Suppliers and chains embark on international best practice initiative

Leading independent contract catering provider, Olive Catering Services, ended a record-breaking year for the business on a high note by claiming three high-profile new contracts.

UK foodservice suppliers and operators will be watching closely to see how relationships between their counterparts in North America develop following a landmark initiative aimed at bringing the supply chain closer together.

The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) said it was launching an industry-wide Joint Business Planning (JBP) initiative to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of foodservice operator and manufacturer collaboration.

Last year, the group and a committee of 30 chain operators and manufacturers championed the development of a new best-practice model for collaboration called the OCM – Operator/Manufacturer Collaboration Model.

The framework included a set of tools to help manufacturers work more collaboratively and effectively with national account customers, and for operators, with suppliers. With this important foundation in place, the OCM has now moved onto the second phase of its evolution.

“IFMA’s Joint Business Planning is a natural extension of the OCM work we began 18 months ago,” said Larry Oberkfell, president and CEO of IFMA. “Foodservice operators and manufacturers agree there is a significant opportunity for stronger, more structured collaboration in the industry, and they called for the JBP initiative as part of their ongoing work. We are excited to be launching this initiative to help bring planning best practices to these channel partners.”

A group of leading operators and foodservice manufacturers will join together to create the process, language, tools and metrics required to facilitate collaboration between supply chain partners.

Their collective knowledge and skills will be utilised to create more efficient and effective planning processes for the foodservice industry.

“On behalf of myself and the several other chain operators already committed to this effort, we applaud IFMA’s leadership in this opportunity-rich and much-needed initiative,” said Matt Riddleberger, VP supply chain services at Firehouse Subs.”

The first Joint Business Planning meetings are scheduled to take place in Chicago in June, August and September.

IFMA was set up in 1952 and comprises more than 300 food, equipment and supply manufacturers.

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