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FMI Connect 2016

FMI Connect in Chicago was an opportunity to meet with customers and collaborators in the US Grocery Industry.  Great event.  I had a chance to meet with several different players in the industry.  Despite the fact it feels like the CPG dominate this conference in various sessions I had a chance to meet with several grocers. 

The discussion in years past was on how do you get on-line.  Now it is shifting, the discussion is about how do you make online work from a user experience and cost perspective.  We learned quite a bit from some of the feedback from the UK industry.  Many of those feature are making their way into our Mighty Oaks software.

Cyber-security reared its head as a critical consideration.  There was an excellent talk by a retired five star US Navy general who has now turned his focus to working with corporate America.  Despite the breaches and associated public attention he still finds communicating the importance of cyber security a critical factor.  A level of attention the topic does truly deserve. 

The issue of I-beacon technology popped up again.  Our friends at Coca-Cola Company have actually been doing quite a bit of work on the topics with pilot projects in the US.  I found the market data striking in how consumers are increasing willing to give up privacy by turning on I-beacon technology if it means there is a discount to be gain.  I have some I-Beacon sitting on my desk.  We are going to do something with them, we just need to find the application. 

Healthy eating, home cooked meals and family connections was a strong theme that ran through the event.    

Transparency has a new high-tech twist.  Smart-label is set to take off as the CPG respond to consumer demand for more information.  Regardless of the side of the GMO debate your on, you have to agree that general public taking an interest in what goes in to your food is a positive trend.  Having smart-labels that have barcodes or QR codes that can be used to access more detailed information online is a smart move.  It comes down to giving consumers the information they want.  On the Mighty Oaks side we had several meeting on the side with data providers as we search for way providing trusted data to the end users of our software.

Great week in Chicago.  Looking to be back again.

Elder

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