Cut-off times -- what does that mean? In the simplest form it means the last moment you can place an order and sill receive the product on the next delivery.

Three years ago we looked at the impact of enforced cut-off times. For smaller distributors not having cut-off times can be a wedge against the big guys.  For larger distributors an enforced cut-off time can improve efficiency.  Food distributors can go either way so let’s look at the up and downs and how to better manage unenforced cut-off times.

Back in 2005 I had a business relationship with Joe Carrabis the founder of NextStage Evolution. What he taught me is that customers in this world of the Web are looking to get educated on products and just don’t always just want to be sold. In my everyday work as a salesperson and President of my firm a lot of my time is spent educating as Joe tried to teach me. Last week we launched a new website that is designed to engage our visitors to learn. Learn about best practices through our Newsletter, and use today's advanced video technology to help them apply technology to their business.

 For years we’ve talked about how to maximize profitability. Two years ago we compared markup vs. margin, that is just one component of margin management. Today we will talk about several facets of margin management and how knowing what you are really making can have a substantial effect on your bottom line.

 

 In our 2014 New Year's Resolutions we talked about using the Cloud for salesperson Order Entry. It has been three years so let’s see how the cloud is doing? In looking at industry leaders we can find a lot of surveys on where the cloud is at.

 

 After doing this job for over 20 years I’ve come to the realization that chains can be a major part of our customers’ business. Chains have a lot of different forms. The most obvious is grocery store chains like Acme, Wegmans or Ralphs. Restaurant chains, gourmet shops and convenience stores are similar to grocery store chains in how they need to be managed and priced. Today we’ll look at some of the special needs these types of customers have in common.

 

 As we discussed last year the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is proceeding on a schedule that was broken down by size of business. The September the deadline for large business has passed. Today we will look to prepare you for the approaching deadline of Sept 2017. Now it’s your turn.

 

 On Sunday I noticed the New York Times magazine section was called “The Food Issue.” It contained a very comprehensive look at the nation's food market and the struggle we have to get transparency in the food system. Today we’ll focus on what some of our food guys are doing to show local and capture the business. Transparency is one of the keys these guys are selling.

 

 We have been talking about natural foods for the last couple of years. Our latest article on the topic asked “Are you confused?” in August. Now the Feds are finally weighing in on what it means to be healthy. As one of my customers said the “flavor of the day” is becoming more concretely defined.

 

 I was visiting a customer last week and he said, “You ought to use my company in your marketing more.” I promised I would do that and was thinking, "How do I focus on my customer's positives without sounding like the greatest thing since sliced bread?" Well here goes...

 

 Many distributors and processors break cases. Selling an each provides a level of customer service that US Foods and Sysco can't match, but what happens to its identity for recall when you break a case? This could be a problem if you’re looking to recall that piece. Now newer technology can capture that weight and track where it came from.

 



Issue 598 - Setting the Standards

 

We'll keep following last week's thread about Inventory Management and Profitability.   Food is a very unique industry, so making sure we measure ourselves against our industry cousins is important to understand the standard we are measured against. Got to know the other guy's score to see if you are a winner. Again focusing on inventory value and getting it right is one of the two key elements of our T&E analysis.

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