October 29, 2020
A member-owned cooperative located in the rolling farmland of Eastern Iowa, Frontier Co-op operates with down-to-earth values—nourishing people in mind and body with the natural and organic products it sells. Frontier Co-op manufactures nearly 3,000 SKUs, operates its own distribution center, and offers private label and direct-to-store shipping. Annually, Frontier commits 4% of its profits to strengthening communities across the US and around the world.
In the recent manufacturing virtual summit, I had the opportunity to interview Tony Bedard, CEO of Frontier Co-op, about how Frontier is modernizing its supply chain operations to increase overall supply chain transparency, ensure quality and compliance, and support its sustainability goals.
“We’ve always been a transparent company, that’s who we are,” says Tony Bedard, CEO, Frontier Co-op. “But it's probably even more important as we’re a member co-op, and our members demand that we share all kinds of information with them because they're the owners. Being in the natural organic products market means we also have a very demanding consumer base. They want to know where their product came from, what's in it, how it was made, if it was made in the right way, and if the people who made it are treated well.”
Here are a few of the questions we discussed in the interview:
- Transparency and social responsibility are fundamental to your company; how do you see technology playing a role in that?
- How has the pandemic shifted your approach and strategy?
- What have you identified as challenges and areas of opportunity to improve efficiency and be prepared for continued growth?
- Is the technology you have in place supporting your continued growth?
- What advice do you have for other manufacturers who are thinking about implementing business modernization projects?