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Food Services Industry Case Study

U.S. Foods hyper-localizes messaging across diverse market, saves 30%
in inventory costs and increases customer retention by 5%

US Foods hyper-localized marketing across unique markets, saved 30%
in inventory and warehousing costs and returned 5% increase in retention

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Challenge

Localize marketing messages of products, services, and promotions across markets with decentralized, marketing supply chain US Foods operates in over 65 distribution markets within the United States averaging 900,000 monthly deliveries across the U.S. with over 400,000 products and 300,000 customers. The client faced a challenge when it came to customizing these products and promoting them across markets through e-commerce and retail. In today’s dynamic market, personalizing customer experience via hyper-localization is increasingly important. Digital commerce has transformed the retail environment, adding a new layer of complexity to the path to purchase. With customer behavior changing more frequently, many retailers are adapting their merchandising strategies and processes to increase engagement with these always-on customers, including leveraging personalized point of sale and print advertising to garner attention in a digitally saturated environment.

As a practice, the territory managers of US Foods would offer their restaurant clients with table-tents that highlight one or two exclusive brand products, and in some cases, also allow them to customize and include their restaurant’s logo and specific sale price and product descriptions. With so many individual products, it becomes a challenge as well as expensive to print and distribute these table-tents across markets. There could not be any one standardized template that could be shared with customers, as the custom requirement would change often.

Additionally, every year over 3000 sales/event resources of US Foods were engaged in printing, delivering, storage and distribution of POS materials to events such as trade shows and conferences. This led to the US Foods resources from marketing operations, creative services and purchasing extending their support into these projects, leading to slow process time and other areas of the business without focus.

To undertake a major transformation in execution, the client was looking for a partner that specialized in procurement and execution to manage their programs efficiently and get to market faster. The materials and services included customized POS materials, menus, print marketing collateral and branded merchandise for all the products as well as distribution to their clients and to local in-market events. This would support two great initiatives important to US Foods – providing the greatest service and support to their customers and freeing their internal marketing and procurement resources to take on more initiatives.

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Solution

SupplyLogic assessed the print related categories from creative services through operational distribution, including four key areas of the marketing supply chain: structure, sourcing, process, and technology. After meticulous optimization, SupplyLogic identified where improvement could create marked results. The managed services solution included an onsite team of sourcing and marketing operations specialists, shared services, and technology. The technology platform automated many tasks and managed efficient workflow processes. It also includes a web portal with everything from artwork and creative assets for internal access and supplier access, to a customer facing (B2C) site that enables customers to self-serve and get what they need easily and quickly.

Special Project – Menu Development Program

US Foods wanted a national custom menu program that could provide custom services across all regions. However, they didn’t have the specialized resources or time to manage this internally. This is where SupplyLogic stepped in to create a solution that included an experienced team of menu researchers and designers to develop a program to support US Foods. Designers were assigned counterparts based on skill set, location, and creative background. They were fully integrated into US Foods team processes and workflows and equipped with experience in menu engineering, which identifies the most effective way to align menu items to ensure maximum profit based on market research. While it started as a support program for one client, this program now supports thousands of independent restaurants across the region in custom menu creation and print marketing materials.

Outcome-based solution

SupplyLogic provides a flexible service model that ensure clients’ needs are met from all perspectives – Creative, Logistics, Resources, Time, Budget – leveraging our dedicated account team and shared services to ensure all initiatives are executed successfully.

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Results

Where our action spoke louder

 

Along with our specialized account team, panel of expert print and design suppliers and technology, we provided the client a solution that helped to prevent adding excessive inventory, provided a customizable option at small quantities and provided a quick turnkey solution to special projects such as menu engineering and COVID-19 response management for restaurant reopening.

Roadblocks

 

  • Highly decentralized structure
  • Many users of the services including corporate and field marketing, purchasing, end customers, creatives services and third-party suppliers
  • Brand inconsistency
  • Technology limitations
  • Over 400 suppliers

Pathway

 

  • 30% budget back to reinvest in business
  • Technology platform to accommodate multiple functions and various user sets
  • Centralized services experience
  • Right-sized supplier panel
  • On-site team of additional resources to continuously innovate and handle all of the program management

Sourcing

 

Team provides the account Teams with an optimal vendor panel to leverage spend and reach for best fit in timing, price and innovation. Account Team has relevant print, promotional products and logistics/distribution backgrounds to best service the client and market & changing needs.

Process

 

Account team identifies needs in creative services , marketing operations and procurement and engages client for approval and direction as needed. As projects are defined, the account team holds kick off meetings to establish the program and ensure that teams are working together fluently.
SupplyLogic and Client teams to ensure timelines are met and deliverables are achieved as desired by the client within budget. The program is always measured by the client’s KPIs.

Technology

 

SupplyLogic hosts two technology portals for client and their customers. These portals cater to multiple needs of the corporate and field marketing teams, enabling them to access corporate approved marketing materials, order print on-demand items, as well as pull from existing inventory of print and promotional products. The service also serves as a “pre-order” portal to ensure that demand is measured on actual order volume and not forecast quantities.

Structure

 

Dedicated onsite Account Team based on objectives and workload.

Customer Support is always available via the onsite and shared services teams. For this client, hundreds of email templates and marketing templates were created and made available in the portal. Strict governance, Service Level Agreements, program management and KPI measurement ensures that the teams work together with third-party panel to deliver on all goals successfully.

 

One of America’s leading food companies and distributors, US Foods serves 300,000 customers including independently owned single and multi-unit restaurants, regional and national restaurant chains, hospitals, nursing homes, hotels and motels, country clubs, government and military organizations, colleges and universities, and retail locations. US Foods offers more than 400,000 products, including high-quality, exclusive brands such as the innovative Chef’s Line®, a time saving, chef-inspired line of quality products, and Rykoff Sexton®, a premium line of specialty ingredients sourced from around the world. The company employs approximately 28,000 people in more than 70 locations nationwide. For more information, visit www.usfoods.com