Foodservice Equipment Reports


An item in July’s MAFSI Matters e-newsletter, caught our eye. MAFSI surveyed its members, asking them to identify pain points and factors negatively impacting their profitability. I want to share the results because independent manufacturers’ reps are critical to nearly everyone in the E&S business.

Commission-rate reductions are the No.1 pain point, according to the survey. This is a trend that began long before the downturn, but the downturn has certainly accelerated it. The second item mentioned by the reps was factory house accounts, which, if you think about it, is the ultimate commission reduction. Other points of pain: increased demands and responsibilities from the factories without compensation, commissions that are not paid on destination and/or spec, and increased sales reporting.

A little lower down the pain scale, a significant number of reps also mentioned increased demands from dealers and operators, again without compensation.

Dealers, chain buyers and specifiers, noncommercial foodservice directors, consultants and even service agents depend on reps for their expertise, communication links to the their factories, start-up and training and a host of other things. Everyone has been hurt by the downturn in the E&S industry. But many rep firms have been hurt more than most. This is not a good thing for any of us.

So give your friendly rep a hug next time you see him, or at least shake a hand and thank him or her for all he or she does for you. A little understanding in tough times goes a long way, and we are all in this together.



Robin Ashton


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