Industry Veteran’s Guide to Foodservice
Lessons in transforming your sales organization from executive leader Tim Rech
On May 18th, Foodservice professionals from all over the country tuned in to Navigators online to draw on Tim Rech’s nearly 4 decades of foodservice experience. Throughout his career, Tim has touched nearly every part of the business – from restaurant operator, to non-commercial operator, to sales and marketing leadership at major foodservice manufacturers.
This piece only scratches the surface of what we learned from Tim, so we’ve made the whole webinar available to watch at your convenience here.
The most important takeaway from Tim’s experience is this – Foodservice sales managers, regardless of which segment they’re assigned, don’t have to feel around in the dark. There’s always a way to get smart about your customer needs and obtain visibility into your ongoing business activities.
Step 1: Get the right data and set up a system to manage it on an ongoing basis.
Preferably, that data is operator data. Operator data generally must be extracted from trade claims, unless you’re lucky enough to be in charge of commercial segments or proprietary SKUs. One way to acquire and manage operator data is through Tibersoft’s analytical solution, which automates the herculean task of manually managing non-commercial data. In addition to automating hours of manual tasks, Tibersoft increases the accuracy of operator data by eliminating bloat from duplicate claims. This is the solution Smithfield chose.
Step 2: Answering “So what, now what?” You can see your performance, but what does it mean for your business?
Tim gave us some specific examples of what insights you can derive from operator data to improve business visibility and business operations. By breaking down your various segments, distributors, territories, and Foodservice Management Companies (FMCs) and GPOs; and setting up a steady process to analyze your data; you can incorporate operator data into every business decision. Further, Tim was able to use the data to improve the accuracy of his team’s sales forecasts: forecasting 2020 full year finish during the Covid-19 pandemic within 5%.
Step 3: Avoid information silos.
Tim would actively encourage (and in some cases require) every member of his sales team to interact with their own data to some degree, which was made possible by how easy that data was to access. Tim’s initiatives at Smithfield allowed for some impressive data-driven transformations.
You might be thinking such transformations often require a team of expert analysts to deal with the data and insight extraction. So, the question is – do you need a team of expert analysts to make similar changes at your organization? Not necessarily. At Tibersoft, we are, of course, providing you and your people with one place to get the information you need, easily. We are also your experts, with decades of experience at complex food manufacturers. Think of us as an extension of your team, supporting you in achieving your business initiatives.
Are you interested in learning more about how to use data to improve growth, profit, and forecasting accuracy at your own organization? We have a more detailed guide here. If you’re interested in any of our offerings, or simply want to talk directly to someone about how you can implement these changes, click here and we’ll get you connected.
As a reminder, here’s that link to the full webinar, where you can hear it straight from Tim himself.