies to take a hard look at their item, vendor and organizational data so that it provides a single version of the truth, simplifies interaction with other systems and facilitates business intelligence.

  • Prioritizing Execution of Store Programs — Are last week’s shelf tags still hanging? Why is that end-aisle display around two weeks after the ad expired? Every corporate functional area contributes to an overload of store programs. Learn how some retailers are trying to get a handle on these programs to improve the rollout and performance of store programs.

  • Fresh Management: Manage and Control Perishables Shrink — Perishables comprise the largest component of shrink in the grocery industry. This session will examine what two companies — one in the convenience store and one in the supermarket industry — are doing to better manage and control shrink in their perishables departments, using a combination of business process changes and IT applications.

  • Delivering Loyalty-Building Programs — Successful development, implementation and evaluation of promotional and frequent-shopper programs are critical to building customer loyalty and margins. In this session, participants will learn about the methodologies and tools a leading retailer used to improve basket size and category activity through effective targeted promotions, competitive strategies, frequent shopper programs and multidimensional pricing strategies.

  • Disruptive and Emerging Technology — New technologies continue to enhance the customer experience and drive efficiencies across the retail enterprise. In this session, visionaries from top technology partners will discuss how the billions of dollars they spend on R&D are driving new innovation in RFID, biometrics, location awareness, wireless, voice recognition and multimedia point of presence.

  • Business to Employee E-Commerce — Cisco has been a leader in the use of inter-networking and Web-based technologies to implement e-business strategies. Through its use of these technologies, they have deployed sophisticated e-commerce and e-business tools. In this session, participants will learn how the use of business-to-employee tools has improved employee satisfaction, reduced costs and increased the speed with which the company can respond to customer needs.


For current exhibitor, program and registration information, visit the MARKETECHNICS® 2005 Web site at http://www.fmi.org/events/tech/2005/show_guide/. Site visitors are invited to subscribe to the free MARKETECHNICS® 2005 e-newsletter, which provides frequent updates on the show.