By: Tom Cosgrove, Senior Manager, Industry Relations, FMI
There is so much going on in the food industry these days, and so many new challenges and opportunities have arisen as a result. I appreciate that due to the nature of our members being so busy, FMI has been tasked with having our heads up and pushed to look forward on behalf of the industry. The FMI Board of Directors has identified technology as one of six imperative issues affecting the food industry today. FMI has a vast portfolio of projects, communities, and education around the topic of technology. To start, FMI has five different committees with different focus areas within technology:
- Technology Executive Committee.
- Data and Analytics Committee.
- Digital Commerce Forum.
- I.T. Security Discussion Group.
- Technology Leadership Council.
We have also increased the investment in tech at the Midwinter Executive Conference by building out the FMITech@Midwinter track. FMITech@Midwinter includes B2B trading partner meetings, education sessions, and the FMI Tech Pitch Competition. The pitch competition is open to any technology solution provider with less than $2M in funding. It gives them a platform to “pitch” their company to the audience for 15 minutes. The audience then votes for their favorite company. The winner receives a trophy and free admission to the 2024 event.
This year’s FMI Tech Pitch Competition winner was presented by Dan DelGiudice of Hyer. Hyer is basically Uber for labor. They have background-checked and insured gig workers available with no commitment or advanced scheduling needed. Workers log into the platform and sign up for shifts. Workers have the ability to work anywhere along the supply chain, from manufacturing to distribution centers to stores and are active in over 7,500 locations in 27 states. In addition to supporting the technology imperative issue, Hyer also helps support another imperative issue that the FMI Board of Directors has identified – labor shortages and workforce challenges.
Thank you to everyone that participated in FMITech@Midwinter this past January. We look forward to building on the success of this past year’s event next January. If you are interested in participating in FMI Tech in any capacity or are interested in any of the committees listed above, please reach out to Doug Baker or me, Tom Cosgrove.