ArrowStream – the leading foodservice supply chain cloud – is proud to host its inaugural re:Supply Innovation Summit on July 28th, 2022. The summit will bring together an elite group of operators, distributors, and suppliers across the industry for a day of collaboration and innovation. In anticipation of the re:Supply Innovation Summit, ArrowStream is pleased to present an interview with Ami Lindsay, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain at Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop Inc. and Wing Zone and a re:Supply Innovation Summit speaker.
A veteran foodservice supply chain management executive, Ami began her career in the foodservice industry at the age of seventeen and now possesses over thirty years of industry experience.
“Ami is the consummate Food Service Supply Chain professional. She has vast experience working for both distributors and franchisors and her ability to develop lasting professional relationships is unmatched. Capriotti's is very proud to have Ami on our team!”
- Jason Smylie, President & Owner of Capriotti’s Sandwich Inc.
1. Tell us about yourself.
I started in the industry when I was seventeen years old, working for a food distributor by the name of Martin Brower. I didn’t choose it, a friend introduced me to the job. The salary was $700/month – a $200 increase over my previous job. I have worked in the industry for over thirty years. I worked at Capriotti’s from 2010-2012 and rejoined the company seven years ago for round two.
2. What has changed the most about the foodservice industry since you started?
The knowledge base of people operating in supply chain management is vastly different from what it was thirty years ago. People that work in the industry today must be subject matter experts on a wide range of commodities, R&D, and the entire scope of the supply chain. That didn’t use to be the case. There’s just so much more – more restaurants, more chains. There are fewer mom and pops. Mom and pops used to be dominant in the industry.
3. What’s your favorite thing about working in foodservice? How do you think working in foodservice differs from other industries?
It’s a large industry generating billions of dollars, yet fundamentally a small industry. You need to be nice to everybody because they’ll be your boss or customer down the road. The industry is tightly knit and connected. While they’re competitors, you’re still friendly, helpful and engaged.
4. What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve faced in your career so far?
I’m living it. For the past thirty years, I’ve never experienced anything like what I’ve experienced during the last twenty-four months. Every day the blows are coming from somewhere and you don’t know where.
5. Where do you believe things are headed with the future of the supply chain in 2022 and beyond?
I don’t anticipate that the rest of 2022 will be any different than right now. Labor, transportation, fuel, packaging costs, scarce commodities, and living in a drought are all problematic and I’m not sure conditions are driving positive results or changes. I anticipate that 2023 will not be too much different than now. It is possible that we’ll see some positive effects for the second half of next year, but there are a lot of factors. There are very few positives in the market right now. I have no idea where we’ll be in five years.
6. How do you think technology impacts the supply chain and your operations?
I’ve been doing this in an old school way for a long time. I’m not big on embracing technology. I work for an IT guy, and he’ll tell you that I’m resistant to technology. I met Marc at a conference, and I was intrigued by one facet of the ArrowStream technology – seeing potential out of stock items. I can see the problem and fix it before it impacts the source. It continues to be something my team and I find most beneficial. Managing your distribution network without the data from the ArrowStream platform has just become impossible. ArrowStream is needed to manage contracts, pricing, and inventory; and I really love the market intelligence piece.
7. Who do you admire (company or person) and why?
The two young men that own the company I work for – Ashely Morris and Jason Smylie. They bought Capriotti’s when they were twenty-seven and twenty-eight and they had a plan and a vision. It took them a while to figure out how to implement it all, but ultimately, they did. They are both very impressive.
Excited to hear more from Ami Lindsay? If you haven't gotten your invite to re:Supply yet, request your invite here.