Do you think Charles Dickens had a foodservice buyer in mind when he created the despicable Christmas-hating Ebenezer Scrooge?
Think about it, as the Holiday season surrounds us, are you more prone to blurting out a "Ho, Ho, Ho!" or a "Bah, Humbug!?"
Unfortunately, we buyers are probably more aligned to Scrooge than Santa. That may just be our nature or the nature of our jobs, and while Old Scroogie may possess some great attributes for us to emulate — tight-fisted and highly detailed — he may not be exactly the best at his job.
As professional purchasers, we will take this time to scrutinize the year's successes and failures and look forward to a new year in which we can figure out ways to buy more for less. Will we do so begrudgingly, or with some actual joy and passion?
The 42-day Holiday period is now the biggest marketing event of the year and if we have performed our job correctly, we have given our foodservice companies the gifts of efficiency, value and quality. During this long and fruitful period — from Thanksgiving through New Year's — we have hopefully rewarded our companies with the greatest gift of all: growing the bottom line by serving more customers.
As the New Year turns over, this an excellent time to review what has worked and where you need to improve. A wise man once said, "The unexplored life is not worth living." Fast forward to New Year's Day. Are you sitting on the couch watching football and thinking about 2014? Is it simply business as usual, or do you plan to "explore" how things can be different and better for you and your company?
In this season of giving, we try to focus on giving more not getting more. Business is geared to negotiation and hanging tough on your terms. The truth is, those of you reading this are the lucky ones. We have good jobs and the luxury of spending our time making our work and our companies stronger. Many good people today cannot find work or are toiling at jobs well below their skill level.
Let's use this holiday season as a time to remember to be grateful and thankful for all of our good fortune.
Let's look beyond ourselves to our customers; listen to their needs rather than telling them yours as a way to improve your working relationship.
Let's use this time to reflect as well as rejoice. Try not to just analyze the bottom line with regards to dollars but to all the layers of doing business in a productive and efficient manner.
Rejoice that we live in a country where we are free to earn a living, however we choose. We have selected a wonderful industry that feeds people and satisfies most of us who have made this our life's work. This holiday season is a great time to recognize the importance of our work, our family and friends and our place in that process.
We at Axis Purchasing are grateful for your business, so let us be the first to wish you a very happy Holiday Season. Ho, Ho, Ho!
John Krebs is a dynamic, seasoned executive with experience in building and growing multi-million-dollar organizations through strategic visioning, expert leadership, and strong operational expertise. Krebs has helped hundreds of foodservice organizations achieve a focus on exceptional results by using his operational and supply expertise in distribution, purchasing and operational management.