This week’s blog is one that resonates with me and should with you too. It is my colleague, David who wrote this and I wanted to reblog(is that a legitimate word)as I feel it is very relevant and timely.  Enjoy and see if you agree? 

What to do when there is economic uncertainty? Will the healthcare reform act affect your hospital, and your food service department? Are you shaking your head as you read this and thinking how do I get through this? How can I continue to have a culture of quality in my operations? Increase my value based purchasing practicing?

Foodservice directors will still be held highly accountability for their operations.

One way to combat this is to collaborate with your suppliers? Are your suppliers listening to what you need during these times? Effective vendors (suppliers) realize that they should be passionate about foodservice to sell in this industry. They love to part of your process and realize they are contributing to the success of your operations.

Suppliers should be one of your team. They help to create a collaborative environment with our internal hospital team. Vendors can be one of your trusted advisors.

clip_image004To start a strong and value added relationship with a vendor:

· Tell them about your operations?

· Encourage them to share their knowledge, experiences in similar environments

· Build trust and give and take in this partnership

· Discuss with your vendor “their” role

Successful suppliers are educated and aware with what is going on in their market segments whether it is healthcare foodservices, retail, etc…They have solutions to rising food and labor costs and have ideas that help them improve yield for the products/services they offer to the end-user.

Today’s food service director expects more from their suppliers to be more effectively and specifically convey resources.

**Suppliers/vendors today need to be a key asset in those efforts. Here are some valuable resources that a vendor/supplier can offer to enable them to be a stronger part of the foodservice team:

  • Support and knowledge to navigate labor considerations, food safety standards and issues related to customer service
  • Insight on consumers; culinary expertise and menu development support, trends,
  • Training for products and equipment; packaging collaboration; and help with differentiation
  • Culinary expertise to advice and influence menu mix, equipment, etc…
  • Sustainability practices
  • Educational webinars to offer solutions
  • Menu ideas, new product mixes across market segments
  • Marketing solutions=promo kits
  • Valued added services that go beyond your core business

You have a choice so select your vendor partners that services, goods and resources will make a difference in your environment.

Include this guideline checklist when choosing your vendor partners,

1. What resources are available at my suppliers?

2. How can they assist me in my goals, and help execute my business plan

3. How can they benefit from working with me?

Make no mistake vendors want to see their customers not just survive; we want to see them thrive. Forward thinking suppliers engage in positive actions to elevate your highest level of performance to move ahead strategically today and tomorrow.

Are you a vendor/supplier that listens to your customers’ needs? Tell us how you bring value?

Are you an end-user who gets value from your vendors? Share how they elevate your foodservice operations.

David Bermingham, VP of Healthcare and Education, U.S. Foodservice


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