Foodservice Equipment Reports

New FER Awards For Dealers

We’re very excited to announce that Foodservice Equipment Reports will bestow both some new and some “old” awards on dealers. We’ll present the awards at a new event Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 during The NAFEM Show in Orlando. NAFEM gave us permission for the event on Friday evening, as the association is moving its All-Industry Banquet back to Saturday night.

The new awards are something completely different, unlike any other awards in the market. We call them Management Excellence Awards. There will be two for dealers, one for companies with sales greater than $40 million annually, another for companies with sales of less than $40 million. There also will be three awards for multiunit operators with exemplary E&S practices and one for a consulting firm.

As we’ve mentioned often during our annual FER Top Dealer survey (which requires dealers to verify their sales volumes), we have to be extremely careful how we recognize dealers, given the nature of our circulation audience. Some 75% of those who receive FER are part of large multiunit operator organizations. Dealers are suppliers to these folks. Calling out a dealer by name, whether for a ranking or an award, can be seen as an implied endorsement. And we can do this only very, very carefully if we are to maintain credibility with the entire audience, including dealers and other suppliers.

So we’ve come up with the concept of Management Excellence Awards. A key aspect of the new awards is that we at FER won’t directly choose the organizations that are honored. Our mutual friends in the manufacturers’ community will both nominate and select the final recipients according to stated criteria which will be specific to the segment.

We’re working on those criteria now, with the help of some dealer and manufacturer friends, knowledgeable operators, independent distribution experts and the like. But all the recipients will exhibit the following:

  • Honesty, transparency and integrity in dealing with employees, suppliers and customers.
  • Deeply knowledgeable management and personnel.
  • Consistency and excellence in execution.
  • Creativity and innovation.
  • A significant contribution to the industry.

We’ll gather the nominations over the summer and name the recipients by early fall. We’ll invite a representative from each of our verifying Top Dealers to the event as our guests. (We told you there were Top Dealer benefits!) But anyone will be able to come to the event, either as a guest of the sponsors or by paying the tab, which won’t be exorbitant.

We will also bestow two “old” awards on dealers and others in the industry. Our existing Industry Service Awards, which we began in ’05, honor individuals who have made significant, career-long contributions to the E&S industry, not only in terms of their organization and function, but across the channels and functions.

And we are reviving an award we created back in the 1980s. Young Lion Awards will recognize individuals under the age of 40 who have made a meaningful impact on the industry.

Both the Industry Service Award and Young Lion Award recipients will be chosen by the relevant association or--in the case of operator honorees--FER.  FEDA’s Executive Committee will help with the dealer awards.

Part of our job at FER is to showcase the very best practices across the broad E&S market and to recognize those organizations and individuals that help positively advance the industry and can serve as models. We think these new awards, and the old ones, help with these goals. Like we said, we’re excited.



Robin Ashton


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