Supply Chain


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.  

Woman In Warehouse Writing On Clipboard

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
  • Self-Directed
  • Results Oriented
  • Good Communicator
  • Relationship Builder
  • Problem Solver with the ability to implement process improvement

Find an IFDA Member Near You

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.