Restaurant chain's supply chain management organization taps Instill Corp. for promotion management solution
Redwood City, CA — November 16, 2005 — Instill Corp., a provider of technology solutions and services for the foodservice industry, today announced that Independent Purchasing Cooperative (IPC), the supply chain management organization for U.S. and Canadian SUBWAY restaurants, has signed an agreement for Instill's new Promotion Management solution.
Instill's developed a collaborative solution to help operators and their trading partners enhance the profitability of promotions and limited time offers, said George Labelle, chief information officer of IPC. Their foodservice expertise and understanding of key issues facing the industry has always been one of their strengths, and this recent solution release reflects that.
Promotions and limited time offers are key profitability drivers for many foodservice operators, Instill said. Lack of visibility into product movement and inventory levels in the supply chain, however, make them extremely difficult to manage and often lead to stockouts, overstocks and last-minute product repositioning that negatively impact everyone involved — the operator, franchisees, manufacturers and distributors.
Instill commented that operators and manufacturers need timely visibility into distribution center inventory levels to effectively manage promotions. But distributors are faced with the challenge of providing that information in a timely, cost effective manner and reporting in the operators own product numbers and formats — even if operators are able to collect the data, by the time they make sense of it and realize there is a problem, it's too late to do anything about it.
Instill said its Promotion Management solution is designed to bridge these gaps, aggregating daily inventory-level information of proprietary products across the operator's distributor network. It then standardizes the disparate data and makes it available to all parties involved.
As inventory issues must be addressed near real time to mitigate the impact of potential problems, the daily collection of inventory-level data is a key aspect of the solution, as is the fact it allows operators to manage by exception, eliminating the need to go through voluminous reports.
Instill said Purchasing, Category and Program Managers can establish inventory-level thresholds and receive alerts when product levels exceed or fall below predetermined values. Information provided by Instill's Promotion Management solution also enables operators to work with food manufacturers and distributors to respond to market demand by properly updating delivery volumes and rerouting product supply.
Even with a talented staff focused on matching supply with demand it is difficult to manage effective programs when you are using stale, error prone information and manual processes, said Labelle. With Instill, we've been able to shift our focus from managing fire drills to proactively working with our distributors and manufacturers to get the most value from our programs.
Promotions and limited time offers are key to many operators businesses, said Jeff Smith, Instill's VP of Marketing. Instill's Promotion Management solution is yet another example of how we're working to create value for our customers while enhancing collaboration in the foodservice supply chain.
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