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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee business leaders can gain a competitive edge by attending regional seminars on electronic commerce, electronic data interchange (EDI), and bar-coding.

The technology, now used by many private companies, “promises to become the preferred method for conducting all business in the future,” said Walter Williams, electronic commerce consultant in the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services.

Electronic commerce encompasses e-mail, teleconferences, fax, electronic catalogs, Internet and EDI, the computer-to-computer exchange of routine business information using accepted industry standards. Bar-coding refers to the lines of code found on retail and other items which enhance computer processing.

Electronic commerce and EDI seminars are scheduled for:

* Sept. 9, Knoxville, Holiday Inn-World’s Fair, 525 Henley St.

* Sept. 10, Johnson City, Quality Inn, 2406 N. Roan St.

Metcan and Marsh-Tennessee Co., EDI consultants, will demonstrate how the technology works in business transactions.

Cost of the seminar is $50 per person. Registration is at 8:30 a.m. Sessions begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 11 a.m. EDI demonstrations are from 11 a.m. to noon.

Electronic commerce and bar-coding seminars are set for:

* Sept. 17, Oak Ridge, Technology 2020, 1020 Commerce Park Drive.

* Oct. 15, Nashville, Ramada Inn, Briley Parkway.

* Nov. 12, Jackson, Holiday Inn, Interstate 40 and U.S. 45 Bypass.

The cost of these seminars is $130 per person, which includes breaks, lunch, student materials and an Excel spreadsheet. Sessions will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 5 p.m.

All programs are sponsored by the UT Center for Industrial Services, Pellissippi State Technical Community College Small Business Development Center and the East Tennessee State University Small Business Development Center.

For more information, contact Walter Williams at (423) 974-3018.