Chain reaction Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2010

Steven LaVoie knew he had an unprecedented business model — one that could create efficiency, one that could create savings, one that could promote collaboration. All he had to do was convince the transactional logistics marketplace that his idea would be a game-changer.

When LaVoie, chairman and CEO, founded ArrowStream, the idea was to create a network of supply chain partners in the foodservice industry that could share information to create logistical efficiencies.

The launch wasn’t easy. It required overcoming information protectionism among trading partners and seven rounds of financial investments by LaVoie and angel investors over a 10-year period. Knowing what was on the line, LaVoie and his leadership team made incremental gains while managing candid conversations with trading partners.

Well, it worked. ArrowStream’s model to use technology, share information and synchronize the entire supply chain has been implemented by Steak ‘n Shake, Arby’s, Applebee’s and Church’s Chicken to name a few.

ArrowStream’s differentiator is that it offers The ArrowStream Network, the largest trading system of restaurant chains, distributors and manufacturers in the foodservice industry, which represents nearly 10 percent of the industry.

LaVoie’s belief that a smarter model, which would eliminate barriers in the supply chain, could exist has led companies to see operational benefits, information sharing, smart forecasting and 12 percent savings on the bottom line.

LaVoie has been able to change the culture of the foodservice industry and redefine performance excellence. It’s a method he hopes to carry to other industries.

And ArrowStream is positioned for continual growth. Founded in 2002, it saw zero sales that first year. But its compound annual growth in the last three years has reached 39 percent and the company has received multiple distinctions as a fast-growing company.

How to reach: ArrowStream, (312) 267-4400 or