Conference Attendees Collaborated on Barriers and Solutions During the 2021 Presidents Conference
At IFMA’s Presidents Conference, C&U operators, distributors, and manufacturers all participated in a session to discuss both barriers and opportunities in a complex segment. This collaborative exercise encouraged stakeholders to explain challenges in the segment and to then develop solutions and opportunities that would optimize the value chain and enhance business relationships.
The FLC Strategy
The sessions began with a discussion of the framework - or pyramid - that was developed by the Foodservice Leadership Councils (FLC). The strategic plan for each Foodservice Leadership Council is to provide thought leadership through insights with supply-chain members, which in turn helps to optimize the value chain (or ecosystem) and bring value to all trading partners.
The Challenges: C&U Foodservice
While supply and labor shortages are an ongoing challenge for college and university foodservice operators, participants steered clear of rehashing these chronic issues. Instead, the challenges identified by participants included 1) handling steep price increases, 2) the need for pre-cooked/value-added foods and consumer insights, and 3) segment education for manufacturers and distributors.
|Challenge||Details / Comments|
|Labor Supply and Engagement||
|Supplier Understanding of C&U Long-Term Vision||
The Opportunities and Solutions with Foodservice
Once participants outlined the challenges facing college and university foodservice, the next step was to jointly collaborate on solutions. Some of the proposed solutions included a trading partner “portal,” a segment-specific playbook, facilitation from IFMA, and a showcase of new products to students.
|Solutions||Details / Comments|
|Trading Partner Portal||
The Next Steps for the Councils
In January 2022, the five Foodservice Leadership Councils will reconvene in a live conversation, open to all members, and report on the status of the solutions shared in each session. IFMA will release the dates and times of each session at the end of December, 2021.
About the Foodservice Leadership Councils: In the fall of 2018, several leading operators across different industry segments approached IFMA looking for help. They felt their communities were underserved in the areas of insights, business best practices and more effective connectivity with manufacturers. They also recognized the opportunity to learn from each other and the broader industry to better serve their customers.
For operators interested in learning more about the ongoing council work and access to upcoming resources, visit IFMAworld.com/council, or contact Jim Green at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive updates on council activities and have complimentary access to whitepapers, webinars, and conferences.