C-Store Foodservice Veterans Cite Ways To Optimize Supply Chain

During a NACS CAFÉ webinar recently, foodservice veterans provided their insight on how to minimize the risk and maximize the reward by optimizing the foodservice supply chain, according to nacsonline, the National Association of Convenience Stores online newsletter.

Speakers Joe Chiovera, principal of XS Foodservice and Marketing Solutions; Chris Chila, senior category marketing manager for Hess; and Tim Barry, corporate director of foodservice and fresh for Core-Mark all emphasized the importance of commitment and communication when it comes to implementing a fresh food program.

“There are great opportunities, but we have to take some disciplined steps,” said Chiovera, who believes in the motto “foundation before differentiation.” He advises that a strong foodservice supply chain starts with a strong base of internal and transparent commitment from senior executives on down, including standards, training and supplier relations.

Distribution, they noted, is an essential element of the foodservice operation — and perhaps the most complicated one. Chila suggested starting the conversation with existing distributors, considering questions like: How will you get product from the manufacturer to a distributor to a retail location? How will you account for distribution in product costs? Who will own the supply chain process? What will the ordering process look like? Can they provide online ordering and predictive ordering? And above all else: food safety first, Chila said.

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