The Difference You Deserve

JeffJ12    June 20, 2016

If you live in Ontario, have eaten in a food court, local restaurant or pub or ordered room service then chances are Flanagan Foodservice helped make your meal possible. Although they didn’t help prepare or serve the food, they did make sure that it arrived on time, fresh and ready to consume through their vast distribution network.

From small operations to iconic food chains with multiple locations, Flanagan services over 6000 customers across Ontario. Let’s take a small step back for a moment to discuss this network before we get into how Flanagan is taking an innovative approach at social media and supply chain management.

A Supply Chain involves all the organizations that help source, create, distribute and consume a product or service. Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the design, operation and improvement of the network and is focused on maximizing the performance of the whole chain.

Flanagan and Supply Chain Management

Proudly Canadian and family-owned, Flanagan’s is the largest Canadian owned, independent foodservice distributor in the country. They offer uniquely personalized service, along with the attention to detail, reliability and range of quality products that customers need to grow their business.

Flanagan’s success comes from truly understanding the realities and opportunities their customers face every day. They work one-on-one with their customers, at every touch point – from driver to account manager to President.

Today’s marketplace is highly competitive and it’s critical for companies to think of innovative new ways to streamline operations, increase efficiency, and optimize productivity in order to stay ahead of the competition. Flanagan has been able to innovate as a distributor by using social media as it relates to SCM.

Using social media, can improve an organization’s supply chain management. It can create more visibility, improve communication, increase control, and reduce operational and labor costs. When you have a more efficient and stable supply chain, you can enhance your customer satisfaction. The ripple effect of using social media to improve supply chain management can expand outwardly across virtually an entire organization, which is great for business.

One way Flanagan has been able to differentiate themselves from other competitors is their quality customer service that even extends to their delivery drivers. Their drivers are willing to go the extra mile to deliver customer service excellence. Their drivers work with attention to detail and are dedicated to creating engaging customer experiences. They take a safe and team-oriented approach to deliver the best possible results to their customers.

As a critical part of their supply chain management, Flanagan’s Driver Recruitment Committee has been using Social Media – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to aid in the hiring of new drivers.  Two weeks ago, they partook in the Central Region Truck Driving Championship and used this opportunity to showcase their skills, drivers and equipment.  It provided an instant platform to communicate with their target audience.

Jeff Flanagan, retired owner sums up Flanagan’s SCM strategy by saying:

“There is a natural bridge between SCM (Logistics) and Social Media as both are heavily dependent on the use of mobile technology.  In our business, interacting with transportation service providers provides us the opportunity to reach potential drivers in real time, with instance feedback, all while showing off our world class transportation fleet.   This innovate approach casts a positive light on our organization allowing us to reach potential candidates that we may not have had access to otherwise.  As social media technology continues to advance so must our methods for connecting to its users.”

Lessons for Others

Social media can – and should – play a central role in supply chain management. After all, social networking is not really about socializing, but about facilitating people-to-people communication and collaboration.

Flanagan’s use of social media as it relates to driver recruitment has helped them build a first class driver pool that drives efficiency with their supply chain. In the end it helps Flanagan be better problem solvers, more flexible and more agile in responding to customers’ needs.

Organization: Flanagan Foodservice
Industry: Independent Foodservice Distributor
Name of Organization Contact: Jeff Flanagan, Owner (retired)

Authored by: Jeff Johnson

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.


Flanagan Foodservice: Website (2016), Retrieved June 20, 2016 from

Supply Chain Management: Wikipedia (2016), Retrieved June 20, 2016 from

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The social side of supply chain management (2015), Retrieved June 20, 2016 from