Why It's the Buyers Edge Platform's Year at the National Restaurant Association Show

For the first time ever, Buyers Edge Platform is making its debut at the National Restaurant Association show (NRA). The National Restaurant Association Show offers the industry’s top manufacturers, service providers, technology leaders and innovators an opportunity to display the absolute best that they have to offer – new products, new technologies, new service offerings and new concepts.  The conference has been the stage on which the industry’s leading brands have rolled out everything from new pizza ovens and soda machines to alternative meat sources and staff scheduling modules.

For years, we’ve treated the NRA conference as an opportunity for our brands, primarily Consolidated Concepts and FoodBAM to meet with clients and uncover new opportunities from among the thousands of people who stream through the aisles every day of the show.

But this year is different.  This year marks, for us, an opportunity to roll out something new of our own.  To have our big debut moment.  For this year’s NRA crowd, we are proudly unveiling The Buyers Edge Platform. 

 

 
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Swing by booth #8035 to find our over-sized in-line booth of indigo and bright pink – that represents the first official industry launch of a company 20+ years in the making.  The Buyers Edge platform is a long-term plan – even a dream – come to fruition.  From the start, my goal as CEO of Dining Alliance has been to amass enough buying power and expertise to make the entity that I started into a true force of influence on the foodservice industry.  From humble beginnings combining Pepsi purchasing volume in Rochester, New York, my team and I have created a vast network of companies that impacts stakeholders throughout the foodservice supply chain.  Our organization offers buying power, technology, expertise, data services, contracts, and insights to operators, manufacturers, distributors, channel partners, technology partners, data partners, consultants, GPOs and service providers.

 

That data piece is particularly important.  This buying power of ours, it doesn't just represent $7 Billion in purchasing volume—It's $7 Billion in purchasing data.  Imagine what you could accomplish if you had cleaned, organized, and accessible information on the purchasing histories of 45 thousand restaurant locations.  This data holds the key to uncovering pricing trends, culinary trends, product comparison information, and operator segmentation information.  Add onto that data a layer of technology applications—both our own and that of our partners - and we can unlock the future of food service information. Our mission is to usher our industry into the age of technology with predictive analytics, forecasting information and a central hub for maintaining data on every single operator in the country.  The automobile industry has its VIN number, and the FAA has flight numbers… Buyers Edge Platform has the Platform ID.  This number allows for all operator locations to be aligned by all vendors and service partners via one single number that uniquely identifies that operation.  We are simplifying the way that operators interact with their distributors, with manufacturers, with GPOs—even with their accountants, lawyers and ad agencies.

 

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Furthermore -- the Buyers Edge Platform has developed our own technologies that allow us—and you—to put your purchasing data to use.  FoodBAM's newest features allow operators to keep a running tally on inventory—rectifying on-hand amounts and par levels right at the time of delivery.  Our Recipe Costing feature updates recipe costs in real time to reflect your latest vendor prices—even factoring in such variables as labor cost, waste and product yield.

 

Our flagship technology - Buyers Edge's Inside Track Application distills millions of lines of data into the information that matters most to our clients.  Stats on individual categories, products, and locations is available at the click or tap of a button.  Operators can track contract expirations and renewals in one central dashboard and can check the status of rebates without running around between vendors, manufacturers and copy machines.  And most importantly, Buyers Edge verifies every single price that our clients are charged to ensure that the correct contracted prices are always charged—and not a single penny more. 

 

Now, all of this buying power, technology, and data still doesn't mean all that much to all of you until it's made actionable and relevant for your operations.  That brings us back to why we're heading out to Chicago all together in one place.

 

The Buyers Edge Platform takes all of these amazing assets and packages them up in the ways that matter most to operators.  We've divided you up more or less by segment:

 

Dining Alliance

Our independent, 1-10-unit operators access the Buyers Edge Platform's value via Dining Alliance - our original GPO brand that we started in my Honda Civic in 1998.  We're the largest GPO in the country for independent restaurants with over 18,000 members in our ranks.

 

Consolidated Concepts

For multi-units with 10 or more stores - Consolidated Concepts offers specialized rebate and deviation contracts, price verification, and best-in-class client management teams - who work consultatively to uncover new opportunities to help clients reduce costs through Platform services like produce management, spend management, custom contracting, supply chain management and more.  Our service goes well beyond that of other GPOs—we connect our clients with the partners who will enable their success and keep them on the forefront of technological and culinary innovation. 

 

Buyers Edge Purchasing

Our Casino, College and University clients - as well as large restaurant groups and contract feeders work with Buyers Edge Purchasing to access data and procurement technology that has changed the way our clients do business.  We have a dozens of casino clients up and down the Vegas strip and all throughout the country. 

 

Source1 Purchasing

Lodging and Hospitality Procurement Directors from hotel groups both large and small interface with Source1 Purchasing.  This brand is uniquely situated to assist lodging management groups, luxury hotels, and independent hotels to uncover the products, services and pricing they require to create winning guest experiences and drive profitable growth.

 

RP Procurement and Sundell & Associates

For clients who demand a more integrated and consultative level of service, RP Procurement and Sundell & Associates deliver full-scale operations and supply chain services that reduce their clients costs, optimize their labor usage, negotiate contracts, and build operational efficiency.  The brands throughout the Platform have access to these resources for clients who demand in-depth services like master distribution agreement negotiation, supply chain assessments, culinary consultation, custom contracting, operational audits and other full-service resources.

 

Fresh Concepts

Platform clients also have access to our best-in-class produce management program - overseen by Fresh Concepts, out of Murietta, California.  This truly remarkable company takes managed produce to the next level, with unparalleled pricing, food safety and recall systems that are overseen by experts who audit and monitor the produce supply chain from the farm, all the way to your walk in.  Their staff is really amazing - featuring distribution executives, procurement experts, botanists, micro-biologists and an amazing account and support team.

 

Never before have we had clients from all of these brands, along with executive leaders and account representatives all together in one place.  Now the picture is complete—for our clients, our partners, our employees, and for the industry at large — to demonstrate the full scale and scope of what the Buyers Edge Platform has to offer.  I guarantee that every operator who comes by our booth would benefit from a Platform service that they probably don't even know about yet.  Our technology offerings are on display for you to try out.  We have dozens of experts on hand for you to speak with.  There are cost reduction opportunities just waiting to be unearthed.  The staff that we have on-hand are eager to learn more about all of you, to uncover new ways to service your businesses and help you grow.