Don’t wait – the things you imagined for foodservice data and analytics are here now.

That was the resounding theme of this year’s annual conference with topics ranging in foodservice best practices from AI, to how to conduct best in class business reviews. Let’s take a moment to recap what went down at the 2019 Navigators Conference.

Advanced Analytics Workshop

Angela Cummings & Beth Madore, Tibersoft

Beth Madore leading a hands-on workshop focused on advanced analytics

The conference kicked off with an interactive, hands-on workshop focused on advanced analytics. Here, attendees dug deep into their data to learn techniques to unlock their own insights. Now they can determine:

  • The number of Operator Ship-To Locations
  • The average number of unique products different groups of Operator Ship-To Locations are buying
  • The potential annual volume in Cases if selected category/products are placed at a new Operator Ship-To Location
  • The potential yearly Sales Dollars if selected category/products are placed at a new Operator Ship-To Location
  • The number of Operator Ship-To Locations that are buying some products but not the selected products
  • The number of Operator Ship-To Locations that are not purchasing any products
  • Which Operator Ship-To Locations purchased current year but did not purchase last year
  • Which Operator Ship-To Locations purchased current year and previous year
  • Which Operator Ship-To Locations did not purchase current year but did purchase the previous year

As one attendee said, “It was really helpful to be able to put the brief training that I had into practice, and explore the capabilities of the tool further.”

100% of the 2019 attendees surveyed said they would be attending again in 2020, will we see you there?

Navigating the Product Roadmap

Chris Hart, Tibersoft

Chris Hart speaking at Navigators Conference

Day 2 of the conference kicked off with a look at the current and future roadmap of Tibersoft product features and functionality. Chris broke down what’s been completed and what’s to come for Operator Review, Growth and Defend – including new offering announcements of early detection alerts, a CRM add-on and a mobile app scheduled for release in 2020.

Chris also announced that in 2019, we saw user growth – logins are up 26% and engagement is up 52% across our client base!

Lastly, congratulations to Candy Arenga at McCain who was named the top user for 2019!

Leverage Operator Sales Data to Drive Sales Strategy & Execution

David Leppert, Foodservice Consultant

David Leppert Presenting

With a career spanning over 40 years in various foodservice positions, David is no stranger to Sales Execution and Operations. Holding positions with Campbells, Pepsi, Frito-Lay and more, he is now a full time foodservice consultant. During his presentation, David introduced us to the concept of sales scorecards, as well as “Next Best Offer,” mentioning that each frontline rep must have the following:

  1. Visibility – Who should I call on
  2. Knowledge – What to present
  3. Value – The size of the opportunity
  4. Need – The next best offer

Defined by Molly Galetto from NGDATA, “Next Best Offer (also known as Next Best Action) is a form of predictive analytics that helps marketers and their organizations better judge customer spending habits and guide marketing efforts toward connecting with customers to close a deal.”

David’s tips to create the “Next Best Offer” for foodservice includes reviewing the following for each account:

  • Existing Purchases
  • Segment
  • Chain
  • Distribution
  • Internal Tribal Knowledge

David concluded with this final thought; “Next Best Offer” is the foundation for digital transformation.

AI for Foodservice
Harjeet Bajaj, Savormetrics

Navigators Crowd

To kick off the afternoon, Harjeet Bajaj explained how the foodservice supply chain needs to evolve by addressing the following 3 root causes: Lack of quality and reliable data, lack of sophisticated forecasting, and ineffective communication.

So how can we evolve? According to Harjeet, through the power of AI technology. He encouraged us to think about the “what if…”

  • We could accurately forecast customer demand
  • We could predict supply based on factors like weather and economic events
  • We could ensure growers supply the right products at the right time to meet demand

The great news is, “now we can,” and the result is visibility for all along the entire supply chain.Data-Driven Business Reviews: Now You Can!
Angela Cummings, Tibersoft

Angela Cummings leads the group in how to conduct a best in class a data-driven business review

Next, the group learned how to conduct a best in class a data-driven business review. Angela hammered home that having access to this kind of data is possible NOW and allows for the following:

  • Ensuring the volume and growth is real
  • Finding the “Next Best Offer”
  • Creating insightful charts directly in Tibersoft Explore
  • Tracking the progress of initiatives


Tibersoft Online Community: Your Go-To Resource
Mary Wilson, Tibersoft

Mary Wilson announcing that the new Support Center is now available to all Tibersoft clients

The late afternoon kicked off with a big announcement: the new ‘Support Center’ is now available to all Tibersoft clients!

This new community puts product documentation at Tibersoft clients’ fingertips, it seamlessly integrates to the support team, and provides a community platform from which clients can voice new product ideas and have public discussions with other Explore & OPTRADE community members.

Best of all, clients can log in right from the application using their existing Explore login information. The full features include:

  • Access to Product Documentation
  • Ability to Open a Support Ticket
  • New Feature Suggestions
  • Exclusive Access to Navigators Conference Materials

Take the next step toward on-demand information by joing our online community

Panel Discussion: The Challenges of Resourcing Sales Operation for Scale
Chris Martin, Tibersoft; Jim Kinnerk, Conagra Foodservice; Paul Kinter, Unilever Food Solutions; David Leppert, Foodservice Consultant

Sales Operations Panel

With our very own Chris Martin moderating the session, this panel discussion was not one to miss!

Made up of Jim Kinnerk, President at Conagra Foodservice; Paul Kinter, Senior Manager Sales Operations at Unilever; and David Leppert, Principal at David Leppert Foodservice Consulting. The panel addressed many of the challenges associated with staffing the Sales Operations function within foodservice manufacturers today:

  • Describe the best Sales Op resource you’ve ever met or worked with. Building on that, what kind of skills do the best Sales Ops personnel typically possess? What do they do differently than Sales Managers and Sales Reps?
  • How do you see the Sales Ops role evolving over the next 2-3 years? For example, do you see Sales Ops taking a more centralized, dedicated resource approach; Sales Ops becoming fully automated; or a blend of automation and splitting the role across multiple resources?
  • Where do the best sales ops people come from? What career path can we offer them?

For the panels’ responses to these questions and more, you’ll have to check back for Part 4 of this blog series for exclusive access to the entire recording of this session.

Foodbuy, LLC v. Gregory Packaging: How to Use the Lessons Learned in Your Business
Ashlee Knuckey, Locke Lord LLP

 Ashlee Knuckey join us to help dissect the Foodbuy, LLC v. Gregory Packaging case

With appeals filed in June 2019, this case is still ongoing. However, we were honored to have Ashlee Knuckey join us to help dissect the Foodbuy, LLC v. Gregory Packaging case and provide our attendees with some guidelines on how to use the lessons learned in their businesses. Here are the takeaways:

  • Prepare for contract negotiations
  • Are the terms clear and consistent?
  • What data is needed?
  • Are respective parties’ obligations clear?
  • Who’s responsible for invoicing, providing data, and verifying data?
  • What audit rights are needed?
  • Will there be periodic true-ups?
  • Are there contractual limitations on clawback period (outside of ordinary statutes of limitations)?

In Part 2 of this blog series, we’ll share tips for staying proactive with contract negotiations and data sharing best practices for Operator and GPO contracts based off this session – keep an eye out for it!

Key Insights from the 2019 Foodservice Forum
Nick Fischietto, Cleveland Research Company

Nick Fischietto Speaking

Our final presenter of the day left us with some thought-provoking findings of the state of the foodservice industry. Based off of Cleveland Research Company’s 2019 Foodservice Forum, Nick Fischietto shared the following trends with our attendees:

  • Labor Market Remains Tight & Jobs Remain Plentiful
  • State of the Restaurant Industry
    • Stronger Consumer, but Weak Industry Traffic
    • Check Growth Supporting Comps
    • Competition Evolving, and the Need for Convenience Growing
    • Cost Pressure Have Been Mounting
    • Overcapacity Remains a Structural Headwind
  • Foodservice Distribution Update
    • Consolidation of Broadline Distributors – Top 10 distributors closing in on ~50% market share
    • Private Label + Independent Growth – Heightened focus on high margin products and customers leads to outperformance
    • eCommerce/Sales Rep Evolution – Value-added services becoming a top priority for large distributors; scale and order-taking seen as commodities
    • Blurring of Channels – End market blurring leading to evolving go-to-market strategies from distributors
    • Heightened Cost Environment – Rising costs pinch industry P&Ls; elevate corporate cost consciousness
  • Sysco Overview
    • Tightening Cost Controls
    • Reaccelerating Case Growth
    • Leading MA Role Evolution
    • Innovating with Sysco Brand

Lastly, Nick left us with the following action items to take back:

  1. Have a private label strategy
  2. Own the operator
  3. Align the organization to take advantage of industry consolidation
  4. Make products visible as channels blur
  5. Prepare for evolving role of the distributor sales rep

Be sure to check back for Part 3 of this blog series, where we take a more in-depth look at some of these emerging trends.