May 2018

President's Message: We All Have the Same Customer
by Chris Jeens, W.D. Colledge Co. Ltd.

It isn’t an exaggeration for me to state that 2018 has already been the year in which I have learned more than any other year before.

The reason is simple. I’ve been listening harder this year than I ever have, because I realize there is so much about this industry that I just don’t know yet. I knew I better start paying attention.

The MAFSI, FCSI and joint CFESA/FEDA/NAFEM conferences this year have provided our industry with an unprecedented breadth of educational forums in a very short period of time. The opportunity to clear our heads of our misconceptions, opinions, and biases and start creating a new era of strength and collaborative business practices is upon us.

The core message at all of those events is leading all channel partners towards this reality:

We all have the same customer, and those customers expect that we all work together, professionally and productively.

At each of those conferences, we repeatedly heard about the want for new and younger people to enter this industry and carry it forward into the future.

This new generation undoubtedly wants to either give or receive answers to our customers quickly and efficiently. The many educational sessions and panel discussions I had the privilege to attend this spring have taught me that it is definitely time to coordinate and streamline the processes in the channel (that the customers don’t see) so that our customers always have a positive experience when purchasing foodservice equipment and supplies.

Can manufacturers, reps, dealers, consultants and service agents all have a consistent means of communication and reporting? Would streamlining these methods of communication have a positive impact on the buying experience of our collective customer? Would consistency of reporting help us all with this generation of digitally adept buyers? Would it help them get better service from each aspect of the channel?

The most important thing I’ve learned in all of the conference sessions this year is that the answer to these questions is a resounding...”yes”.

Stay tuned for MAFSI’s forthcoming initiatives to help this industry break some boundaries and communicate more consistently. For our customers.

I’ve been listening, and have learned it’s essential for all of us to help make this happen.

Chris Jeens

Chris Jeens, CPMR, is the 2017/2018 MAFSI President, and Managing Partner of W.D. Colledge Co. Ltd. of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, representing premier, well-recognized kitchen equipment manufacturers across Canada.

He has served on MAFSI’s board of directors since 2010, and was a MAFSI conference co-chair in 2014. He was awarded MAFSI’s Special Achievement award in 2014, and again in 2016.

He was also honored as Foodservice Equipment and Supplies’ Top Achiever – Manufacturers’ Rep at the 2016 Dealer of the Year Awards.

Chris can be reached at [email protected], and welcomes your feedback. 

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