Morrison Management Specialists Inc. announced today a strategic alliance with, a leading purchasing services firm in the foodservice industry utilizing e-business technology. Morrison says the partnership strengthens its purchasing power and over time will enhance its programs and continue to produce low costs.

In announcing the partnership, Morrison Chairman and CEO Glenn Davenport said, “Our long-term plans call for a strong e-business strategy. We are exploring all opportunities available to us via the Internet. Purchasing has been identified as a key area in which we can achieve further cost savings and efficiencies, not only for our company but for our clients as well. We chose as our purchasing partner because of its management team and because this company has been the frontrunner in developing the business model for food purchasing technology.”

Currently, has approximately $850 million in food purchasing volume representing such members as International House of Pancakes and the U.S. Army Joint Services Prime Vendor Program. With the Morrison strategic alliance, will exceed its goal of $1 billion in volume for fiscal year 2000. is considered a “first mover” in the $150 billion U.S. foodservice-purchasing marketplace.

Scott MacLellan, president and CEO of, predicts that the $150 billion foodservice industry stands to save millions of dollars annually by leveraging Internet purchasing solutions like those offered by

“As a market leader, it is only natural that Morrison would be one of the first in the industry to take steps to ensure it is optimizing the benefits of the Internet. Today’s partnership is a concrete example of how traditional ‘brick and mortar’ companies and ‘dot coms’ are going to join forces to create win-win solutions for the new economy,” MacLellan said.

According to Davenport, the benefits to Morrison include:

  • Improved compliance with purchasing programs
  • Continued low food costs over time, resulting in savings for Morrison clients
  • Superior customer service and integration of purchasing
  • Expedited processes and better programs through e-business technology
  • More accurate and complete data with quicker access via the Internet
  • MacLellan added, “The goal of is to create a more informed and efficient marketplace. We achieve that goal by reducing costs throughout the supply chain – from operators to manufacturers to distributors. When you combine Morrison’s annual $300 million in purchasing power with the approximately $850 million currently represents, the opportunity to create value is significant.”

    As part of the deal, Davenport, a 27-year foodservice veteran, will join’s board of directors. In addition, Morrison will invest $3 million of equity into, joining a growing group of investors, which includes CMGI @Ventures, the venture capital affiliate of CMGI Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI – news). Davenport added, “ is a solid purchasing services company with a dynamic management team. We expect to gain tremendous value from this partnership for our clients, team members and shareowners.”

    Morrison Management Specialists ( is the nation’s second largest company in healthcare foodservice. The company specializes in providing food, nutrition and dining services to the hospital and senior living markets. Based in Atlanta, Morrison serves some of the largest and most prominent integrated healthcare systems, hospitals and retirement communities in the United States.

    For over 15 years, has been a complete purchasing business solution for the foodservice industry, offering a comprehensive portfolio of services that create value for the foodservice operator. The company launched its e-business division in 1999. In addition to purchasing and data management programs, the company will soon offer order entry and a full portfolio of value-added services available through its online community. has approximately 60 contracted manufacturers, 240 distributors and more than 4,000 foodservice operators in its network. The company is based in Atlanta and also has offices in Mission Viejo, Calif.