Foodservice Equipment Reports

What’s A Well-Managed Dealership?

As we mentioned a month ago, Foodservice Equipment Reports will bestow new awards we call “Management Excellence Awards” at an event Friday evening, Feb. 8, 2013, during The NAFEM Show in Orlando. There will be two for dealers, one for companies with sales greater than $40 million annually, and another for companies with sales of less than $40 million. (There will also be Management Excellence awards for multiunit operators with exemplary E&S practices and for a consulting firm.)

So what’s a well-managed dealership? We’ve had a number of conversations with friends and experts and we have some basic criteria. A dealer demonstrating management excellence will need to 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.

But what else? We had a conversation with Brad Wasserstrom, current president of the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association, and president of The Wasserstrom Co., which has won many awards over the years. He had a key observation: Since under our process for the awards, manufacturers are nominating and helping select the dealers for the awards, the attributes have to be visible from the outside. He ticked off factors such as inventory management, pricing and margin management and cash flow as critical to a well-managed dealership. “But these aren’t things people can see from outside,” he said. And he’s right.

So it will have to be criteria and attributes both we and the manufacturers can see. We’re trying to finalize the criteria over the next week, so we can go out for formal nominations before the end of the month. Our plan is to gather the nominations over the summer and name the recipients by early fall, with the help of a dealer-specific Award Selection Board made up mostly of knowledgeable manufacturers. We’ve been consulting with experts and manufacturers and even an operator or two already. But if you have any ideas, drop us an email or give us a call at 800/986-9616. We’d love your input. And Happy Solstice and summer.



Robin Ashton


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