2023 Innovation Labs 

Monday Sessions

Employee Experience & E-Commerce: How New Channels Can Make Your Team Happier at Work
Presented by: Butter Technologies, Inc.
11:30 a.m. East 
Labor challenges following the pandemic continue to persist, including labor shortages and low morale. Learn how other distributors are adapting their operations in response by creating better experiences for their employees. Butter’s cofounder and head of product will share how ecommerce improves more than just sales and customer experience in the food industry, and how clearer customer communication between distributors and foodservice operators affects overall satisfaction of sales reps and order processors.
End-to-End Route Management
Presented by: Aptean
11:30 a.m. West
Businesses today look at delivery management as a primary weapon in the fight for competitive advantage. But to win, you must connect your delivery operations to the rest of your organization. End-to-end route management is able to make that happen, but the effort needs a champion that recognizes the symbiotic relationship between delivery operations and the rest of the organization. Join our presentation and discover how Aptean Routing & Scheduling rescues your business from the pitfalls of disconnected delivery route plans.
Elevate your Temperature-Sensitive Fleet Operations with Smart Trailers
Presented by: Samsara
1:00 p.m. East   
With 30% of food wasted in the global supply-chain, effectively managing temperature fluctuations in fleet operations is critical to keeping food fresh longer. Learn how a cloud-connected operation helps fleet managers minimize load-loss and improve compliance by monitoring temperatures and remotely controlling reefers with actionable insights and alerts.
Profitability Through Sustainability in the Supply Chain
1:00 p.m. West
Presented by: TELUS Consumer Goods
Increasing the sustainability of your operation does not have to come at the expense of your bottom line. Product rejections and recalls are an immense source of cost to food distributors, and consumers demand increasingly high standards of safety and traceability in the products they choose. By implementing several best practices in your warehouse, order management, and distribution operations, you can maximize your inventory management and take measures to mitigate costly risks. Join TELUS Consumer Goods to learn how increasing the sustainability of your organization can also increase your prot margins.
Using Mobile Apps for Effective Proof of Delivery
1:45 p.m. East   
Presented by: VAI - Vormitag Associates
Mobile POD app replaces the clumsy paperwork process of capturing signatures with a clean efficient paperless process to confirm the delivery of merchandise. With this powerful app you can electronically capture signatures, photographs, track customer payments, process returns and much more.

The Art of Compliance
1:45 p.m. West 
Presented by: Fleetworthy Solutions

Motor Carriers today face a variety of challenges that complicate the ability to build and deploy a safety culture. Whether it’s trying to analyze mountains of data, leveraging multiple platforms and technologies, or the burdens of regulatory compliance; creating an environment where safety and compliance professionals can make real-time decisions is not an easy task. Having a partner that can provide a single source of truth for all of that data and subject matter experts that can become your compliance bench-strength, empowers carriers to overcome those challenges and make informed decisions that help keep the road safe.

Tuesday Sessions

Turning Volatility into Opportunity
11:30 a.m. East 
Presented by: SKYSHEEP
The CFO of a large specialty distributor needed to rapidly improve profitability as top-line growth was exploding. Given the inflationary environment, increased cost volatility and an outdated pricing process, there was an opportunity to leverage pricing to improve margin. Enacting change required a more holistic, data-driven approach to improve sales team confidence in pricing. There were three key roadblocks to overcome: no allocated budget for a project, the need to earn sales team confidence in new pricing, and a stringent requirement to avoid compromising overall volume. Join SKYSHEEP to learn how this distributor leveraged priceflo™ to exceed aggressive financial objectives by transforming their pricing process via an automated and flexible, AI-driven approach.
Scaling Last-Mile Dispatching & Routing Operations to Support Growth
11:30 a.m. West              
Presented by: Wise Systems
To build a strong last-mile dispatching and routing operation, you need a technology infrastructure that automates manual processes, leverages the data you have in your operations, integrates seamlessly with your entire echnology ecosystem, and has the flexibility to accommodate your processes and workflows. In this session, Wise Systems, will dig into what it takes to build a scalable operation - both technology and processes. In addition to case study anecdotes, the session willl cover:
- Defining your end state for a scalable dispatching transformation
- Steps to ensure a successful project and outcome
- Optimizing for customer-focused KPIs that drive your business
- Key evaluation criteria to include in your RFPs

Emerging Trends in Cold Chain Logistics
1:00 p.m. East   
Presented by: Eroad
Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) are playing a transformative role in shaping the future of cold chain logistics. From predicting potential temperature excursions, to making pro-active adjustments, AI and predictive analytics are revolutionizing how we monitor, control, and optimize the transportation of perishable goods. In this session, you’ll learn how these technologies are being used to transcend traditional business processes and become equipped with simple concepts to elevate your fleet’s operations and outmaneuver your competition.

RAIN RFID: Why Now is the Time for Food Distributors
1:00 p.m. West
Presented by: Barcoding
Integrated RFID and automation bring real-time inventory visibility, process efficiencies, reduced labor needs, and sustainability improvements in food distributor operations from receiving to delivery. JW Franz, IoT & Automation Solutions Director,  will discuss how RAIN RFID and modern technology solutions provide a number of key benefits like: Data capture for FSMA 204 food traceability; Faster cycle count times and more accurate inventory; Effective freshness management and ability to quickly identify recalled product by lot code Reusable plastic container (RPC) management Reduced shrinkage.
Is Your Sanitation Program Effective?
1:45 p.m. East   
Presented by: TEC Services
Unprecedented staffing shortages have become one of the largest challenges companies are facing today, resulting in many organizations doing everything they can to deliver high quality services to their customers with a reduced workforce. This session will review how food service distributors can deal with this major issue along with other challenges including retention, high turnover, training, documentation, quality of services, audit readiness and audit scores. By transitioning  sanitation services to TEC Services, distributors can experience a range of benefits including the ability to promote sanitation services personnel to other revenue generating roles in the company providing much needed staff, increasing pick counts, aiding in employee retention by showing personnel that promotional opportunities exist, developing and providing SOP's and training programs custom to their environment, performing quality audits against a set of KPI's requiring management sign-off, providing detailed reporting and dashboards, and much more.

The Power of Positive Recognition for Driver Safety & Retention
1:45 p.m. West 
Presented by: Netradyne
With driver turnover rates at an all-time high, managers need strategies to keep their best drivers on board. It’s scientifi cally proven that positive recognition makes a big impact on employee happiness and engagement. Believe it or not, in-cab video cameras can help. AI-based safety cameras can capture everything that happens on the road, including all the good driving, enabling managers to recognize and reward good driving.

We will discuss:
  • The science behind positive recognition and reinforcement
  • Why positive recognition is key for retaining drivers in particular
  • How sophisticated dash cameras can set the stage for a positive safety culture
  • The role of AI technology for driver safety and performance

Host an Innovation Lab at the 2023 IFDA Solutions Conference

Sponsor now to host one of the select Innovation Labs at the 2023 IFDA Solutions Conference. All sponsors will present a 30-minute session on-site at the conference, as well as provide a video to IFDA to be posted online at the conclusion of the event. Sponsors will also receive access to a list of those who attend your session.

Please note that submitting a request does not guarantee approval as there are limited spots available. 


Member: $3,000
Non-Member: $4,000


Key Dates

Application Deadline: July 14, 2023
Approval Notices: by August 3, 2023


Contact Matthew Sherring, Director, Business Development, at msherring@ifdaonline.org or 703-962-9936.

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