HAVI Global Solutions, LLC (HGS), Downers Grove, Ill., developed a 5-stage Foodservice Supply Chain Maturity Model—a key component of HGS' and Technomic's 2013 "State of the Foodservice Supply Chain" report.

The HGS Foodservice Supply Chain Maturity Model, developed with Chicago-based Technomic, charts the progression of restaurant supply chains from rudimentary, insular functions lacking process formality and visibility to highly integrated, adaptive business units that help drive sales, deliver strategic insight and create shared value.

"At HGS, we've taken the traditional concept of a supply chain maturity model and made it applicable to foodservice professionals who want to use the supply chain as a competitive advantage," says Ken Shearer, senior vice president of sales for HGS. "This model allows them to benchmark their supply chains against the foodservice supply chain model to better understand where they currently stand and where they have opportunities to improve their system’s overall operating efficiency."

Unlike more general supply chain maturity models that focus on high-level operations, the HGS Foodservice Supply Chain Maturity Model accounts for the unique complexities in foodservice supply chains. Restaurant chains of all sizes can use this model to evaluate their capabilities across a core set of foodservice-specific supply chain areas, set priorities to direct more focused improvement activities and create change with confidence. The model allows those who manage supply chains within the industry to understand emerging trends and how leading companies are leveraging those trends to improve their supply chains.

"Given the intensely competitive environment and very modest revenue growth potential, it is imperative for restaurant chains to increase their focus on supply chain enhancement," says Bob Goldin, executive vice president of Technomic. "The HGS Foodservice Market Supply Chain Maturity Model we helped create provides restaurant chains a diagnostic tool that pinpoints major enhancement opportunities."

The 2013 "State of the Foodservice Supply Chain" report also highlights key findings in the food industry, such as:

• The breadth of supply chain capabilities is a function of restaurant chain size however supply chain maturity is not.

• Managing volatile commodity costs is an organization’s biggest supply chain challenge.

• Franchisees are increasing the number and frequency of limited-time offer promotions in their restaurants, adding significant supply chain complexity.

• Menu boards are increasing in complexity and restaurant chains are using more ingredients, thus there are more items to assure supply.