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Service aims to bring together suppliers and retailers

Responding to a need to bring together all participants in the cold chain process, iTradeNetwork has built a platform on which produce suppliers can collaborate with retailers in bringing food to market. They currently operate in the United States, but they plan on expanding into the European market soon.

“We're bringing all parties in the supply chain together,” said Floria Strecker of iTradeNetwork. “We want everyone to come together in the procurement and logistics process of fresh produce.” They aim to do that on a cloud-based platform that allows suppliers to better communicate with retailers in the hope that greater transparency will be better for everyone involved.

“We focus on demand planning, sourcing, ordering, transporting and receiving, among other things, because if retailers can share that kind of information with suppliers, then it's better for everyone” said Strecker. The platform also allows suppliers to share information with retailers so retailers can plan accordingly.

There are currently two options for participants to plug into the system, depending on how involved they want to get on the IT side of things. A more integrated approach involves participants integrating their IT infrastructure into the iTradeNetwork platform, and a web-based portal allows those who don't have such an infrastructure, or don't wish to consolidate their system with the platform, to enjoy the benefits of the platform in simpler way.

The iTradeNetwork can also be used for other kinds of perishable goods that require cold chain management, though it's currently only based in the U.S. Strecker said, however, that they will explore working with some customer projects in Europe.

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