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    Better Manufacturer/Retailer Collaboration to Be Stressed at 2006 GMA IS/LD Conference

    WASHINGTON -- The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) yesterday revealed its program lineup for the annual Information Systems/Logistics Distribution (IS/LD) Conference, an event for IT and logistics professionals in the CPG sector, which will take place April 3 to April 5 at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz.

    WASHINGTON -- The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) yesterday revealed its program lineup for the annual Information Systems/Logistics Distribution (IS/LD) Conference, an event for IT and logistics professionals in the CPG sector, which will take place April 3 to April 5 at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz.

    Co-chaired by Dee Biggs, director of customer logistics solutions at Welch Foods, and Marc Brown, c.i.o. of Del Monte Foods, Inc., the conference will offer case studies of successful collaboration between supplier and customer to facilitate seamless, accurate communication, and to expedite the complete order, delivery to shelf, and replenish cycle in a timely, cost-effective manner. Educational breakout sessions will focus on specific challenges and opportunities for IT, logistics, e-collaboration, and direct-store delivery.

    "By bringing together manufacturer and retail experts in the fields of technology and logistics, the GMA IS/LD Conference reinforces the importance of collaboration. We see this as an important venue for CPG industry leaders to discuss how they can improve their business practices and ensure the continued success of our industry," noted GMA v.p. of supply chain and technology Pam Stegeman.

    The conference will open with a keynote address by Ralph Scozzafava, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.'s v.p. and managing director, North America/Pacific, who will share his vision for the future of the CPG industry. Among the other featured speakers will be Philip C. Bonnano, president, Americas, Management Ventures, Inc., and author of "Selling Carrefour" and "Selling Wal-Mart International"; Marc Brown, c.i.o., Del Monte Foods Co.; Bob Costello, chief economist and v.p., American Trucking Association; Arthur Fino, c.i.o., Dean Foods Co.; and Bill Homa, s.v.p. and c.i.o., and Mike Foster, retail project manager, Hannaford Brothers Co.

    Additionally, at the conference GMA will issue the results of its most recent Electronic Product Code/Radio Frequency Identification (EPC/RFID) survey, which is being conducted in partnership with IBM Business Consulting Services. Based on the survey results, GMA will develop a framework for manufacturers to use as they discuss the best ways to prioritize and accelerate EPC/RFID deployment with retailers and technology providers.

    The IS/LD Conference is co-located with the Food Marketing Institute's Distribution Conference. The conferences will share an opening reception April 3 and joint sessions on the morning of April 4.

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