General Mills and Empriva Technologies(TM), an innovative developer of Web-based tools for the packaging industry, today announced the selection of Empriva's SMA/RT(TM) (Specification Management Application/Real Time) system to manage General Mills' packaging data online.

General Mills, one of the largest national and international producers of consumer food products, will use the SMA/RT system to compile packaging data from a variety of sources and locations. The Web-based system will give General Mills the capability to communicate and manage all of its packaging specifications from one central source, and allow real-time access to specification information.

"What attracted us to Empriva is that they have the tool through their SMA/RT System to enable us to collaborate with other buyers for aggregate buying around standardized package specifications," said Randy Darcy, senior vice president of supply chain for General Mills. "Their system will allow us to communicate online and connect graphic arts and packaging engineering with our suppliers and potentially other alliance partners."

SMA/RT will allow General Mills to integrate information seamlessly into a single system that includes packaging specifications, supplier information, CAD files, graphics, artwork, pallet configurations and supporting text documents. In addition, SMA/RT will provide up-to-date access to its packaging specifications across the supply chain.

"We believe SMA/RT will allow us to realize significant cost savings by automating processes we have been doing manually," adds Darcy. "By aggregating our many specifications, we will have greater control over the production process, ultimately reducing defects and increasing our production efficiency through logistics management."

As part of the agreement, General Mills will provide feedback on the functionality of SMA/RT and provide access to key packaging, procurement and supply chain executives, thus aiding in future product development.

"General Mills is known as a leader in supply chain management and operations," Mike Stradinger, Empriva CEO said. "Their expertise and feedback will be extremely valuable as we look for ways to continuously improve the SMA/RT system."

About Empriva Technologies

Empriva develops and deploys Web-based enabling tools to facilitate the efficient communication and interaction between members of the packaging supply chain. Empriva's tools include a specification management application that aggregates all specification data on one browser-accessed, secure database and a business-to-business exchange that allows for efficient sourcing of custom products. The company has headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., with regional offices in Atlanta, Boston and Cleveland.

About General Mills

General Mills is a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer food products, with fiscal 2000 worldwide sales of $7.5 billion. Major U.S. businesses include: Big G ready-to-eat cereals, Betty Crocker dessert, baking and dinner mixes, snack products, and Yoplait and Colombo yogurt. The company's expanding international operations include company-owned businesses in Canada, Mexico and China, as well as a snacks joint venture in continental Europe with PepsiCo and a worldwide cereal joint venture with Nestle. More information is available at