With the foodservice industry again surging upward, the question many operators now face is no longer “how can I stay open” but rather “how can I get the equipment and supplies I need to stay open?”
The answer has been difficult to come by for much of 2021. Facing the combined forces of global scarcity of raw materials and microchips, labor shortages and shipping congestion, equipment dealers and manufacturers are perpetually contending with longer lead times and rising costs. Solving these challenges requires open and intense collaboration throughout the supply chain. The 2021 FEDA Annual Conference’s Partner Exchange Roundtables offer an opportunity to identify ways to align the supply chain to flow more easily despite a disrupted market.
In-person and virtual conference attendees will be split into groups, each of which will be headed by a roundtable facilitator. The groups will tackle a series of questions about how global supply chain issues have affected their operations and the steps they are taking to engage channel partners and end-users to work around those problems. From there, the key points and overarching themes will be collected from each group to serve as the basis for the supply chain panel discussion during the Thursday, Sept. 23 general session. The questions for the partner exchange roundtables are as follows:
- How has the supply chain situation changed since May? What has improved and what challenges remain?
- What is the biggest chokepoint in your supply chain right now? How are you working to mitigate that?
- How has the ongoing supply chain crisis caused you to rethink your supply chain? Are you looking at new suppliers or reviewing where your supply chain is at risk?
- Have you implemented new or revised inventory strategies this year in response to the supply chain shortages?
- Are you tapping into old or previously unsellable inventory to meet customer demand?
- What are some examples of ways you’ve worked with operators to identify alternative products or new solutions that have lower lead times?
- How have you engaged customers and general contractors to adjust project management schedules to account for uncertain lead times?
- In cases where the original desired spec is not available when the end-user needs it, what are some ways the manufacturer can still support the project?
- What kind of information do dealers and manufacturers need to share to get ahead of supply chain issues?
- What are some successful examples you have this past summer of working with channel partners to solve an operator’s problem? What about the process made it a positive experience, such as improved communication or a creative solution?
- How can manufacturers better prepare dealers for upcoming price changes, and how can dealers effectively anticipate increases when bidding on projects?
- What disruptive supply chain technologies deserve immediate attention?
- What is an issue your business faces that you wish your channel partners understood better?