September 2004 Edition
The Distributor Education Program

In the Fall of 2003 the Beef Information Centre (BIC) announced the creation of an exciting new training and education program designed specifically for the foodservice distributor sales representative. The Distributor Education Program, or D.E.P., provides exceptional beef training on everything: from advice on which cuts to buy, as well as how to prepare and serve them.

"Distributor representatives are on the front lines in the restaurant industry, and restaurant operators often rely on them for advice," says Marty Carpenter, National Foodservice Manager for BIC. "We knew that if we increased the sales representative's knowledge and confidence, they would be in a better position to help their customers build their business with Canadian beef."

The D.E.P. consists of five information modules and includes an online test upon completion of each module. The program is designed to provide a truly comprehensive look at the Canadian Beef Industry and modules include training on Beef Production; the Beef Carcass; Quality and Safety; Handling, Cooking & Cutting; as well as Selling, Financial Information & Merchandising.

Each module can be undertaken at the distributor representative's convenience as the material comes on CD ROM and the exams are available online. The portability of the CD ROM format also allows distributors to have the information on-hand - making it a great tool for answering any questions a customer might have.

Sysco Operating Companies across Canada are participating in D.E.P.

"My 22 years experience with Sysco has taught me that a motivated sales force can never be taught too much," says Ken Downes, VP Sales, Training & Development at Sysco Vancouver. "Selling beef with a thorough understanding of grading, aging, processing, and preparation can be a bit overwhelming so taking on the Distributor Education Program was an easy decision to make."

Many restaurant operators may look at D.E.P. and wonder "what does this have to do with me?" But a program like D.E.P. can make a difference!

Educated representatives will help build your business with beef by acting as protein consultants rather than order takers. And, they'll ensure that you get the right cut, the right specification and the product that's in the right price range for your business.

In addition, they can assist you with the merchandising of beef items on your menu and help you analyze the profitability of each menu item. They'll be uniquely poised to answer questions regarding the beef industry and will help you communicate your beef program to your guests. Sysco's team of Marketing Associates will become partners in the success of your beef program.

"Each Sysco operating company we approached was quick to recognize the immediate and long-term benefits of D.E.P.," says Rob Giguere, Foodservice Manager (Ontario and Atlantic) BIC. "Prior to this program, there was no single resource to gain complete and accurate knowledge of the beef industry, from pasture to plate. This program has become the gold standard for beef training within the distribution industry and Sysco should be commended on their leadership with D.E.P." ยจ

The Beef Information Centre Congratulates Sysco

To be awarded the right to use the Distributor Education Program Logo, 90 percent of a distributor's sales force must have passed the final examination with a grade of 80 percent or better and they must also meet other criteria.

Sysco is pleased to announce that many of their Canadian operating companies have completed the Distributor Education Program and many others are close to completion. Ask your Marketing Associate for complete details.

Congratulations to:

Sysco Food Services of Vancouver

North Douglas Sysco Food Services

Sysco Food Services of Toronto

Sysco Food Services of Moncton

Sysco Food Services of St John's

Sysco Food Services of Halifax