Professionals in the supply chain discipline play a vital role in foodservice distribution. Without people who coordinate purchasing, receiving, order fulfillment, and delivery — goods could not be moved efficiently and safely from the manufacturer or grower to the operator customer purchasing products for their restaurant or other foodservice outlet. 

In a nutshell, supply chain management professionals ensure that the right products are in the right place at the right time and at the right price. In this fast-paced environment, supply chain management professionals are negotiating and making decisions on inventory to ensure that a distributor has a product available and gets it to the customer on time. As you can imagine, this is a highly dynamic area that requires critical thinking and analytical acumen.  The right supply chain strategies can drive a company’s competitive edge.

Positions in Supply Chain

Procurement (including buying, replenishment, and negotiation)

  • Establish long-term contracts with suppliers; negotiate price and quantity terms to ensure adequate supply of products at a reasonable price.
  • Maintain established product levels for inventory.
  • Determine new products to sell to customers based off of market trends.

Transportation Management (including inbound and outbound product)

  • Responsible for collecting all relevant data and information on products coming in and 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.

Inventory Management (including inbound and outbound product)

  • 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

  • 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 regards 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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