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    Supplier Briefs

    News updates from Coors, SAP, Opto 22, Pinnacle and more.

    Coors Brewing Co. plans to launch Vibe, a malt-based beverage aimed at male consumers, later this spring. Malt-based alternatives to beers, or "malternatives" as they are known, are sweeping the U.S. alcoholic beverage market. The category grew 87 percent from 2000 to 2001, compared with 12 percent growth for imported beer, 9 percent for premium light beer and 6 percent for premium beer, according to data provided by Coors.

    Coors already has Zima, a flavored clear malt drink, on the market, and recently said it would introduce new packaging for that drink, which was launched in the 1990s. Vibe, which joins a list of malternatives hitting the U.S. market this year, will be available in Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Columbus, Denver, Houston, Pittsburgh and San Diego in early May, Coors, the brewer said in a statement.

    The drink, with a fruit flavor and 5 percent alcohol by volume, will have black and red packaging, Coors said. Vibe will come in 12-ounce longneck bottles and will hit more markets this fall.

    The Golden, Colo.-based brewer also said its Original Coors brand will soon go by the name Coors Original and come in flashy packaging geared to lure consumers. Coors, which also makes Coors Light among a host of other brands, plans to introduce gold metallic packaging for Coors Original.

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    WilcoHess, LLC of Winston-Salem, N.C. has chosen Pinnacle's Palm POS system to automate the front counter of their 145 convenience stores. Pinnacle Palm POS is an in-store point-of-sale (POS) system specifically designed for the convenience store & petroleum industries. Running under the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems, Palm utilizes scanning and touch screen technology. Palm is also integrated to most fuel dispensing equipment and island card readers, as well as many credit and check verification networks. Along with Palm WilcoHess has chosen NCR POS terminals as its hardware platform.

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    SAP AG has enhanced its mySAP Supply Chain Management solution by adding new industry-specific functionality that provides best-in-class planning capabilities, which can enhance a company's abilities to respond to ever-changing market conditions, maximize revenue opportunities, minimize costs and improve customer service.

    SAP announced new enhancements to its solution to meet the supply chain planning needs of customers in across all channels of trade. The latest updates to the SAP advanced planning and optimization solution will begin shipments later this month.

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    Opto 22, a manufacturer of hardware and software products for automation and control, remote monitoring, and data acquisition, and Boston-based Axeda Systems Inc., a provider of Device Relationship Management software and services, have entered into a strategic alliance to promote a remote monitoring, service and management solution for devices and equipment across a variety of industries.

    The integrated solution will enable customers to connect their critical business assets and systems to the databases and business applications they use to run their companies. This connection allows organizations to establish a vital link between these two sides of their business and improve overall operations through the monitoring, management, and acquisition of key business intelligence from throughout their entire enterprise.

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    KSS, a supplier of revenue management systems for the convenience store, grocery and drug retail industries, has extended its PriceStrat retail optimization system to include promotions management functionality. Collaborative research with the retail industry illustrated the need to be able to evaluate the impact of promotional activity upon margin, profit, unit sales and price image, the company said. The addition of promotions functionality to PriceStrat will allow retailers to plan, execute and measure promotions more effectively, with improved accuracy and therefore greater confidence by understanding their impact on consumer demand.

    Promotional events can be scheduled year-round and the impact of key variables on the forecasted sales lift of the promoted items, along with the cannibalization effects upon non-promoted items, can be analyzed by promotion type, price, duration or advertising support. Forecasts of sales uplifts can then be used to enhance supply chain and inventory planning.

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    Since September 11th building owners and real estate management companies have felt a heightened need for building security. To address this need, Bartizan Data Systems has created ID Detective, a new system to help companies and buildings better monitor and control traffic of visitors and tenants. It scans magnetic stripes and bar codes of company or building ID cards, as well as driver's licenses from over 30 states to better ensure employee and building security.

    Storeowners and security companies can use ID Detective to issue permanent and temporary ID cards keeping access to the building tightly monitored. The system can also be used to print encoded ID cards. With ID Detective invalid cards can easily be detected, and, where a higher degree of security is desired, encrypted cards and PIN numbers can be created. Bartizan is working to develop a system can also be installed for a higher level of security using fingerprint scans.

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