The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association’s (IFMA) Presidents Conference 2023 proved to be another successful networking and collaborative event for the foodservice industry. This year, ArrowStream played a role in shaping the discussions that unfolded. Held from November 5-7 in Scottsdale, AZ, the conference brought together senior leaders and decision-makers from various sectors within the foodservice supply chain for an immersive and collaborative experience at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.
One highlight of the conference was the panel discussion titled “How Technology and Information Changes Everything,” where experts explored the transformative impact of technology on the industry. Among the distinguished panelists was Matt Heckroth, Senior Director of Product Management at ArrowStream, who brought his wealth of knowledge and experience to the conversation. Matt was joined by leaders from Cut+Dry, DMA, and Kinetic12.
The panel delved into the role of technology, focusing on key areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), supply chain software for restaurants, the implications of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and collaboration and data sharing.
AI and Robotics in Foodservice and Restaurant Chains:
The discussion shed light on how AI is revolutionizing customer interactions, from chatbots handling orders to data analysis improving menu strategies. Similarly, robotics are automating various tasks, reducing labor costs, and enhancing overall efficiency. The innovative use of robots will create novel dining experiences, showcasing the industry’s commitment to embracing cutting-edge technologies.
Virtual Reality in Dining Experiences:
VR is not just for gaming; it’s making its mark on the foodservice industry by creating immersive dining experiences. Restaurants are transporting customers to different cultural settings or using VR for training purposes. The panel explored the potential of VR in enhancing customer engagement and employee training within the foodservice realm.
Supply Chain Inventory Visibility
The panel discussed how technology provides inventory visibility in supply chain and operators rely on supply chain management software to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
FSMA Rule 204
The conversation also touched upon the significant impact of the Food Safety Modernization Act. With government regulations pushing for compliance by 2026, the industry is gearing up for a tech-driven transformation. This includes the application of lot codes, destination scanning, and improved order tracking, contributing not only to enhanced food safety but also to advancements in traceability and inventory management.
Collaboration and Data Sharing in Foodservice Supply Chain:
As a key player in the foodservice technology landscape, ArrowStream introduced ChainConnect, a supply chain collaboration software for foodservice manufacturers. ChainConnect provides up-to-date market data and insights, empowering manufacturers to help operators make informed decisions, optimize product usage, and enhance overall business management.
In conclusion, ArrowStream’s participation in the IFMA Presidents Conference 2023, especially in the tech-focused panel discussion, signified the company’s dedication to driving innovation and collaboration within the foodservice industry. As the industry navigates the evolving landscape of technology and information, events like these drive collaborative conversations to shape the future of foodservice management.
To learn more about ArrowStream’s ChainConnect, or any of its foodservice supply chain solutions, please contact us today!