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Distributors, operators to save $1.1 billion through data synchronization, according to preliminary

Data synchronization will save U.S. foodservice distributors and operators more than $1.1 billion a year through improved supply chain efficiency, according to preliminary results of the Efficient Foodservice Response (EFR) pilot study and analysis by The viaLink Co., Dallas. The full report will be published in early February 2002.

The analysis performed by viaLink was projected across the top 100 distributors (source: International Foodservice Distributors Association) and top 100 restaurant chains (source: Technomic, Inc.). The $1.1 billion estimate does not include anticipated savings for manufacturers, as preliminary results are not yet available.

Distributors and operators would generate the savings through reduced invoice discrepancies and deductions, accurate transmittal of contract pricing information, improved trading relations and more productive use of staff time, says ViaLink, a major provider of data synchronization and advanced e-commerce services. "The use of near real-time data alignment is a new business model that provides trading partners with an effective way to drive unnecessary costs out of the system," comments Mark Allen, EFR executive director. "Eliminating these non-productive activities will allow foodservice companies to more intently focus on activities that enhance the dining experience for their customers."

Furthermore, when information on the additional savings for manufacturers becomes available, the impact for these three segments of the supply chain will reach into the billions of dollars, notes Mark Bromberg, viaLink's president of foodservice operations.

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