This e-newsletter is provided by IFDA and IFMA to share progress on the GS1 US Standards Initiative.
Thomas talks about what GS1 Standards mean to Darden
At the June 2012 GS1 Connect Conference, Jim Thomas, vice president of supply management for Darden Restaurants, was among executives from four different supply chains who took part in an opening session discussing what GS1 Standards mean to their individual industries. In video from the conference, Thomas makes a compelling case for why members of the supply chain should adopt standards and provided numerous benefits, specifically sharing how Darden sees those benefits in relation to their operations and to their guests. Darden Restaurants is the world's largest casual dining company and operates seven restaurant brands with 1,900 units, and employs 180,000 people serving 400 million meals annually. They are currently the 27th largest private sector employer in the U.S.
Thomas stated that data standards drive benefits based on critical mass and asked companies not yet involved to consider participation with the numerous companies already adopting the standards. "We believe together we can lower costs, eliminate waste, add more value, and provide more affordable food to more people," said Thomas.
Thomas described the standards as a common language that enables supply chain participants to easily identify product, capture and share information, quickly communicate between suppliers, distributors, and restaurants, rapidly respond to a food safety crisis and ensure guest safety, and create better supply and demand data exchange-all while driving efficiencies. Thomas stated that Darden sees the standards as important for end-to-end supply chain visibility that supports traceability, and that the standards are foundational to lowering expenses by helping to automate restaurant receiving processes, reduce labor expense in the restaurant, and expand unattended deliveries.
"We believe that the business case associated with the work we are doing in the restaurant is easily translatable upstream into the warehouse and manufacturer environments that support our restaurants," said Thomas. "We believe we can manage key data components that enable our traceability initiatives. We also believe we can make better decisions when all of the supply chain partners have the data available to them instantly." Thomas concluded that through use of standards "we can drive better decision-making in the supply chain, we can drive more full trucks, we can make more timely deliveries, all because we have better information."
To view the video of Jim Thomas' presentation, which includes a brief introduction by GS1 US CEO Bob Carpenter, click here.
New Global Data Synchronisation Network (GDSN) Guide
GS1 US has released a new Foodservice GDSN Attribute Guide for business users that supplements the GS1 US Foodservice Initiative's Phase 1 and 2 Attribute Spreadsheet tools with additional guidance.
The 208-page guide contains advice on the implementation and operation of foodservice attributes as recommended by the Initiative, including guidance for a variety of the more complicated issues encountered when implementing the GDSN attributes. It seeks to increase consistency and ease of implementation by explaining the standards and providing real-world examples. The document is aimed primarily at users who need to understand the data content or process standards. Technical users involved with implementation may also find topics of interest. GS1 US suggests that if users need additional training or advice, to contact your solution provider, data pool, or GS1 US.
The guide can be accessed on the "Tools and Resources" page of the Foodservice GS1 US website under the "GDSN" subhead by clicking on the link for GS1 US Foodservice GDSN Attribute Guide. To access the Tools and Resources page, click here.
Article Exert: NRA Study Group Looks at Emerging Trends,
Including Foodservice GS1 US Standards
Supply-chain managers are paying close attention to a number of emerging trends that could affect the way the foodservice industry does business going forward, experts said at the National Restaurant Association's recent Supply Chain Management executive study group conference in Chicago.
An increased amount of patchwork legislation, the implementation of the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative, additional rules pertaining to the Food & Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act, and more consumer interest in animal welfare are some of the issues being monitored right now.
"It's a tough atmosphere out there," said Mark Eaganhouse, senior vice president of purchasing for QSR burger chain Wendy's purchasing co-op, QSCC Inc. "Our industry is facing a lot of emerging trends that will affect your costs, who you want to do business with, and how you present your menu items."
Brendan Foley, president of the Heinz U.S. foodservice division and IFMA Board member, said the Food Safety Modernization Act "is going to give the FDA a lot more power and authority." Foley also addressed the Foodservice GS1 US Standards, which were established in 2009, saying, "From an industry standpoint, it's important for us to be on top of this changing behavior. It's really about how we communicate … with each other."
According to Foley, phase 1 of the project has been completed and features published, synchronized product data, definitions, locations, and identities. He said "the goal is to have 75 percent of sales going through a data pool by 2015."
Update on Final Product Images Guidelines for
While it was reported in the last edition of this newsletter that product image guidelines were slated for release in July 2012, release has been delayed due to further discussion by The GS1 US Product Images Task Group about whether the images standard should include image clipping paths. The guidelines will include technical standards such as naming conventions and file types, as well as a style guide with recommendations on images by product category. IFDA and IFMA will update our members when the guideline becomes available.
Standards Discussion at Recent and Upcoming Events:
• A presentation July 24 at the IFDA SMart Conference in San Francisco discussed GS1 US foodservice standards work that is specifically affecting the sales and marketing professional, most notably image standards and their transmission. Britt Wood, VP of IFDA programs and services provided an overview of the milestones already attained by companies engaged in the initiative and Gene Carbonara, senior director of operations at US Foods and co-chair of the Product Images Workgroup, provided details on soon to be released guidelines for foodservice product image standards.
• Julie McGill from GS1 US attended IFMA's Marketing & Sales
Leaders Forum held August 7 in Atlanta and hosted by Coca-Cola
Foodservice & On-Premise. GS1 US was available to allow
interested IFMA members to get a better understanding of how the
initiative is helping the foodservice industry.
• A Foodservice GS1 US Standards update will take place at the October 29-31 IFDA Distribution Solutions Conference in Las Vegas. The session will include distributors and manufacturers who will talk about improved speed and accuracy of data through the supply chain using the standards, including their experience in getting compliant. Panelists include Rich Borasso of Kellogg Company, Debbie Bower of Dot Foods, Lupe Gutierrez of Shamrock Foods Company, and Charles Rodgers of Compass Group North America. For full conference information or to register, visit
• GS1 US will be at the IFMA/IFDA Presidents Conference, November 4-7 in Scottsdale, AZ. The conference brings together leaders from the operator, distributor and manufacturer communities to discuss critical industry issues, including business model transformation. An update on GS1 US will take place on Tuesday, November 6.
New Webinar Available on Initiative: Get Ready...The Time is Now!
A new GS1 US webinar available in September and October provides an introduction to GS1 Standards in Foodservice, progress of the initiative, benefits companies are already seeing, and tools to get started. The webinar, titled "Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative: Get Ready...The Time Is Now!" will be held on the following dates:
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
If you company is interested in getting involved in the
initiative, this is an excellent opportunity to get insights on
what the standards can mean to your company. To access registration
links for the webinar, click here.
New Companies Join Foodservice Initiative as Full Members
Three additional companies have joined the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative, including FSEnet+ (a certified GS1 US Foodservice data pool provider), Oldways / Whole Grains Council (which supports manufacturers creating whole grain products), and Gladson (a nutrition database). These companies bring the total number of "initiative members" to 87. Please note: Full members of the initiative have the opportunity to participate in various work and task groups shaping the initiative. Foodservice companies do not have to be "full members" to participate in implementation through a certified data pool.