September 16, 2022

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Cutting-edge foodservice distribution technology and bold strategies for recruiting, developing, and retaining the industry’s personnel took center stage during the 2022 Distribution Solutions Conference, held from Sept. 14-16 in the Tampa Convention Center. 

Hundreds of foodservice distributors joined 151 industry vendors in Tampa to forge meaningful relationships and engage about how their businesses can thrive in an era of change.

“Foodservice distribution is an industry that meets disruptive times with dynamic solutions,” said IFDA President and CEO Mark Allen. “This year’s Distribution Solutions Conference captured that innovative spirit with future-focused content and exclusive opportunities to make valuable connections.”

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The forward-looking focus of the 2022 DSC was established in the Opening General Session keynote presentation from Mike Walsh, CEO of the consultancy Tomorrow, who urged distributors to frame innovation not just in terms of efficiency, but rethinking what is possible in an increasingly digitalized world.

Strategies for succeeding this new era were emphasized during an insightful conversation between industry leaders Susan Adzick (President, McLane Foodservice, Inc.), Bill Conrad (CEO and President, Prime Source Foods), and Joe Tracy (CEO, Dot Foods, Inc.). Their discussion highlighted the industry’s embrace of a change mindset, from utilizing next-gen technology to developing workplace policies that bolster employee work-life balance.

“In foodservice distribution, we treat people well, pay them well, and provide them good benefits — I’m a believer that these values, coupled with exciting new technology, will make for an optimistic future,” said Conrad. 

The week’s focus on innovative thinking began during the opening day’s two special events: a sold-out facility tour of local Gordon Food Service and Sanwa Food Group distribution facilities, and the 2022 Executive Leadership Summit, which brought 80 distribution leaders together for thoughtful discussions about the industry’s future.

When DSC attendees weren’t learning in 24 different education sessions on topics such as personnel recruitment, increasing efficiency through automation, and long-range planning in a shifting market, they explored the show’s 40,000-sq-ft exhibit floor. DSC exhibitors showcased technology that boosts operational efficiency, cuts down on expenses, and helps companies meet sustainability objectives.

Other conference highlights included engaging peer-to-peer learning in IFDA Share Groups, celebration of the 2022 IFDA Truck Driver Hall of Fame inductees, and the closely-contested DSC 500 competition – a race to visit the most DSC events, won by Luke Olin of Upper Lakes Foods.

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The IFDA DSC is the nation’s largest stage for foodservice distribution innovation. The event brings together the best and brightest in the industry to experience the latest products and services supporting distribution center and transportation operations. The 2023 DSC will be held September 11-13 in Fort Worth, Texas.
 
Learn more about the 2022 Distribution Solutions Conference.
 

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