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KNOXVILLE – Five large, worldwide companies — BBC Chartering, Colgate-Palmolive, Frito-Lay, Terra Technology and Volkswagen of America — have joined the Demand and Supply Integration Forums at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The Demand and Supply Integration Forums consist of two member-driven, research-based, strategic thinks tanks, the Supply Chain Strategy and Management Forum and the Demand and Sales Forecasting Management Forum. Both work in partnership with the internationally ranked Department of Marketing and Logistics in the College of Business Administration.

The forums, which now involve more than 50 companies, bring together executives from some of the world’s most progressive firms to collaborate with UT’s nationally recognized logistics/marketing faculty.

“Frito-Lay joined UT’s Supply Chain Strategy and Management Forum as a way to gain insight and share best practices on current supply chain issues impacting our company,” said George Wierwille, director of supply chain planning for Frito-Lay North America. “The forum is a great venue to network and collaborate across various industries.”

Joy Ericson, customer alliance manager, said Colgate-Palmolive joined UT’s Supply Chain Strategy and Management Forum to gain access to best-in-class industry information.

“The forum is supported by faculty and students who have gained a national reputation for their top logistics program,” she said.

The Supply Chain Strategy and Management Forum focuses on researching, benchmarking and promoting best-in-class supply chain concerns that enhance organizational value and profitability and optimize a company’s supply chain.

The Demand and Sales Forecasting Management Forum benchmarks sales forecasting management and demand planning practices, identifies industry best practices, establishes sales forecasting management standards and improves forecasting methodologies and other initiatives recognized as relevant among forum sponsors.

“Our forums address critical issues that affect profitability at each link along the organizational value chain, particularly critical in today’s economic environment,” said Paul Dittmann, director of corporate partnerships. “The collaboration that occurs between our sponsoring organizations, faculty and graduate students is unparalleled, driving cutting-edge research, internship opportunities and organizational advancements.”

Each forum holds two on-campus meetings annually. Members receive up to five complimentary registrations for each session, which they are encouraged to share with customers or suppliers.

Information on UT’s Demand and Supply Integration Forums is available at


Cindy Raines, (865) 974-4359,