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EFS Network Adds New Tools, Trading Partners for Foodservice

CHICAGO - EFS Network, Inc., a supply-chain solution company for the foodservice industry based here, has partnered with iTradeNework (ITN) of Livermore, CA, to develop new products and services for foodservice distributors, operators, brokers, and suppliers that are expected to bolster EFS' efforts to continue the expansion of its foodservice trading community.

The combination of EFS 345 leading order management customers, which include BiRite Foodservice, Ben E. Keith Foods, Dot Foods, Hormel Foodservice, McCain Foods, Nestle Foodservice, Performance Food Group, Ritz Foodservice, Schwan's Food Service Group and Sysco, with ITN's more than 2,000 customers, which include Cargill, Smithfield, Tyson Foods and Dole creates the industry's largest supply chain network, according to the company. "The value we have realized and anticipate through EFS Network is significant, and I'm pleased they continue to identify new ways to improve supply chain efficiencies for their customers," said Steve Binder, group vice president of Hormel Foodservice.

As a central part of the partnership, ITN is developing the EFS industrywide contract and rebate management solution. Distributors, operators, manufacturers and brokers have all contributed to building the standard transactions within this mechanism which will significantly reduce the administrative and sales costs related to contract and rebate tracking, deviated billing, and deductions within the supply chain.

"We are excited to accelerate delivery of EFS' new contract management system to better synchronize contract, pricing, and performance data with our operator and manufacturer trading partners," commented Larry Pulliam, senior vice-president of Sysco Corp., Houston, a current customer of EFS Network. "ITN's track record in technology development gives us great confidence that the collaboration will result in a solution that will set the standard for our industry." EFS has already begun working with ITN's existing contract solution to adapt it to the needs of foodservice.

In addition, the partnership will provide EFS with the opportunity to introduce other new products and services in 2004, well ahead of its former development plans. These solutions include logistics, demand forecasting, vendor managed inventory, ad planning, electronic funds transfer, and content services.

"With this partnership, it is clear that EFS Network's growing customer base and committed investors are achieving the next level of efficiency in the industry supply chain. We are excited for what it means to our company's and our trading partners' supply chain efficiency efforts," said Mike Roach, chief executive officer of Ben E. Keith Foods, Forth Worth, Texas.

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