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Cres Cor     Welcome to the FER Dealer Report June 22, 2010, Vol. 1, Issue 3     Vulcan

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 News For Dealers, About Dealers and Suppliers

Have a story, news, or announcement for the FER Dealer Report?

If so, please send your news to Brian and Jan at bward@fermag.com and jashton@fermag.com.
We reach more than 5,000 people biweekly!

It's clear the foodservice equipment and supplies market has begun to recover. But how fast and how robust will the recovery be? You'll need to attend Foodservice Equipment Reports President's Preview E&S Market Forecast seminar to find out. This meeting offers senior manufacturing executives, dealers, multiunit operators and others interested in E&S trends an in-depth analysis and forecast of the market in 2011, in time for most companies' planning and budgeting cycles.

The day-long meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 4, at the Hotel Orrington, in Evanston, Ill.

FER Publisher Robin Ashton will detail data and analyze trends for the general economy, foodservice operators and materials prices with an eye to their impacts on the E&S market. AutoQuotes Inc. will once again present exclusive information on E&S-manufacturer pricing trends. The program's ranking of the top 150 E&S manufacturers will be updated. New to the program this year will be an analysis of E&S dealer trends. The meeting will close with Ashton offering hard-number forecasts of the E&S market in 2011. Attendees receive all presentations and data in both print and electronic formats.

The meeting, scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., has been planned so many in the Eastern and Midwestern U.S. can fly in and fly out on Aug. 4. Cost of the seminar is $845 until July 2, $945 afterwards. For agenda, hotel and registration information, go to www.fermag.com/events/index.htm, or call Chris Palmer at 847/336-2049.

Spring brings flowers and industry meetings. Pride Marketing & Procurement held its spring meeting April 12-15 in San Diego, and presented awards to two suppliers and one dealer member. Standex Cooking Solutions Group was honored as Equipment Vendor of the Year; Browne Halco earned the Smallwares Vendor of the Year award. The Pride Dealer Staff Award 2010 went to United Restaurant Equipment Co., Lowell, Mass.

The Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association is surveying its members to create a financial and operating profile of the entire industry.

The association's survey provides a wealth of financial and operating guidelines, and allows dealer members to draw comparisons between their companies and other participating firms. Participation is the key: Only firms that take part in the study will have access to the information that results. Participants receive the Profit Report; a confidential "for your eyes only" report comparing their company with similar participating firms; and an Excel spreadsheet to assist in financial planning. All of the detailed benchmarking information is free to FEDA members.

FEDA emphasized that the survey company, Profit Planning Group, keeps all proprietary company data strictly confidential. Strict masking procedures are used so no individual firm data can be identified. All survey forms are destroyed after processing.

FEDA has e-mailed the profit survey questionnaire to all members and will be faxing them the questionnaire this week. FEDA asks that if you have not received these communications, please contact their offices at 800/677-9605. The deadline for submission is August 1.

Cleveland-based Tomlinson Industries has announced its purchase of the assets of Fusion Commercial LLC of Wauwatosa, Wis. Fusion Commercial products include countertop pizza ovens, snack ovens and merchandisers, popcorn poppers and carts, and warmers, heat lamps, and buffet servers.

"Fusion products fit well into Tomlinson's range of commercial foodservice equipment and supply items," Tomlinson noted in a release. "This acquisition extends our ability to support our dealer, distributor, OEM and chain account customers with the highest quality products available," the statement said.

Distribution, sales and customer service for the Fusion product line will be handled from Tomlinson's facility in Cleveland. Tomlinson Industries manufactures a wide range of products including cutting boards, dispensing technology, faucets, fittings, food warmers, furnishings, skillets, thermal platters and more.

Warewashing machine manufacturer Champion Industries/Ali Group has appointed Scott Cherevaty as sales and marketing v.p. for Moyer Diebel Ltd., which includes the Champion, Moyer Diebel and Bi-Line brands for the Canadian market; and Joe Deckelman as sales and marketing v.p. for Champion Industries U.S. Cherevaty previously worked with Hobart's food retail and foodservice divisions in Canada, while Deckelman comes to Champion from Wells Bloomfield/Middleby. Champion is headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C.

By Brian Ward

Consider this an alarm bell. Changes in the works at the Energy Star program could spell trouble for foodservice equipment manufacturers, end-users, the channel in between, and the program itself.

If you've seen recent issues of FER Fortnightly or Foodservice Equipment Reports magazine, you've probably read stories about the turmoil at the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star offices. A few months ago, a Government Accountability Office report noted abuses of the Energy Star system. Access to the label was found to be lax, and self-certifying aspects of the voluntary program were being abused by some manufacturers. The examples were mainly on the consumer side, but the ripples extended everywhere.

The reaction was swift, probably too swift. Among many changes in motion now: Energy Star will require every new model applying for the Energy Star label to be third-party certified, meaning many essentially similar models will have to undergo individual tests. At $5,000 to $15,000 or more per test, the costs are staggering—so much so that many foodservice equipment makers have said they might have to seriously consider pulling out of Energy Star. Our industry simply doesn't move enough units to amortize the costs at a reasonable

A second concern is that the test requirements would likely overwhelm the supply of certifiable third-party test facilities. Too many tests and not enough testers is a recipe for logjams and delays moving product to

As dealers caught between the manufacturers and the end-users, you're going to be caught up in the confusion. Some of your suppliers might drop Energy Star, meaning you'll have non-Energy Star products that may or may not in fact be the equivalent of their Star-labeled counterparts. End-users won't know what's going on. And in the end, our goals of energy conservation hang in the balance.

Pushing for third-party testing and 100% compliance is understandable, but unrealistically expensive. It would be much more cost-effective to do a mixture of third-party testing for a representative model in a "family" of models, and then allow in-house testing of related models according to existing standards. EPA would likely be better off working with 95% compliance and simply spot checking and fining the remaining 5%.

You need to be informed and active on all this. Energy Star is moving very quickly on these changes, and providing very short notice—including public-comment periods in some cases only a couple weeks long.

For more information, start at www.energystar.gov/testingandverification, then follow the links. You can offer your comments by emailing to ENERGYSTARVerificationProgram@energystar.gov.

And for some background, check out the 2009 Memorandum of Understanding at www.energystar.gov/mou.

Brian Ward
Chief Editor

FER Dealer Report, published biweekly by Gill Ashton Publishing, publishers of Foodservice Equipment Reports.

Questions or comments? Please send them to bward@fermag.com.

This issue's content compiled and written by Brian Ward, chief editor, and Jan Sellers Ashton, contributing editor.

For information about advertising in FER Dealer Report, please contact Robin Ashton, publisher, at 847/673-8675 or email at rashton@fermag.com.

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