Top Ten 2018 IFDA Resources to Help Your Business Succeed

At IFDA, we are so grateful for the support of our members and work year-round to provide you with the tools to succeed in our fast-paced industry. Here's a glimpse at our top ten resources launched in 2018. We look forward to working with our members and driving the industry forward in 2019.
1. Increased Advocacy
IFDA is always active advocating for legislation and regulations that impact members’ bottom line. This year, IFDA and ATA championed the introduction of the DRIVE-Safe Act, a bi-partisan bill, that has been introduced to the House of Representatives and Senate. This critical legislation addresses the massive driver shortage by promoting opportunity and enhanced safety training for emerging members of this growing workforce.
In addition, IFDA filed comments with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding hours of service. IFDA urged the agency to provide greater flexibility on issues such as the 30 minute rest break, the short haul exemption and adverse driving conditions. 
2. Revamped Distribution Solutions Conference
In order to provide members with an experience that would provide the most relevant and applicable takeaways, IFDA launched a revamped DSC this October with a greater focus on innovation and disruption. The event was the largest in IFDA history with record breaking attendance. The speakers and exhibitors featured at the gathering highlighted the latest trends, developments and cutting-edge technologies in foodservice distribution as well as forums for discussing pertinent topics such as talent development, driver recruitment and operations related issues. 
3. Executive Leadership Summit
IFDA launched the first-ever Executive Leadership Summit in conjunction with the 2018 Distribution Solutions Conference. The exclusive, invitation-only program provided foodservice distribution owners, CEOs, presidents and c-suite executives a chance to address industry opportunities and challenges in talent, innovation, business-model disruption and future growth as seen from the top level. The program was a great success and many executives have already penciled in the date for 2019 – October 27-29 in Orlando, FL.
4. IFDA Truck Driver Hall of Fame
Drivers play a vital role in the foodservice distribution industry. Their employers rely on them to be the face of their company to their customers. And the environments in which they drive keep getting more and more inhospitable, requiring great skill and patience. To honor of the professionalism of our industry’s drivers, IFDA launched the Truck Driver Hall of Fame in 2018. In addition to the annual IFDA Truck Driving Championship, this program spotlights the industry's top drivers for their outstanding records of service and safety. The inaugural class of 23 drivers was honored during the IFDA Distribution Solutions Conference. Click here for the full list of the 2018 IFDA Truck Driver Hall of Fame Inductees.

To be eligible for the IFDA Hall of Fame, a driver must have at least 25 years with no chargeable accidents and may not have any moving violations within the previous 5 years prior to nomination. Reward your tenured employees by nominating them for the 2019 class--we’ll open the application process in early 2019.
5. Cross-Industry Compensation Study
One common problem heard throughout the wider wholesale distribution industry is the tight labor market. Companies are having a hard time finding and keeping enough employees to keep up with demand and so it's more important than ever to understand how to stay competitive with compensation and benefits. In 2018, IFDA published the IFDA's 2018 Cross-Industry Compensation & Benefits Survey. Results provide a robust set of benchmarking data from across the wholesale distribution industry, covering executives and 35 common distributor staff positions, and are available for free to participating companies. 
6. Economic Impact Study
In 2018 IFDA conducted the industry's first comprehensive, publicly available economic impact study of the U.S. foodservice distribution industry. The study quantifies the full impact our industry has on the national and state economies. Download and share a pdf of the study to tell our story to business partners and elected officials. 
7. Enhanced Benchmarking
Knowing how you compare to your peers is helpful to running your business. That’s why benchmarking has long been a valuable part of IFDA’s member benefits portfolio. In 2018 IFDA launched a new consolidated benchmarking survey platform. The refreshed program requires less of your time yet delivers customizable results. Once data has been collected and analyzed, the online portal will present results as an interactive infographic, an industry-aggregate report and a company-specific performance report. In addition, there will be customized data-reporting, a report-card function and what-if analysis tools. 
8. Quarterly Economic Reports 
No matter what the economic climate, knowledge is your best tool to position your company for success. Each quarter and ITR Economics provide members with the most up-to-date analysis of the economic trends shaping the industry including macro-economic trends, detailed information on leading economic and industry indicators, and projections that assist foodservice distributors with strategic business planning. 
9. Resources to Increase Diversity in the Industry 
IFDA recognizes the strategic importance of diversity and inclusion to our members’ success. We are continually working on resources to promote and build competencies needed to increase representation of diverse demographic backgrounds and identities in our workforce. In collaboration with St. Joseph’s university, IFDA released a whitepaper exploring how increasing the representation of women in the foodservice distribution industry will boost profitability and competitiveness.
In addition, IFDA held a three-part webinar series giving female leaders in the industry tips and tools to increase their roles in their respective companies.
Finally, IFDA partnered with WFF to launch the first-ever Women in Distribution Award which will be presented annually at DSC to a foodservice distribution company with demonstrated commitment to, and results in, advancing women leaders. The award will be presented to a company with revenue exceeding $1 billion and to a company with revenue under $1 billion. 
10. Expanded Share Groups 
IFDA’s Share Group Program is where industry innovators can come to discover new ideas and develop relationships with their peers. The program provides a forum for professionals to hear directly from peers, affect change in the industry, stay on top of the important issues of today and tomorrow, come away with immediate insights. In addition to Ops and IT, IFDA recently expanded the program to include Finance & HR professionals.