BROKERS, IRI CREATE RESOURCE CENTER

SAN FRANCISCO -- The National Food Brokers Association and Information Resources Inc. have collaborated to start up the NFBA Technology Resource Center, a service designed to promote the use of technology among the association's membership.Details of the center's first service offering, called "Data Access Program," were discussed at the NFBA 1994 Convention here this month by Bob Schwarze, NFBA president

SAN FRANCISCO -- The National Food Brokers Association and Information Resources Inc. have collaborated to start up the NFBA Technology Resource Center, a service designed to promote the use of technology among the association's membership.

Details of the center's first service offering, called "Data Access Program," were discussed at the NFBA 1994 Convention here this month by Bob Schwarze, NFBA president and chief executive officer, and Steve Frenda, IRI executive vice president of sales force development.

"It is a challenge for the broker community to use data consistently," said Frenda. "Second-tier brokers especially have been hamstrung in their ability to do this."

Schwarze described the service as "a vehicle to deliver the technology tools brokers need to realize today's Efficient Consumer Response opportunities." He added that the NFBA is currently seeking to hire a director of technology to help administer the service and related activities.

Brokers may use the service to access a wide array of IRI sales applications reports, including category profiles, account profiles, volume and share tracking, promotion activity, distribution and mix, pricing, new products, store-by-store data and geodemographics.

Reports can be sent as hard copy delivered by fax or mail, on computer diskette in spreadsheet form or on-line via an electronic bulletin board. Charter membership in the Technology Resource Center will cost brokers either $5,000 or $10,000, depending on the level of services desired. Information is available from IRI, Chicago, or from NFBA, Reston, Va.