ATLANTA -- The Third Annual Joint Industry Efficient Consumer Response Conference will kick off next week with a range of speakers and sessions targeting four crucial areas: the supply chain, technology, the consumer and trading-partner issues.
These critical areas of ECR will be explored in depth at the conference that begins here next Wednesday and continues through Friday. The conference is sponsored by the Food Marketing Institute, Washington, the Grocery Manufacturers of America, also in Washington , and 12 other leading trade associations.
Drayon McLane Jr., chairman of the McLane Group, Temple, Texas, will kick off the educational conference as the featured speaker at the opening session. In his talk, McLane will examine how ECR can spur changes in the way grocery products come to market and how the industry can ensure that those changes benefit consumers.
Mike Hammer, president of Hammer & Co., Cambridge, Mass., and co-author of the book, "Re-engineering the Corporation," will speak at Thursday's general session and is expected to challenge grocery industry executives to rethink their business strategies to ensure that consumers remain a key focus.
The general session on the final day of the conference will feature Michael W. Wright, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Supervalu, Minneapolis, who will share his vision and his company's experiences in forging ahead with ECR programs.
Throughout the three-day event, there will also be a number of workshops zeroing in on key issues of ECR.
Within the area of managing the supply chain, for example, Tom Schmitt, senior manager of ECR measurements at Giant Food, Landover, Md., and Gary Watson, director of transportation at Hannaford Bros., Scarborough, Maine, will present research and findings from the CRP Process Improvement Group.
Schmitt will speak about applying activity-based costing and other ECR best practices to the continuous replenishment program process while Watson will speak about unit-load optimization.
Michael Heschel, executive vice president of information systems and services at Kroger Co., Cincinnati; Milton Merl, president of Milton Merl & Associates, New York; and Frank Lipari, vice president of customer development and ECR at Kraft Foods, Northfield, Ill., will share the podium in another session to discuss a new report published by the ECR committee and the opportunities to enhance consumer satisfaction at the point of sale.
In another workshop, Harrison Lewis, director of replenishment systems at H.E. Butt Grocery Co., San Antonio, and Steve Conover, senior group manager at Frito-Lay, Plano, Texas, are among a group of speakers who will focus on direct-store-delivery scan-based trading, including its benefits, potential obstacles and operating requirements.
Technology also gets attention at the conference in a variety of other sessions.
The electronic data interchange scorecard session, for example, offers a firsthand account of how two companies, Harris Teeter, Charlotte, N.C., represented by Thomas Schaumberg, director of logistics, and Kraft Foods, represented by David Hutchings, director of EDI customer development, use the scorecard to link EDI strategically to business processes.
Trading-partner synergism is another area of emphasis at the conference that offers a number of sessions, one of which will feature an advanced case study of the ECR scorecard.
That workshop will be presented by Gary Capshaw, vice president of logistics at Fleming Cos., Oklahoma City, who also serves as co-chairman of the ECR Operating Committee, and Robert Raynsford, president of Carey, Ahrens & Raynsford Co., San Ramon, Calif. An estimated 1,500 to 2,000 attendees are expected to participate in this year's event.