NEWS ROUNDUP

MarkeTechnics Expects 6,000h annual MarkeTechnics show, sponsored by the Food Marketing Institute here, is expected to attract more than 6,000 supermarket industry professionals and 300 exhibitors. MarkeTechnics 2000 will be held Feb. 20 to 22 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. This year's theme is "Leveraging Opportunity Through Technology." The show's schedule includes three general

MarkeTechnics Expects 6,000

h annual MarkeTechnics show, sponsored by the Food Marketing Institute here, is expected to attract more than 6,000 supermarket industry professionals and 300 exhibitors. MarkeTechnics 2000 will be held Feb. 20 to 22 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. This year's theme is "Leveraging Opportunity Through Technology." The show's schedule includes three general sessions and two dozen technology-oriented workshops. There will also be a 225,000-square-foot exhibit floor. "MarkeTechnics 2000 promises to be our finest tech show ever, featuring exhibits of cutting-edge technologies and workshops focusing on the strategic applications of these technologies," said Brian Tully, FMI senior vice president. Retailers and exhibitors can obtain current program information and register for the show at www.fmi.org.

A&P Adds Help Desk Solution

MONTVALE, N.J. -- A&P here has rolled out new technology to further automate the handling of calls to the retailer's computer help desk. According to a source familiar with the installation, the system automatically identifies callers, matches the store number to existing data on hardware installations and opens problem tickets. The system provides priority routing and exhaustive tracking of the problem-solution process from first call to close of ticket. According to Brian Walsh, A&P manager for the corporate help desk, one of the biggest advantages of the system is "call avoidance. "Because the system can automatically tell callers the status of open problem tickets, dispatch local service providers for simple problems and post system messages giving information on wider problems, the volume of calls handled directly by a help-desk analyst is dramatically reduced. Currently, the A&P help desk handles hundreds of calls a day that need analyst intervention, some percentage of which can now be handled automatically, improving response time and service levels. "Our new solution has provided customers with an automatic process to resolve many issues and questions quickly and efficiently," said Walsh. The help-desk system is a combination of technologies from Peregrine Systems, San Diego, and Apropos Technology, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.

Eagle Sets Payment System

MILAN, Ill. -- Eagle Food Centers here plans to begin installing new, consumer-activated electronic-payment systems this fall, with chainwide rollout expected to be completed by year-end. The interactive devices, from IVI Checkmate, Atlanta, serve as both credit- and debit-card terminals. IVI Checkmate will also provide systems-integration and project-management services to the food retailer.

Access to Offer Food On-Line

SAN DIEGO -- Access Developers Inc., an Internet-access provider here, has established an on-line grocery site, prime-foods.com. The site will offer home delivery of groceries and specialty items to the company's Internet subscribers as well as non-subscribers. The first market to be rolled out will be San Diego. By the end of 2000, the company expects to roll out the grocery service to the 49 markets where it provides Internet access.