Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

APR 2016

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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editor's perspective 8 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • APRIL 2016 Joseph M. Carbonara, Editorial Director Less Talk. More Action. F rom now until Memorial Day, hardly a week will go by without a foodservice-related associa- tion hosting a conference for its members. Undoubtedly, these events will include some conversation about recruit- ing and retaining younger employees and, in the case of events hosted by members of the foodservice equipment and supplies community, there will be plenty of banter about what ails the supply chain. Later, over cocktails at yet another buffet-based meal, everyone will remark about how the industry needs to address these issues before the conversation inevi- tably turns to the day's golf scores. Before long, the conference attendees will return back to their jobs with the memory of these conversations slowly fading as their day-to-day responsibilities bubble to the forefront of their minds. If this scenario sounds familiar, that's because it is one that has been repeating itself for quite some time. One would think, given all the conversation that regularly takes place surrounding these topics, the foodservice industry would have some progress to report. Outside of a few notable exceptions, though, the foodservice industry appears stuck in neutral in this regard. With respect to recruiting younger professionals, the rather easy-to-follow recipe is as follows: Show up at colleges and universities to recruit future associ- ates, speak nicely about your business and all it has to offer and be ready to invest in unproven talent as it may take them a little while to generate a positive return. The only question that remains is whether you and your company can stomach the process. Those companies with an appetite for such a process can achieve impressive results. Look no further than Clark Associ- ates, FE&S' 2015 Dealer of the Year. Last year, they realized a 42 percent sales in- crease and the company shows no signs of slowing down. (To see the results of FE&S' 2016 Distribution Giants study, see page 36) The secret to their success? Finding talented young people, tapping into their passion and letting them grow the busi- ness by providing value on the customers' terms. It's that simple. With respect to the challenges the supply chain faces, much Scotch whiskey has been spilled while trying to address them. Yet here the industry is trying to resolve the same tired challenges. If the sup- ply chain does not take the steps necessary to enhance the value it provides and become more effective and effcient in its own right, someone will step into its place. Realizing this, a trio of rep frms formed an alliance named Paradigm (page 104) in an attempt to stay ahead of the curve. They worked collaboratively to de- velop a structure that they feel will better serve their many customer constituencies and companies better. Only time will tell if their efforts were the right approach. But they are to be commended for trying to affect change instead of waiting for it to happen to them. Hopefully you will embrace a similar phi- losophy in shaping the future of your business.

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