Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

APR 2018

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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40 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • APRIL 2018 This is probably a record. Lancaster, Pa.-based Clark Service Group Inc. has only been in existence since January 2017. Despite being such a young company, it produced an FE&S Top Achiever: president Glenn Clark Jr. The firm also adds Commercial Food Equipment Service Association (CFESA) certification and a new website to its list of recent accomplishments. Truly, however, these efforts — and Clark Service Group itself — go back further than 2017. The group has been around for decades as a division of Clark Associates. Founded by Glenn's father and uncle, Clark Associates has several arms and spinoffs, including Clark Foodservice Equipment, which earned recognition as FE&S' 2015 Dealer of the Year. Becoming Owner Glenn Clark officially became owner and president of the Clark Service Group in early 2017 when he pur- chased the service and installation divi- sion from Clark Associates. His reasons for going it alone were straightforward: Clark wanted to be his own boss, with full control over the company's future. "It allowed me to focus my attention on the areas of the business that I deemed the most important and grow those areas. I could make all the decisions. It was just a great opportunity to be the sole owner of a business," Clark says. In fact, it was Clark's entrepre- neurial drive that brought him into the business, though his route was a circuitous one. Growing up, Clark says, he never wanted to be part of Clark Associates. After college he joined the workforce and held different jobs in a handful of cities in the eastern United States. Working under different bosses gave him insights on how, and how not, to lead. But it was a career trajectory he didn't find satisfying. "I was always looking for something to satisfy my en- trepreneurial hunger and do something with it," he says. The best way to satisfy that hunger, Clark knew, was to join with Clark Associates. So in the early 1990s he returned to Lancaster and took a job working dispatch in the service division. During the next decade he held dif- ferent roles with the group, including roles in parts inventory/purchasing and management. He became president of the service division, Clark Service and Parts, in 1997. At the time, the division had only nine employees: six service technicians and three office staff. Under Clark's leadership, the business has grown by leaps and bounds. Clark Service Group now employs more than 140 people. This number includes more than 80 people in the field: 55 service techs, 18 dedicated installers and 9 individuals performing planned/preventative mainte- nance work. On top of its Lancaster headquarters, the company now has branches in Phila- delphia; Baltimore, Md.; and Bradenton, Fla. No Secrets Here There's been no secret to this growth, no master stroke that allowed the business to grow 15-fold in 20 years, says Clark. Instead, the focus has been on tak- ing care of customers and employees. On the customer front, the corpo- rate mantra is to be as responsive to customers as possible. The firm has a six-person call center in its Lancaster headquarters, where all customer calls are input into Clark's software. From there, a dispatching team, also in Lan- caster, sends out trucks for almost the entire company. Centralizing the dispatching function, even out of state for some branches, is unusual, Clark acknowl- edges, but funneling all of that informa- tion into one place allows Clark Service Group to get a better sense of how its customers are doing. "It keeps every- body aware of what's going on in all the areas, especially when you're working with multilocation customers. I think we can give them better service and better communication," he says. ACHIEVER SERVICE AGENT T o President Clark Service Group By Toby Weber Glenn Clark Jr.

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