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Representatives of the 50 member organizations of IFMA’s Supply Chain Optimization (SCO) development board gathered in Rosemont on August 2nd, for their fourth all-day session to develop a best practice framework. But while this meeting represents an “end” of one journey, it also serves as the starting point for the next. 

The main focus of the meeting was to consider how to drive activation of the SCO program best practices in the supplier, distributor and operator organizations represented by the committee members. While a consistent framework has been developed through the first three sessions, the group acknowledges that to be truly impactful and long-lived within each of their organizations, it’s important to allow for some personalization of program elements to work within existing company systems. Much of these refinements centered on optimizing communication flow, data sharing and data standards to eliminate confusion. The group also refined the SCO Scorecard with an eye toward identifying missing elements and needed improvements to ensure that partner relationships will be evaluated effectively by all partners.   



This fall, the committee members will start the next phase of the SCO journey by putting its development work into action through a series of training and pilot program tests among groups of suppliers, distributors and operators. After training and testing are complete, SCO case histories will be created which will include recommendations on refinements.

Finally, these case histories and other learnings from these meetings will be shared with the greater foodservice community via a comprehensive multi-level program of industry engagement and communications. 

IFMA would like to thank all SCO board members and industry partners for their work thus far on this extreme important initiative in 2017. We look forward to sharing future results and findings with the entire IFMA membership this year and into 2018.