For all reps of course the situation is not the same but there is a problem. When I make the statement there is only ten months, I am pointing out the fact that since March and the reopening of the economy deliveries have gone from our usual four to six weeks to a jaw dropping fourteen to sixteen weeks. Even longer for some products. As all reps know we get paid after the products are shipped, so that extra ten weeks has removed two months of income in 2021. The reasons for this are legion, lack of raw materials, lack of electronics, lack of insulation foam, and the list goes on. Add to that freight delays, freight cost increases and one of the most perilous problems hard to find labor. The foodservice manufacturing business is in tough shape. The prognosis is not clear, some improvements will happen after New Year but a return to normal may not be until 2023.
What can we do? Its all-hands-on deck, sales are important but when you have long deliveries, sales management is the most important. We must work closer with our supply chain, shoulder to shoulder with the factory. With dealers and end users it is all about communication, be the go-to by providing good answers and timely responses. Its hard now but it will get better, the teams that prove their value will win over the long run and we can recover those two months of missing income.
Tom can be reached at email@example.com