More than 230 restaurant industry professionals came to Orlando, Fla., in late October for our Supply Chain Management  group’s fall conference. Topping the agenda:

  • the state of affordable sustainable packaging
  • the role of technology in supply-chain food safety
  • developing negotiation skills
  • attracting younger people to the supply-chain management profession.

Here are a few highlights from the two-day gathering:



Attendees traded views on commodities prices (pork prices are going up), and strategies on recruiting and retaining the next generation of supply-chain managers.
 



Ken Shearer, center, of sponsor HAVI, attended the kick-off reception with Greg Keller, left, and Fred Chambers, right, of sponsor Sysco Corp. “As with any industry, there are opportunities to improve, to experience breakthroughs and innovations,” Shearer said during an on-site interview. “The thing I love best about this industry and this [event] is the people. You can be in a room full of competitors, but they will collaborate for a greater purpose: to make the industry better. The shared insights and advice set this group apart.”
 



Steven Lyon, director of food safety and field operations services for Chick-fil-A Inc., said adopting a smarter, more proactive approach to food safety is best for business. In an on-site interview, he noted, “If contaminated food gets in through the back door, it could lead to liability, customer illnesses, PR issues, supply shortages, store closures, and other challenges,” he said. “If you can control the incoming product and make sure it’s safe, you’re less likely to disrupt your business.”
 



During his presentation on how to build revenues by developing trusting, motivating relationships with employees, partners and customers, former Air Force Lt. Col. Waldo Waldman, now an executive coach, said, “You can't inspire confidence when you're timid and doubtful. Become what you expect of others.”