Supply chain professionals play an integral role in foodservice distribution and are essential to a company’s success and customer satisfaction. They diagnose problems, creatively work around disruptions, and figure out how to move essential products that commercial kitchens need as safely and efficiently as possible.

In a nutshell, supply chain management professionals coordinate purchasing, receiving, order fulfillment, and delivery.  

Positions in Supply Chain

Procurement (including buying, replenishment, and negotiation)

  • Establish business relationships with suppliers; negotiate price and quantity terms to ensure adequate supply of products at a reasonable price.
  • Maintaining inventory levels to maximize inventory turns  
  • Determine new products to sell to customers based off of market trends.
  • Negotiate deals and allowances to generate additional revenue

Transportation Management (including inbound and outbound product)

  • Day-to-day operations of Transportation Team, which includes optimal routing, driver scheduling, fleet readiness and fleet maintenance.
  • Compliance to all Federals and State laws to ensure compliance to D.O.T. regulations as outlined in FMCSA (Federal Motors Carrier & Safety Act ).
  • Maintains and evaluates fleet data, systems and software to maximize efficiencies and productivity of fleet.
  • Develops and maintains highly effective internal and external relationships with the goal of providing excellent customer service through timely and accurate deliveries.
  • Responsible for collecting all relevant data and information on products being shipped from the facility to customers.
  • Ensures all deliveries are made in a safe, efficient, and timely manner.
  • Trains drivers on safe working practices.

Warehouse Operations Management

  • Directs and manages all operations in the warehouse.
  • Ensures all policies and procedures are being followed within warehouse operations.
  • Controls warehouse functions to ensure the accurate and timely flow of product through the warehouse.
  • Direct responsibility for the development, management and monitoring of department budgets.
  • Analyzes all KPI’s to ensure accuracy, efficient, compliance profitability proper material handling and minimal damage.
  • Responsible for the management of business service contracts.

Inventory Management (including inbound and outbound product)

  • Manage and oversight of perpetual inventory stock counting inventory and accuracy checks.
  • Manages all assigned staff to ensure accurate inventories are maintained at all times.
  • Controls all merchandise to ensure product is fresh while also implementing systems to minimize product damage and theft.
  • Replenishes inventory and provides analysis as needed to ensure products are always available to customers.

Process Management

  • Defines optimal process strategies to maximize output and profits.
  • Utilizes Six Sigma and Lean methodologies to manage others and ensures proper methods are being used by all.
  • Shares best practices to others within companies.

Pricing Analytics

  • Monitors profit margin to ensure Company revenue goals and objectives are achieved, and margin enhancement opportunities identified.
  • Manages pricing databases accurately to increase company profits.
  • Provides ongoing support for operating company personnel on all aspects of pricing implementation and maintenance.
  • Analyzes market trends to ensure pricing results in maximum company profits.

Demand Planning and Forecasting of Customer Needs

  • Analyzes historical trends in customer purchasing to predict their needs in advance.
  • Communicates findings with Buyers and Inventory Control Managers to ensure sufficient supply of products.
  • Conducts market needs surveys to determine new products to buy.

Food safety

  • Ensures all USDA standards and regulations are being met in regard to the product and production process.
  • Directs assigned staff to perform frequent and thorough cleaning and sanitization of all processing machines and work areas.
  • Implements and enforces quality control procedures to ensure consumer safety.

Attributes of Supply Chain Management Positions

Analytical with strong attention to detail
Critical Thinker
Enjoy Negotiation
Decision Maker
Results Oriented
Good Communicator
Relationship Builder
Problem Solver with the ability to implement process improvement

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If you would like information on IFDA Member Companies in your area, click here for a map of our member company corporate offices and distribution centers. Please visit individual IFDA member websites for information about their company and job opportunities.