Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

MAY 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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10 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • MAY 2017 people & events A pizza restaurant manager contacted my company inquiring about pricing for service. After asking questions about the business and the problem, I gave an upfront estimate to diagnose his pizza oven. The caller's re- sponse? "Ok, let me talk to my boss and I'll get back to you." I never heard back. This manager didn't have time to listen or to inquire about our qualifications, if we stock parts, or about our warranty. I wanted to inform him that we were an authorized servicer and our trained techs bring boxes of common OEM parts on service calls. In this scenario, chances are that we could have fixed this oven on the first trip. Many foodservice professionals are under the assumption that all service companies are the same, except for price. An impulsive decision may cost operators further downtime, unneces- sary freight, and longer onsite repair times by untrained technicians. A com- mon mistake occurs when people are more concerned about price or getting somebody quickly than choosing the right vendor that will fix it properly. Want to choose the right service vendor? Here are five steps that will help accelerate the repair process and minimize downtime. 1. Track the make, model number, serial number, and installation/purchase dates for each piece of equipment so staff can easily reference them for ser- vice or parts. Some servicers will track equipment online for you. 2. Have the manufacturer identify the authorized servicer in the area. Ask for multiple service options and reference this information with your equipment records. 3. If the make is unknown or you want an alternative to the authorized servicers, use an industry association, like the Commercial Food Equip- ment Service Association (CFESA), to find nearby professional service companies who are more likely to send qualified technicians. 4. Be prepared to give the vendor specifics about the problem, service times, location, and billing, in addition to the make and model, to increase the likelihood that the equipment will be fixed on the first trip. 5. Ask the vendor the right ques- tions, such as if they are a factory authorized service provider with a 90- day warranty? Do they stock and bring common parts for the specific equip- ment? What is the payment process? When choosing a vendor, establish a rapport through thoughtful commu- nication. Reputable companies will take the time to answer questions and ask the right questions. If you are friendly and reasonable, your vendors will go the extra mile for you. Operators and vendors must collaborate and learn to work together, so don't jump ship at the first problem you encounter. Let the vendor know why you are unsatis- fied, be open to find out why it hap- pened, and work together to resolve the problem. Working with vendors is an important facet of running your busi- ness; choosing the right one is crucial to getting the best results. By Jeff Eichman Commercial Appliance Service Inc. Sacramento, Calif. jeff@commercialappliance.com Five Steps to Choosing the Right Service Vendor Vendor Service Tip When a problem occurs, let the vendor know why you are unsatis- fied, be open to finding out why it happened, and work together to resolve the problem.

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