Wednesday, January 7, 2015

UNFI Supplier Community Update

Welcome Suppliers. Thanks for joining us this quarter to stay current on UNFI supply chain initiatives and information. I’d also like to remind you to visit another key resource, our Supplier Support Site.


Here are the latest updates to our team:

Position Changes
  • Lisa Madsen has been promoted to our newest SRM Group Manager. Lisa will be responsible for the HABA, Supplements and Non-Foods team with the following direct reports: Kelli Menard, Nora Cline and Robyn Romano. 
  • Laura Russo has been promoted to SRM. Laura started with UNFI in 2011 as a Purchasing Assistant and then moved to a SRM Support Administrator role in November 2013. Laura will begin transitioning over the next month, reporting to Richard Bruns. She’ll be responsible for the management of:  Perishable: Macrobiotic foods/Tofu/Miso, Meat Alternatives, Dips and Salsas, and Condiments; Frozen: Fruits and Vegetables, Pizza, Entrees, and Pasta.   
  • Lisa Jorgensen will transition to the snack category over the next month. She will report to Maureen Hines and be responsible for: Grocery Salty Snacks, Packaged Snacks and Dips/Salsas.  
Contact List and Category Assignments

Click here for the latest SRM contact and category information.

New Item and New Supplier Setup Packets

We still occasionally receive the “old” paperwork for New Item and New Supplier requests. To ensure the quickest and most accurate turnaround, please be sure to use the current forms.


Supplier Meeting Form

To help you prepare materials for our category review meetings, we have created a Meeting Request Form that we’ll send to you several months before the category review posting date. If you are not currently receiving an email that includes an invite to participate in these meetings, please contact Julia Haines.

Deductions Dispute Form

In order to assist with timely and accurate resolution of deduction disputes, please make sure to complete the form with all applicable information. Much of the time taken to resolve disputes involves follow up to gather this information. Please submit forms to


Distribution Center Ordering Insights
  • Hudson Valley, NY: Three groups of customers will be moved from Dayville to Hudson Valley. On January 18th, we’re moving more independent retailers. On February 22nd, the first half of the Whole Foods New England region stores start shipping from Hudson Valley, and on March 29th the second half begins.
  • Twin Cities, MN: Our new building is well on its way to completion. Click here to learn more about it. We start receiving product in mid-April and you will start to see purchase orders in February. There are five waves planned to move business in: Wave 1 moves our Trudeau business from Minnesota for a first ship on April 27th. Waves 2, 3 and 4 (May 31, June 28 and August 2 respectively) will move business from our Iowa City and Racine facilities. Wave 5 will be our last, moving Albert’s Organics from Mounds View. 
Twin Cities

Twin Cities

Changes to Purchase Order Scheduling and Receiving Processes

Click here to see the changes we are making to our scheduling and receiving processes.

Notification of Supplier Shortages on Purchase Orders

Whether you’re coordinating a shipment to our facilities or we’re picking up your product at your facility, we need to know exactly what is shipping so we can change your purchase order in our system to match. We would like at least 96 hours notice before it leaves your dock of any changes from the original confirmation you made of our order. This information rolls to our appointment schedulers so they know how many cases are being booked for a facility and can let our drivers know how many pallets they are picking up. This crucial step is listed in our Supplier Policies and ensures we have a smooth flow from your dock to ours.

As a reminder:
  • Confirm all POs within 24 hours of receipt
  • If anything changes from this confirmation, let us know the exact details as soon as possible, at least 96 hours from the PO leaving your dock

New Printer for UNFI East Region Publications

Beginning with the April Monthly Specials we’ll use Kase Printing, Inc., a printer committed to green business practices. Kase uses Forest Stewardship Council Certified paper exclusively, invests in wind-powered electricity, uses soy-based inks and has a printing process that does not require harsh chemicals. Kase can print your inserts honoring the same discounted rate as our prior printer RIPON. If you have already sent printed inserts or artwork to RIPON for April or a future publication month, we are working with them to get it shipped to Kase at no cost to you. Please reach out to with any questions and see our updated Ad Specs and Parameters.

Exhibit at the UNFI 2015 Tabletop Shows

Don’t miss this great opportunity to get in front of buyers from the natural, organic and healthy product industry to write orders. Space is limited and we will sell out, so register now:
  • Orlando Show: February 19-20, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL
  • Foxwoods Show: May 13-14, Fox Tower at Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, CT
  • Portland Show: June 3-4, Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR
If you have any questions, contact

Focus on Fitness Web Advertising Package

After a stressful holiday season filled with rich foods and drinks, February is a time when people refocus on their health. Our Focus on Fitness multi-media marketing program includes banner ads, email marketing and video to communicate your message to our retailers. Click here for more information.


We’re underway on a major initiative called Thrive, which will improve our processes and technologies for better supplier and customer experiences. For any questions on this, email us.

Here’s the latest:
  • Inventory Optimization (IO), our advanced forecasting system for buying, is now in use across all of our buying offices. It will provide us enhanced insight and reporting to better meet the needs of our suppliers and customers.
  • Lawson Accounts Receivable (AR) is our new, unified accounts receivable application now in use across the company. It will provide us many benefits around transaction processing and collections.
  • CORE is a new project that will deliver one technology platform across the company, replacing our two current business systems. It will make it easier to do business with us by providing one set of processes and technology, regardless of region.
  • One Source, a project that will provide better national data, standardized reports and enhanced analytics, is on track as we work toward our goal of being able to better share this type of information with you.
Thank you for your support of UNFI.  Please feel free to reach out to me or your SRM with any questions and comments.

John Raiche
Vice President, Marketing