In writing this column for over 11 years, sometimes I wonder if it has value to my readers. Recently I received a call from a prospect in Texas who said, “I do not return calls from solicitation normally but I recognized your name from your News Letter and wanted to say thanks for keeping me informed in a manner that is usually not done in our market”.

That was a good feeling compliment and I wanted to take the time to say to my readers. THANK YOU

As follow up to last week's News Letter, I would like to discuss once we set the Prices for a customer how do we deliver them to the customer. This is very problematic, you don’t want to make a mistake and give up Margin with the wrong price.

How to get your Price List to your customer.

This is a problem that can be really challenging for the food distributor and processor. Communication today can take many forms. Today we’ll discuss the forms they can take and which can be the most effective for your business in these days of social media.

Method 1: Posting on your website.

It is digital, but the problems are keeping it updated and how many guys will go to your website to look?

Method 2: Salesperson or customer support rep.

The most traditional method, but one that requires a lot of labor and does not present a hard copy or digital form for the customer to reference. Care must be taken so the rep knows what the customer was quoted. Traditionally a customer order history is referred to for that purpose. One of the very oldest ways is a printed price book that is given to reps.

Method 3: Faxing/E-mail Price Lists. 

This is still considered by most of the food world as a necessity.

There are customers that like FAX for their price lists. FAX gives them a hard copy to look at in their hands and is more popular with customers who do not check their e-mail frequently.

I have talked to some live customers of ours and they have noticed that a move to e-mail is taking hold. The ability to FAX and E-mail the same customer can be helpful because the e-mail you send it to might have changed or that buyer has left and the Fax assures you that the customer is getting it.

One of our larger customers faxes 1/3rd of their price list/week to their customers, with the other third being e-mail and the other third both. In a May survey of our cloud customers we found over half of the users wanted e-mail capability with another ¼ wanting both capabilities which shows us e-mail is moving forward but FAX is still out there.

Here is a screen shot of what modern FAX/Email Price List could look like:


 
Method 4: Phone ordering

Phone ordering has been discussed many times in reference to the Amazon model but is slow to catch on to Food Guys. In the restaurant environment an app will allow your customers to see their pricing and their order history right on their Iphone or Android device. Pulled right from your system. This is where the world is going whether we like it or not.  The phone screen on the side is from an App by NIX 86.

Method 5: On line order entry.

This has become a popular choice for many accounts and like the phone app it is self serving. Having the customers go to their PC’s is also very effective and can give the customers more control of the process, With the correct application you can also allow reporting and invoice reprint so the customer can serve himself.

GIVING CUSTOMERS THE ABILITY TO SEE THEIR PRICING WITH LITTLE EFFORT IS CRITICAL




 



Issue 605 - Local Food Will Continue to be Hot

Throughout the last two years we have talked many times about the farm to table market and how it is expanding throughout the food world just like every one predicted. As we look to 2018 the latest buzzword is “Plant Forward”.   In today’s discussion we will update our experience in this area.

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