COMMERCIAL KITCHEN CONTRACTORS: exploding the myth about SME’s

On April 10th, 2011, posted in: All by david

Company size is often touted as a reason to dismiss smaller operations but this should categorically NOT be a decision-making factor on all but the very largest of contracts (ie. £150,000 and above). Why? Well, with 25 years experience in the trade and having worked for companies both large and small in that time, I have seen a good spread of operational structures and would like to offer an informed opinion for you to consider.

The larger the beast, the more it has to be fed and the less personal it becomes in dealing with its clients. In running two of my own businesses, I never had more than 6 core staff – a tightly run distributorship based on genuine customer-service ideals can react faster, relate more personally and give the best quality of service.

Service Engineers in-house are always argued by larger operations as being more reliable than those companies who sub-contract. I have seen both kinds of operation and this is not so. We openly use manufacturers warranties in the first instance because it ensures that the engineer who attends knows the equipment he is working on and carries genuine spare parts.

We back this up by having our network of known sub-contractors on ‘stand-by’ should a Friday afternoon emergency rear its head – we don’t promise to get that sorted every time but do our damndest to put things right. You do not speak to an administrator who puts you in ‘the system’ – you speak to us directly and we monitor your service history at the same time.

Companies that have their own engineers may get you a face on site “within the hour!” but what good is that if they don’t have the parts on board and disappear for up to a week?

Again, a team of in-house service engineers are not cheap and they have to be fed with calls to make a profit. This can drive your costs sky high when you see the final bill.

The Hard Sell is becoming a regular occurrence. That, and attractively priced but misleading quotations, often without a clear specification. Some companies will offer cheap equipment knowing that a particular client will not have sufficient knowledge to make an informed comparison or choice. Even going so far as to badge their equipment to cover up the original manufacturer.

We REFUSE TO SELL cheap, poor quality equipment. What we do is to offer known brands from quality sources at the cheapest possible margins. In doing this we make a fair profit to cover what goes on behind the scenes and we will not compromise the service to our clients in doing this. Our quotations are detailed, itemised, clear and concise – exactly as they should be and the minimum you should expect.

Going for the cheapest quote is a short-term gain. Make sure you know what you’re buying – beware the quote that just says “1 x dishwasher, 1 x 6-burner range” etc etc and does not openly and clearly state the specification and individual items costs. The classic presentation of “it should cost this, but we’ll do it for this!” or “tell me what they’re quoting and we’ll do it for 5% less” are desperate undercutting tactics to close the sale and should definitely raise alarm bells about the company you are dealing with.

Websites present an image but do not necessarily guarantee a good service. Beware!

And finally if in doubt, and you are still wavering, check the representatives car in the car park. It’s probably an indication of the lifestyle your money is funding.

Now make your choice.

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