IPC Subway: Managing complex logistics challenges


Subway needed flawless supply chain execution when rolling out their largest menu update in company history. The company sought a way to deliver fresh products on time across nearly 40,000 locations to ensure a seamless experience for consumers.


Visibility was key for the transition. TMC used supply chain engineering and network optimization tools in Navisphere® to combine shipments; make real-time adjustments; and connect suppliers, distributors, and carriers across the supply chain. 


With every aspect of their supply chain in one global TMS, IPC successfully adapted to last-minute supply changes, built transportation plans at the lowest cost, and established the ability to innovate and optimize in an ever-changing marketplace.

TMC offers us the ability to connect our suppliers, our distributors, and our carriers. So, it's really a true end-to-end kind of activity. That allows us to really manage our business in the day-to-day.


Historic menu change bolstered by Navisphere—a global TMS

Subway is the world’s largest quick-service restaurant, with nearly 40,000 locations globally. IPC is the purchasing cooperative that makes sure their thousands of locations have what they need to create the same experience across all locations by supplying them with quality fresh ingredients, such as bread, chicken, and vegetables. IPC’s mission is to drive profitability for Subway franchise owners by delivering a continuous supply of quality products at the lowest possible cost.

When Subway made their largest menu update in company history, it required that products arrive at distribution centers faster, as well as flawless execution across their multiple touchpoints to ensure a seamless experience for their end consumer. C.H. Robinson and the experts at TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson, provided supply chain engineering and network optimization tools to do just that. By leveraging a global suite of services including: truckload, LTL, intermodal, ocean, air, customs brokerage, last mile and supply chain consulting; and the use of our global TMS, Navisphere, IPC was able to overcome the complexities the menu update brought to their supply chain.

Making the “Eat Fresh Refresh” a reality

TMC has been providing IPC with technology built by and for supply chain experts for more than fifteen years, bringing clear visibility to IPC’s vast network of more than 100 different supplier groups. What started as a sourcing and transportation initiative has evolved into a robust technology and data-driven relationship. So, when Subway launched their historic menu change, IPC knew they could rely on C.H. Robinson and their team of experts at TMC to make it a success.

Relying on Navisphere, the most connected global logistics platform, the experts at TMC provided visibility into all orders to ensure all product was delivered to its distribution centers in enough time to support the “Eat Fresh Refresh.” From connecting 13 carriers, 65 suppliers, and 92 distribution centers—to combining shipments and adjusting order profiles in real time to ensuring products were delivered to franchises during a period when many companies were experiencing delays—TMC acted as a true extension of the IPC team.

“Having C.H. Robinson and TMC be able to help us navigate combining shipments and adjusting to order profiles—really turning on a dime—allowed us to ensure product to all of our franchisees throughout some of the biggest changes in the business,” Matt Montour, Senior Director of Logistics for IPC said. “TMC offers us the ability to connect our suppliers, our distributors, and our carriers. So, it's really a true end-to-end kind of activity. That allows us to really manage our business in the day-to-day.”

With one, unified transportation management system and a team of TMC experts, IPC was able to monitor and react to supply changes quickly, build transportation plans at the lowest cost, and establish the ability to innovate and optimize—making the historic menu change possible.

Increased agility and visibility drive success

The C.H. Robinson and TMC global suite of services helped IPC to be more agile during the launch of the menu in an ever-changing marketplace. C.H. Robinson’s ability to be able to provide capacity, maintain flexibility and adapt plans as-needed to ensure products arrived at their destination in a time of supply chain disruption afforded IPC the ability to use a single provider which minimized communication across multiple touchpoints. This also allowed IPC the ability to build inventories, and adjust old product out and new product in, all while pinpointing where to place its products in a highly synchronized way.

“C.H. Robinson has been a critical part in helping us facilitate that [rotating products],” Montour said. “We've had to really pinpoint where to put products and the on-time performance of trucks and visibility to where product is, has been absolutely critical to the success of the Eat Fresh Refresh launch.”

By leveraging Navisphere as its TMS, Procure IQ for its procurement strategies, and the supply chain experts at TMC—IPC utilized the full suite of managed services to reach the goal of real-time visibility and process improvements for a streamlined supply chain.

IPC’s supply chain continues to grow, and Subway will continue to innovate creating new opportunities to scale and optimize their supply chain—and TMC’s technology and team of supply chain experts will be ready to provide solutions along the way.

A global TMS platform powered by supply chain experts at TMC

Achieve your logistics goals faster by combining the power of Navisphere, the world’s most connected logistics platform, and managed services from TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson. Gain instant access to logistics talent that act as an extension of your team connected through our single global TMS platform.