The Supplier of the Year for Service & Support acknowledges that selling a piece of equipment is only the first part of a supplier’s relationship with its customers, which is why so many operators place huge value on the support that a brand can offer them.
This distinction will go to the supplier judged to provide stand-out support for their product in terms of areas such as warranty provision, after-sales service, spare parts and customer assistance.
We are delighted to announce that the 2018 shortlist includes the following companies:
A £650,000 investment to modernise its factory in Wrexham and relocate sister company Britannia Kitchen Ventilation to the site has paid dividends for IMC customers. Lead times have been cut from 6-8 weeks to 2-3 weeks, while access to group purchasing power has resulted in the use of better quality components, increased reliability and a structured pricing system. Britannia is now able to manufacture improved products that are fully in line with DW172 and provide end-users with a better kitchen environment. A clear focus on service has seen IMC’s Mistral and Ventus units overhauled to incorporate R290 refrigerant and the company launch an autofeed version of its Waste Station.
Metcalfe Catering has added to its already significant food prep portfolio by taking on the UK distributorship of Hallde, while also strengthening its relationship with overseas suppliers such as Roband. In order to sufficiently serve such brands in the market, it has refined its service offering and invested in after-sales resources to ensure it rapidly meets customer requests. Most significantly it has made its vast range of high-end slicers and mixers more attractive by introducing two-year warranty terms, while its high-powered SP mixers now come with a three-year warranty for the first time. Engagement with end-users has also increased through enhanced product demonstrations and specification input.
Investment in both its Food Service Solutions and Fabrications divisions has led to RH Hall developing a completely bespoke service for multi-site operators. This has enabled it to provide a full front- and back-of-house equipment design solution to one of the UK’s largest sandwich chains, as well as supply pre-programmed microwaves to a client with 2,000 sites. The purchase of a new laser cutter and press brake for its fabrication plant has given it additional capacity to cope with tailored orders and maintain quality and production times. Demos and training are delivered by a dedicated national account team, which is tasked with ensuring operators’ demands for consistency and reliability are met.
The launch of an installation and service division has boosted the level of support that Synergy Grill can offer its growing list of customers and is particularly significant given that it unveiled the Mark2 version of its flagship energy-saving grill last year. The company’s in-house team of service engineers provides a bespoke maintenance service to customers, ensuring all aspects of the equipment are set properly for correct operation and longevity. It is now offering annual service contracts as part of a strategic drive to target end-users that place emphasis on a ‘stitch in time saves nine’ approach to prevent maintenance issues escalating into problems, especially if the product is at the very heart of its operation.
Unox has continued to enhance its business in the UK during the past 12 months with the launch of a new office and the recruitment of additional sales and service personnel to increase support for customers. End-users have benefitted from unique Unox services such as the Individual Cooking Experience, which allows them to ‘try before they buy’ courtesy of a combi oven demo at their premises incorporating their ingredients and their recipes. Training is carried out with all combi oven purchases, while investments the company has made in Data Driven Cooking means operators receive full analysis of their ovens to see how they are performing and can be best utilised.
Winterhalter has revamped its customer support operations by creating a separate service division with its own managing director and has recruited 15 new service technicians, as well as vehicles. The company now boasts 85 fully-trained warewash engineers and has a plan to recruit and tutor more to keep up with client demands. A new approach, meanwhile, has put the company’s Connected Warewash offering at the heart of its service strategy, with the technology able to read when components are failing or a machine is not operating at optimal performance. This allows issues to be fixed before they have even occurred, reducing downtime and call-outs and improving productivity.
The 2018 FEJ Awards ceremony and gala dinner takes place on Tuesday 5 June, the first evening of the Commercial Kitchen show, at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.