Steven Levitt, author of the hugely popular books "Freakonomics" and "SuperFreakonomics," will deliver the conference keynote at the 11th annual U Connect LIVE Conference. The event, hosted by GS1 US in partnership with the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Association (VICS), will take place at the Orlando World Center Marriott from May 31 through June 3, 2011.
Many of the largest companies in the country participate in U Connect, sharing valuable insights and best practices for supply-chain operations and related business processes. Sessions will explore how manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, foodservice operators, group purchasing organizations, and healthcare facilities can strengthen their value-chain management operations to meet the increasingly complex needs of technology-savvy consumers.
More than 1,200 professionals from industries including apparel and footwear, consumer packaged goods/grocery, fresh foods, foodservice, general merchandise, and healthcare will converge at U Connect LIVE to learn how to use new and existing standards to address emerging and expanding issues, such as data quality for mobile shopping, consumer safety, traceability, sustainability, and brand integrity.
Over 20 retailers and distributors will host "Trading Partner Roundtables," where suppliers will have the opportunity to meet with their customers in small groups and discuss opportunities to improve their value-chain processes. Confirmed participants so far include Ace Hardware Corporation; Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES); Best Buy; Dillards; Dot Foods; Lowe's; McLane; Performance Foodservice; SUPERVALU; Wakefern Food Corporation; and Wegmans.
Other U Connect LIVE 2011 sessions and workshops include: case studies shared by retailers, manufacturers and other value-chain participants; workshops, in which trading partners can raise issues and gain insights from peers; and educational sessions led by GS1 standards experts.
Levitt's keynote, on June 1, at 4 p.m., will complement the conference's theme, "Consumers Demand. Visibility Delivers." He will share unique insights on human behavior and how businesses must take the laws of unintended consequences into account in today's economy.
"Steve Levitt pursues questions that reveal hidden realities, something that all businesspeople should find valuable in a time of great uncertainty in the marketplace - and they'll be able to hear directly from him at U Connect," said Bob Carpenter, CEO of GS1 US.
Mainstays on The New York Times Best Sellers lists since 2005, Levitt's two books have sold more than 5 million copies. "Freakonomics: The Movie," a documentary based on the books, was released in October 2010, and was one of the most downloaded videos on iTunes for weeks before its theatrical release.
Levitt is a tenured professor in the University of Chicago's economics department, and received the American Economic Association's prestigious John Bates Clark Medal, given annually to the country's best economist under 40.
To register or to get more information, visit www.uconnectevent.org.
About GS1 US
GS1 US is a not-for-profit organization that brings industry communities together to solve supply-chain problems through the adoption and implementation of GS1 standards. More than 200,000 businesses in 25 industries rely on GS1 US for benefits based on GS1 global unique numbering and identification systems, barcodes, Electronic Product Code-based RFID, data synchronization, and electronic information exchange. www.GS1US.org.
The Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Solutions (VICS) Association helps retailers and consumer-focused suppliers create voluntary guidelines and best practices for reducing costs and improving availability of products. www.vics.org.