Community College Utilizes Cooperative Food Service Program to Realize 14% Savings

Sep 1, 2023   |   US Foods

Laramie County Community College, established in 1968, is a full-service community college with campuses located in both Laramie and Cheyenne Wyoming. They are committed to quality, inclusion and innovative agility as the school continues to grow, which can even be seen in their food program. 

US Foods

We spoke with The Director of Dining Services for the college, Shawn Eby, about his experience in the higher education food industry and his strategy for procuring the best solution. 

Shawn has been in the food industry for 40 plus years, so there is no shortage of industry knowledge for him. He loves his current position because it has been a blank canvas for him, and they have let him make this area of their college his own.  

The college has a dining hall and concessions as well as a Starbucks that Eby has to manage. On top of this, they also do a large amount of catering. Eby recently decided he would like to upgrade the tableware within the dining hall to be china. 

The Challenge

Finding a way to cost effectively make a change this large, isn't easy. Eby looked at several different vendors and just couldn’t find an affordable, practical solution. Little did he know, he already had an agreement with US Foods that he could utilize to achieve this. 

The Solution

Eby has already been working with OMNIA Partners and US Foods and didn’t realize he could have started his search with them. 

“I was speaking with Mary Ann, my US Foods Account Executive, just briefly, and I was telling her some of the things I was working on, and she asked me if she could take a look at the plates I had in mind. I showed them to her, and she said we can get these for you through the program. So, she did some investigating. They can get the exact same plate for me, and since it's China, it even comes with chip protection. This solution will probably save me about $6,000 in all,“ says Shawn.

The Power of Partnership

Eby and his team at Laramie County Community college have seen tremendous savings by utilizing the OMNIA Partners and US Foods/Vizient-Sourcewell agreement when they moved from contract management to self-op. He believes they have seen at least $80,000 in savings just over the last academic year on food alone, a 14% savings which helps the community college lower costs for their students.  

“Before, I was kind of doing it old school talking to all of the vendors like I always did and just I was kind of an enlightenment that you know that it's more than just food that you guys can help out with, which is pretty awesome,“  says Shawn.

He values the partnership and sees great benefits by utilizing a cooperative. He knows he can rely on the OMNIA Partners and US Foods teams to help him find the solutions he needs.  

US Foods

I think you need a team with a diverse set of skills all in different areas of purchasing. You just can't do it all yourself anymore, which is why I appreciate working with both groups. It truly is a partnership.

– Shawn Eby | Director of Dining Services | Laramie County Community College

About OMNIA Partners and US Foods

OMNIA Partners and US Foods are proud to partner together to offer higher education institutions and state & local government municipalities foodservice solutions and equipment on a national distribution program tailored to fit your dining operations' unique needs. 

Running a dining services operation has its challenges and managing your supply chain spend should not be one of them. Available to participating agencies of OMNIA Partners, our food programs are competitively solicited and publicly awarded through our lead agency process so you can streamline your purchasing process and save valuable time and money on your dining operations.

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