Restaurants, bars and craft breweries across the country continue to reopen their doors and invite their customer back for in-person service. This has resulted in tremendous operator growth and an increased demand for a variety of products, including everything from paper products and plateware, to glassware and kitchen equipment, both large and small.
However, due to the lasting effects of a global pandemic, as well as the difficulties of working within the growing confines of an industry-wide supply chain crisis, procuring many of these items is taking significantly longer than in years’ past. As a result, Boelter’s internal sales team has developed a new Standard Operating Procedure that is determined to stay up to date on product quantity and availability as a means to continuously serve our customers.
Working closely between sales and supply continues to be the best opportunity to overcome these supply shortage issues. During this challenging time, Boelter has had to pivot and focus on becoming stronger problem solvers; working closely with the customer to identify alternate (and available) product solutions that will help them through the coming weeks and months.
In the short-term, and until the markets stabilize, Boelter continues to identify every opportunity by which we can better manage the current situation. It has since become our primary goal to exhibit greater agility and adjust our procurement strategies and tactics (sometimes on a daily basis), all while continuously focusing on the needs of our customers.
How Boelter is Mitigating Risk
Communication is key! Working closely between the various supply chains and Boelter’s Product Teams, Contract Teams, and Customer Service and Sales, communication remains the number one priority – communication within Boelter’s organization, between Boelter and our various suppliers and, most importantly, with our valued customers.
We are taking a much more proactive stance in the face of these supply and shipping issues. While it will always be difficult to completely avoid reactive responses in this environment, Boelter is taking the necessary steps to better discipline ourselves in order to maintain a focus on “today’s” needs in order to prepare for the next industry season. Making accurate plans and predictions today will undoubtedly establish a stronger foundation for the near future.
Boelter understands how important it is to obtain greater quantities of our orders to better ensure stock availability. As such, we are increasing purchase quantities, wherever and whenever we can. As these increased orders are received, we are quickly expediting them for our customers, sending them the products that they need most.
This also speaks to planning more efficiently, looking ahead and potentially beating the next product rush by evaluating and fully understanding seasonal trends. For example, the transition to cooler temperatures in the coming months is a good reason to begin stocking up on products more often consumed in the fall and winter before they are added to the growing list of products that may become more difficult to procure in the future.
Our Message to You
In the last 18 months we’ve heard this many times before, but it still rings true today – “We are all in this together!” We are all dealing with the same supply-chain issues and need to work as a team to see this through to the end. Although the industry continues to struggle, Boelter is determined and dedicated to meeting the demands of our customers and to continue to service them in a manner that reflects our more than 90 years in business. Through continued, two-way communication we are doing everything possible to get through this difficult time because we understand the importance that through food and beverage we connect lives in meaningful ways.
Chris Orbaugh is the Vice President of Sales with The Boelter Companies and has more than 30 years in the Foodservice Industry. Prior to Boelter, Chris was the Vice President of the Western Region with RJ Schinner, Phoenix, AZ. Chris resides in Oconomowoc, WI with his wife, Lorrie.
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