How Partnerships Make Us Better

Collaboration with association partners and advocacy groups is critical for exceeding operator expectations and growing our voice in the industry.

As we all know, customer expectations have increased dramatically during the past few years. Operators are relying more than ever on dealers and distributors to provide solutions and support their long-term

success. Those expectations have only heightened since the COVID-19 pandemic began, so it’s important for us to deliver the value customers desire. But we cannot deliver that value

alone. We must work closely with our channel partners and others across the foodservice industry to develop new ways of serving operators. One of FEDA’s primary goals is to bring tangible value to members that will help us run our business. The partnerships the association has fostered have been a key contributor to that goal. FEDA is looking at collaboration in fresh ways by reaching out to new manufacturer and associate members to enhance education and technology offerings. Manufacturer members are supporting the association’s upcoming learning management system by contributing materials for product education courses, while new partners such as Access Mobility 24 are working with FEDA to make video campaigns easily accessible to distributors and dealers. Exciting progress is being made on the technology side, too. FEDA’s Industry Technology Committee has been working with AutoQuotes and Infoverity to lead projects that will heighten data standardization and governance, allowing us to use data more effectively and efficiently throughout our ERPs, e-commerce sites, and the myriad places we now use industry data. Meanwhile, associate member companies like Velosio

4 FEDA News & Views

and DDI System are providing technology resources that help dealers and distributors keep pace with the rapidly changing digital age. When we bring partners like these into the association, we’re better able to teach them about our industry and equip them to become great solution providers.

“When we bring partners like these into the association, we’re better able to teach them about our industry and equip them to become great solution providers.”

These examples illustrate how developing partnerships improves the ways our people work and our businesses operate; but laying a good foundation for collaboration also amplifies our voice to the larger foodservice industry. FEDA already had a mutually beneficial relationship in place with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Wholesaler- Distributors (NAW), so when the COVID-19 pandemic hit we leaned on these groups to keep us informed of pending legislation and to ensure our concerns and challenges were addressed in the final bills. Likewise, we’re excited to work with new National Restaurant Association president and CEO Tom Bené – he and his organization will help us to learn more about the challenges facing operators during the COVID-19

crisis and garner feedback on being better partners to our customers during these difficult times. The more we can engage the partners that are

improving our industry, the more we can highlight our value to end users and use our expertise to guide the industry through the recovery ahead. I am excited about the groundwork that has been laid by our talented FEDA staff and I’m eager to see how it will pay off in the coming years.

Mason Greene is Chairman of FEDA’s Board of Directors and President of Hotel & Restaurant Supply.

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