IFDA study on distributor-manufacturer relationship

Jan. 11, 2011
Relationships in foodservice are vital to supply chain partner success.

Relationships in foodservice are vital to supply chain partner success. A new International Foodservice Distributors Association “members only” study, Perspectives on the Manufacturer-Distributor Relationship: How We Got Here and How to Move Forward Together, provides an opportunity to better understand perceptions in the foodservice channel from supply chain participants. The study is the first part of a three-year undertaking to find ways to improve distributor and manufacturer cooperation and is being conducted by Dr Richard George of St Joseph’s University. The goal is to find common ground for improvements.

“Success in the foodservice channel is dependent on the presence of high levels of cooperation among channel members, as well as high levels of trust and integrity,” said George. “This report, based upon conversation with leaders in the foodservice industry, underscores the fact that current relationships can no longer be viewed as ‘business as usual.’”

George conducted in-depth interviews with distributors, manufacturers, sales agents/brokers, and industry observers. The published report provides responses to a series of probing questions, broken down by channel participant. In addition, suggestions are offered for relationship enhancement and for channel improvement in terms of both efficiency and effectiveness.

“Based on the results of the Year One research, Year Two of the project will focus on developing and testing a trading partner collaboration model,” said Mark Allen, president and chief executive officer of IFDA. “Seven pairings of foodservice manufacturers and distributors—as well as brokers where appropriate—will be working together to move from rhetoric to results and enhance supply chain performance and collaboration.”

For the full story, access www.ifdaonline.org/webarticles/anmviewer.asp?a=731&z=6.

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