Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

OCT 2017

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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a pro you should know Glenn Clark Jr., CFSP President, Clark Service Group Inc., Lancaster, Pa. By Amelia Levin G lenn Clark Jr. has been in the foodservice industry for nearly 30 years (42 years if you count the time spent working in the field with his father when he was young). He gained sole ownership of Clark Service Group in January. Clark Jr. continues to expand the service business originally founded by his uncle and father (circa 1971) by leading with their founding principle: If you treat the customer right, they will return. Clark Service Group's portfolio of customers includes restaurant chains, fine-dining establishments, hospitals and more. The operation includes more than 50 technicians and offices in Lancaster, Pa., Baltimore and Sarasota, Fla. FE&S: How has the role of the service agent changed? GC: In the past, service agencies were the parts suppliers, but now with so many large distributors, that has changed. Anyone can go on the internet and order the parts they need, so simply supplying parts is not as lucrative for service agents as it once was. As a result, our customers are keeping less inventory on hand. Kitchens have also gotten a lot smaller, so there is less equipment. Now, the equip- ment that's in the kitchen is that much more critical — if just one piece breaks down it can destroy the whole function of the kitchen. We work with a lot of chains — from Qdoba to Longhorn and others — which might only have one grill. So, the reaction time of the service company is critical to their operation. FE&S: How have you streamlined processes to respond quicker? GC: We have been more focused on try- ing to set up our technicians in different regions of the country. We distribute all our parts from our home office in Lan- caster, but our service techs work out of their houses, so we drop-ship parts to them from our warehouse or vendor. This allows our technicians to respond to our custom- ers' needs in the field faster because they are not spending a majority of their time commuting to and from an office. FE&S: What changes have you made on the warehouse side in response to the less-inventory trend? GC: We focus on having only the most critical parts in our warehouse. We also manage our inventory based on what types of customers our techs are servicing in their immediate area. Not every truck will have the same inventory. The service tech working with regional chains in metro- politan Philadelphia will require different inventory, than say, Harrisburg, Pa. FE&S: With half your business coming from chains, you've obviously adapted to their needs. What are they looking for from their service agents? GC: Most of our chain customers have parameters. They want us to respond to their service call in a half hour and arrive on-site within four hours, depending on how critical the situation is. We've been able to respond faster by setting up a call center to only handle incoming calls and collect customer Working with chain restaurants, a lot of our latest challenges have been dealing with third-party service software. OCTOBER 2017 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • 17 Glenn Clark Jr. President Clark Service Group Inc. Lancaster, Pa.

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