PITTSBURGH - The seminar schedule has been set for the upcoming Quick Response '95 conference, and a who's who of retailers and manufacturers is slated to address some of the industry's most pressing topics.
The conference, which is jointly sponsored by AIM USA and the Voluntary Inter-industry Standards Committee, will run from March 13-15 at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Atlanta. About 60 vendors of systems and services to support Quick Response are expected to set up tabletops at the conference, but, nonetheless, the gathering remains primarily an educational forum.
Tom Sample, senior vice-president of information systems at Haggar Apparel Co., said that this time around the conference will stress basic as well as advanced issues relating to Quick Response.
"Going over responses from last year's show, we discovered a need for a more basic track," explained Sample, who co-chairs the March show along with Jan Yallum of AIM USA. "A lot of people will be coming to the conference for the first time because of prodding from their trading partners. Last year, the show sort of moved away from the more basic issues."
Sample said conference planners decided to start the educational sessions at 2 p.m. on Monday, March 13. Last year's schedule didn't commence until the evening of the first day of the show. The retiming has allowed planners to schedule several basic sessions on the first day of the show so attendees new to the idea of Quick Response will be able to garner a working knowledge of the topic before the more advanced sessions begin on Tuesday.
"We found that most people were flying in by noon on the first day of the show, and this schedule gives those individuals the chance to get some background on Quick Response so they'll understand the advanced sessions that begin the following morning."
Sample himself will speak at the opening session, titled "Using Quick Response to Improve the Way You Do Business." He will be joined by Bob Heinsen, general merchandise manager at Mercantile Stores Co.
Also on day one, Bill Lane, EDI programs manager at J.C. Penney, will offer a primer on electronic data interchange; Caren Kaegebein, senior systems analyst at Wrangler, and Bob Schroeder, senior projects manager/EDI at Penney's, will also discuss the technology. Officials from Fieldcrest Cannon, the Uniform Code Council and Parisian will offer two sessions on universal product codes, and a pair of seminars on advanced ship notices will feature speakers from Penney's, Andersen Consulting, Manhattan Associates and Monarch Marking Systems.
In an effort to broaden the scope of the conference beyond soft goods retailing, Mary Sammons, senior vice-president at Fred Meyer, Inc., was chosen to give the keynote address on Tuesday morning. Fred Meyer's huge retail locations incorporate grocery within a discount department store format.
Numerous specialized advanced sessions follow on days two and three of the conference. Among them is a presentation by Jeff Kernoodle, vice-president of replenishment at Wrangler, titled, "Accurate Forecasting." Paul Trueax, director of process improvement at Sara Lee Knit Products, will discuss "Modifying Manufacturing Cycles to Meet QR Objectives," and David Jenkins, former chairman of Shaw's Supermarkets, will discuss Efficient Consumer Response (ECR), the grocery industry's term for Quick Response. Jenkins is generally credited with initiating the current push toward efficient replenishment in the supermarket industry.
Sample said a Tuesday afternoon session on floor-ready merchandise will likely be one of the best attended at the conference.
"The whole area of logistics is causing problems, and fulfilling retailer requests for floor-ready merchandise (FRM) is creating a lot of furrowed brows among manufacturers," he said.
The FRM session, designed as an interactive forum to prompt attendee involvement, will be held at 4 p.m. on March 14. Speakers are Ralph Briskin of the customer relations office at Levi Strauss & Co., and Gary Fries, director of distribution at Marithe & Francois Girbaud.
Sample said interactive forums are replacing the traditional seminar format of many of the sessions at the March conference.
"We've attempted to tweak the format to get it a little more interactive," he said.
Officials from Milliken & Co., Kurt Salmon Associates, Stride Rite Corp., TC2, Federated Department Stores, L.L. Bean, Sears Canada, Estee Lauder, Rich's and OshKosh B'Gosh will also address the conference.
For information on attending Quick Response '95 or to reserve a tabletop, call AIM USA at (412) 963-8753.

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