STUDY: VENDORS LAG IN TECHNOLOGY

WASHINGTON -- Grocery manufacturers have fallen even further behind in the area of information technology, according to a survey conducted for the Grocery Manufacturers of America. "The survey shows clearly that grocery manufacturers must move quickly to get their information technology house in order," said Rick Glover, vice president of information systems at DowBrands, Indianapolis, and chairman

WASHINGTON -- Grocery manufacturers have fallen even further behind in the area of information technology, according to a survey conducted for the Grocery Manufacturers of America. "The survey shows clearly that grocery manufacturers must move quickly to get their information technology house in order," said Rick Glover, vice president of information systems at DowBrands, Indianapolis, and chairman of the GMA Information Systems Committee.

n a "massive" scale, the survey concluded.

· Electronic data interchange is recognized as a vital tool, but most companies are still not making sufficient use of the technology. Although 70% of the companies reported using EDI, only 26% took full advantage of "transaction sets" designed to accomplish a particular task.

· Growing demand to offer customized programs is hampering total overall efficiency. Building multiple customer-specific systems is challenging and expensive, and the industry has not yet leveraged technology standardization and process integration, the report stated.

· The role of information technology in business process re-engineering is unclear. Senior management must drive the efforts with support from information technology specialists, not the other way around.