Episode 6

Why automate the food and beverage supply chain?

Guest: Michael Hegarty/Vice President, ERP, SRM & CRM at Lipari Foods

Michael Hegarty, VP of Technology from Lipari Foods talks about automating and orchestrating the food and beverage supply chain in the wake of empty shelves. He describes some of the digital transformations their organization embarked on at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to help drive efficient operations for their organization and their customers.
Episode 6: Why automate the food and beverage supply chain?
Integration Chronicles


Introducing Mike Hegarty – Vice President, ERP, SRM & CRM at Lipari Foods.
Lipari Food Overview: Mike details the Lipari story and talks about their customers, who are typically tier 1 or independent retailers. Lipari is a direct store delivery service that helps sell products and provide value to retail customers. Lipari has over 8,000 stores in its network and 1,000 vendors.
What is your competitive differentiation? Lipari provides retail advantages that are customer-centric. Lipari has increasingly become vertically integrated with suppliers, enabling them to extend the life of products to their customers.
Supply chain shortage: We have been seeing a lot of empty shelves across the supply chain. What is your perspective on the shortages as a food distributor? At the beginning of the pandemic, the goal was to prevent hoarding. Now, in 2021, we are dealing with labor and product shortages. Consumers have changed in the last 18 months. It’s been chaotic gauging demand.
When do you think of optimizing your business from a standpoint of automation and a standpoint of integration? Manual processes prevented Lipari from maintaining information flow, cash flow, and product flow that were being caused by bottlenecks. So, the fix was to go back and look at those manual processes and drive some digital transformation. A combination of new technology and processes needed to be efficient and redundant to change the business.
What role has integration played in your business over the last 18 months? Well, we use Cleo in a private cloud environment to communicate to suppliers and it’s made us easy to do business with. We’re better able to communicate with customers and partners.
What specific advice do you have for your peers? Don’t be afraid of data. Get the information, make sure it’s accurate, and then act upon it. Lipari is always asking, “can we raise the bar?” Having the right technology partners is very important.


Season One:

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The Integration Chronicles

Cleo’s Tushar Patel and Frank Kenney bring you The Integration Chronicles: the only podcast focused on ecosystem integration. Ecosystem integration is the modern, innovative way to extend and augment B2B integration. Each episode will feature industry leaders and integration experts who discuss relevant integration topics, with a specific focus on the supply chain. You'll learn how to grow your business faster, pick up best practices for scaling your organization, and discover new ways to drive operational efficiencies.