Foodservice Equipment Reports

Judging Dealers

This Thursday, we’ll be judging our first FER Management Excellence Awards for dealers (and chains, noncommercial operators and consultancies). One of the things we want to do with these new awards is be more transparent about the process and base the awards on specific criteria.

On the judging side, we have a Selection Advisory Board of manufacturers. Together, we’ll choose the winners. We’ll share their names later; we wouldn’t want any lobbying before the judging. We solicited nominees from the broad audience of manufacturers and have received nominations for more than 20 dealers. We will present awards in two categories: One for dealers with more than $40 million in sales annually, and one for dealers with sales of less than $40 million.

We also think you will find it interesting to see the final criteria. Several folks helped us with these. We especially want to thank FEDA Pres. (and Wasserstrom Co. Pres.) Brad Wasserstrom and NAFEM V.P. (and Hatco V.P.-Sales) Mike Whiteley for their help. The general criteria include:

  • Honesty, transparency and integrity in dealing with employees, suppliers and customers.
  • Deeply knowledgeable management and personnel.
  • Consistency and excellence in execution.
  • Consistent revenue and profit growth (where known).
  • Creativity and innovation.
  • A significant contribution to the industry.

But we developed specific criteria for dealers, too. They include:

  • Offers manufacturers and their reps access to sales staff and executive management.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to ongoing training of sales staff.
  • Excels at communication with customers, suppliers and service providers.
  • Provides exemplary after-sale support either with in-house personnel or through careful management and coordination of outside service providers.
  • Demonstrates brand loyalty to key supplier partners in the form of purchasing and promotional preference/support.
  • Consistently demonstrates fair and reasonable expectations of suppliers and channel partners.
  • Collaborates with supplies on customer development when appropriate.
  • Commits to and maintains adequate inventory.
  • Contributes to the industry through activities with associations, at trade shows and other venues.

We think these criteria provide valuable insight into how manufacturers and dealers view dealers and the partnership they bring to serving the ultimate end user. We hope you see it that way, too.

By the way, we also will be announcing dealer FER Industry Service Award and Young Lion Award winners in the next couple weeks. We want to thank the FEDA Board of Directors for helping name those winners.

Good luck to you all.


Robin Ashton


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