Case Study: IPC/Subway Delivers the Promise of End-to-End Traceability Throughout the Subway System
Challenge Independent Purchasing Cooperative (IPC), a Subway® Franchisee-owned company, is responsible for the supply chain processes for the more than 43,000 Subway restaurants globally. IPC needed a system to enable full supply chain visibility to optimize its operations. The Cooperative was focused on ensuring food safety for Subway guests and finding business efficiencies that end-to-end traceability would bring. To achieve this challenging initiative, IPC developed a strategy for getting all of its suppliers and distributors on board. Solution IPC has been collaborating with its supply chain partners to continuously build a foundation of GS1 Standards for quality data to meet the information transparency needs of its restaurants and consumers alike. Today, suppliers and distributors use GS1 Standards to uniquely identify their products and locations as well as exchange product information through the Global Data Synchronization Network™ (GDSN®). Subway Franchise Owners use a specialized app to capture and use product data at restaurants for the benefit of their operations and customers.
Benefits IPC has been able to quantify $1.3 million in annual cost avoidance by maximizing truckload capacity based on accurate product data enabled by GS1 Standards. In addition, standardized product data drives operational efficiencies, reduces supply chain costs, and saves time and labor. By using quality product data, Subway restaurants can improve their inventory management and ensure enhanced food safety practices with faster and more precise responses to product recalls and withdrawals. With its business processes built on the foundation of GS1 Standards, IPC and independently owned Subway restaurants are looking to further differentiate and enhance consumers’ experiences with customized offers and other innovative approaches to supply chain management.
Throughout this process, all data is captured and stored in IPC’s database within the FoodLogiQ Connect platform for reporting and use, in case of a withdrawal and/or recall. Approximately 99% of products by volume are traceable with a GTIN and other information encoded in a GS1-128 barcode. 94% of the Subway suppliers by volume are sending shipment information (# of cases by GTIN, lot code, and date) to IPC’s traceability system. Product is being scanned at 31% of the Subway system in North America, which is approximately 9,300 restaurants.