Chicago-based International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) and Kinetic12, a Chicago-based food industry management consulting firm, joined forces to establish and develop what is said to be the first ever best practices for foodservice supply chain optimization. 

This initiative, which builds off IFMA's existing collaboration best practice – Operator Collaboration Model (OCM) – will benefit the entire foodservice supply chain, including manufacturers, chain operators and distributors.

A key component in the success of this effort will be the development board comprised of industry experts who will work in conjunction with HAVI Global Solutions, LLC (HGS), Downers Grove, Ill., and Datassential, a Chicago-based research company, to provide a unique collaborative opportunity for manufacturers and distributors to work directly with operators. The purpose of this new best practice is to solve today's most pressing supply chain challenges for both core menu and limited-time offer (LTO) products.

"This is an excellent opportunity for foodservice leaders to develop a more efficient and effective supply chain," says Larry Oberkfell, president and CEO of IFMA. "The foodservice industry has a distinct advantage because all areas of the supply chain will truly collaborate and build best practices. The goal of this initiative is to create best practices that drive sales by ensuring product in the right place, at the right time, in the right quantity."

Kinetic12 has background expertise in developing other industry best practices in conjunction with IFMA, including the Operator Collaboration Model and Joint Business Planning. This initiative is designed to employ their extensive food knowledge to resolve current challenges in the foodservice industry.

"We want to take a closer look at effectively managing inventories and storage, as well as improving demand planning and forecast accuracy for both LTOs and core menu management," says Jeff Schroeder, managing partner at Kinetic12. "This effort will truly be one of a kind, led by experienced, knowledgeable partners, and will foster greater collaboration between manufacturers, operators and distributors."

"This initiative is designed to affect change and bring about solutions for the supply chain issues we all face," adds Rich Kamph, senior vice president of global supply chain at FOCUS Brands, Atlanta. "We are looking forward to collaborating with other operators, manufacturers and distributors, and aligning on new standards that will ultimately bolster a more transparent and efficient supply chain."