DALLAS -- Technology will be the focus at the Produce Marketing Association's inaugural FreshTech '96 conference -- technology that's already available in the produce and floral industries as well as what's coming, said conference officials.
In addition, the conference is designed to look at ways to exploit produce-related technology to gain a competitive edge.
The conference, scheduled for April 11 to 13 at the Infomart technological exhibition facility here, is sponsored by PMA along with Information Resources Inc., Chicago, and Vance Co., a trade publisher.
"We want to present something for the executive who is not a technology guru, but who has to make technological decisions," said Duane Eaton, vice president of industry programs for Newark, Del.-based PMA. "And we want to do that without any of what we call technobabble, which you need a management information systems degree to understand."
The program will kick off Friday, April 12 with a general session on "Top 10 Technologies for 1996." Author, journalist, seminar leader and commentator Mark Minasi will speak.
The Friday luncheon session, "Future Worlds, Future Minds," will be presented by Lowell Catlett, professor of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business at New Mexico State University.
"Technology for the Competitive Advantage" is the topic for the Saturday morning general session. James Maxmin, a turnaround specialist, will discuss "Technology for Competitive Advantage."
Bill Bishop, president of Willard Bishop Consulting, Barrington, Ill., is the closing speaker Saturday afternoon. He will address "Using Technology to Establish a Competitive Advantage -- Building Your Own Strategy." The conference will also feature workshops on such topics as "Communicating Electronically Between Buyer and Seller," "Category Management: A Systems Approach," "Reaching Consumers Through New Technologies," "Electronic Data Interchange: Opportunities for Produce and Floral" and "Case Coding, PLUs and UPCs and Their Role in EDI," among others.
Small group discussions are also on the agenda, covering such topics as case coding, web sites, scan data analysis, category management and activity-based management/costing.