Foodservice GS1 US Update: July/August 2012

Posted by IFMA August 23, 2012

Tagged in GS1

This e-newsletter is provided by IFDA and IFMA to share progress on the GS1 US Standards Initiative.

Darden's Jim Thomas talks about what GS1 Standards mean to Darden Restaurants
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 Released
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 Foodservice
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.

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Marketing & Sales Leaders Forum

The annual IFMA Marketing & Sales Leaders Forum focuses on marketing and sales collaboration, providing these professionals the means to apply actionable insights and best practices to work together to improve both strategic planning and go-to-market execution. 

The program serves to unravel the complexities of the foodservice landscape, delivering powerful insights into the consumer, operator and distributor communities, as well as communicating how to best utilize the available tools for improved collaboration and tactical go-to-market execution. 

Shamrock Foods Serves Up Quality Data from Pallet to Palate

Shamrock Foods (Shamrock) needed complete and accurate data for its web-based ordering system to satisfy the increasing demands of its customers, especially healthcare providers and school systems that require nutritional and allergen information before purchasing. The company also understood how using quality data could help it become more efficient and cut costs throughout its operations.


How IPC Achieves High Data Quality Standards for the Largest Fast Food Brand in the World

With an eye on freshness and quality, IPC wanted to achieve traceability of suppliers’ products as they travel to SUBWAY® restaurants. To do this, IPC realized it needed accurate product data, yet found widespread inaccuracies that were adding costs and inefficiencies throughout its supply chain.

How Dot Foods Uses Quality Foodservice Data as Expressway for Growth

With about 105,000 products from 700 suppliers, Dot Foods (Dot) was looking for a way to fully-leverage its market advantage by expanding and enhancing the Expressway with more complete and accurate product information. The company launched a data quality initiative that transformed its online catalogue to include expanded and validated data attributes. Learn more about how this initiative now enables more than 1.5 million hits per month from its users, including 2,800 distributors and 310 national account operators.

DineEquity and McLane Use GS1 to Drive Increased Food Traceability and Safety

With more than 3,600 restaurants in 18 countries, DineEquity is one of the largest full-service restaurant companies with two iconic American flagship brands-Applebee's® and IHOP®. The company wanted to take steps to achieve traceability for increased food safety for its franchisees' restaurants and their hundreds of thousands of customers who dine at these restaurants each day.

Foodservice GS1 US Update: May/June 2012

The Foodservice GS1 US Update is provided by IFDA and IFMA to share progress on the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative and provide links to available resources.

Foodservice GS1 US Update: March/April 2012

The Foodservice GS1 US Update is provided by IFDA and IFMA to share progress on the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative and provide links to available resources.

Q & A How Adopting GS1 US Standards Can Improve Relationships Between Operators and Customers

SmartBrief interview with Ann Oka, senior vice president of supply management for Sodexo and a member of the Executive Leadership Committee for the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative.

Foodservice GS1 US Update: January/February 2012

The Foodservice GS1 US Update is provided by IFDA and IFMA to share progress on the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative and provide links to available resources.