Without yet taking full advantage of the world of B2B e-commerce, the foodservice industry is still shelling out an estimated US$14.3bn more than necessary, according to a joint study by CSC Consulting and Stanford University.

Foodservice groups are being encouraged to maximise the potential efficiencies through the Internet and sell to the vertical chain. By following the Efficient Foodservice Response (EFR) model, third party vendors can remove non-value added costs from the supply chain while receiving backing from influential industry bodies, for example the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association or the National Restaurant Association.

The model includes strategies such as demand forecasting, logistics optimisation and foodservice category management, as well as the more traditional e-commerce.

At the recent EFR conference, The Future of Foodservice: Strategies for Sustainable, Profitable Growth, the technology of viaLink was praised for offering data synchronization and syncLink, which allows the establishment a central repository, of price or item for example, and then integrates this information with systems such as procurement and accounting. This kind of alignment service can produce administrative cost savings of 30-60%, according to Chuck Troyer, of Computer Sciences Corporation's Consulting Group.