Countless buying guides tell you how to choose your compressor type and ice type, but they don’t tell you the innovations ice machines have seen over the past few years. From new internal systems to energy improvements, you’d be surprised how much has changed from the machine you purchased years ago!
If you have an ice machine, you know how critical it is to your operation. New diagnostic systems constantly monitor and store information about the mechanics of your unit. When a problem does arise, it can be addressed immediately and effectively by reviewing stored information – reducing your maintenance costs and downtime.
This information can also be used to:
Easy to read displays take the guessing game out of the status of your machine. Alerts that are written in plain English simplify the diagnostics procedure. Are you always forgetting to change your water filter? No problem! The display will notify users when filters need changed or the machine needs descaled or sanitized. Some models can even send you an email or text message.
Ice machine manufacturers are constantly making strides to improve energy efficiency. There are now products available that recycle the unit’s waste water. Instead of going down a drain, cold waste water is sent to a holding tank. Fresh water is funneled through this tank in a fully enclosed channel, cooling incoming water before it even enters the ice machine. This helps:
With all the improvements in ice machines it would be worth looking into an upgrade to your machine. Clark Food Service Equipment can help with energy analysis to give insight to the potential savings you could see with a new model.
One of the first things I learned when studying Business Leadership was the importance of Strategic Planning. However, there is one thing more important than Strategic Planning; the need for a Strategic Vision prior to developing a Strategic Plan.
So first, let’s understand the definitions…
Strategic means gaining a position of advantage over the best emerging possibilities. It’s more about choosing from a set of options or choices rather than a fixed idea.
Vision has been described as the art of seeing the invisible. It’s a dream or a mental picture that a leader has for the future direction of their organization. It requires a set of ideas, imagination and the courage to face the darkness of the unknown; to distinguish the outlines of possibilities – outlines that turn into brilliant pictures of the future as they develop over time.
Planning is a method or system of achieving objectives that is worked out in advance.
Strategic Vision followed by Strategic Planning doesn’t have to be overwhelming. These processes afford an opportunity to organize the strengths of the present in order to lessen the impact of weaknesses in the upcoming years.
Simple Step’s for Success in Developing a solid Strategic Vision and subsequent Strategic Plan
1. Start by asking the Right Questions
Peter Drucker said of outstanding leaders, “They know how to ask questions – the right questions.” From those questions come ideas that will help you form a vision for the future direction of your organization.
2. Develop the Vision
A great leader creates an effective vision that becomes a living reality which ties into the Corporate Vision and shares that vision clearly with all employees.
3. State the Vision
4. Develop the Strategic Plan based on the Strategic Vision
Move from visionary, concept-based ideas into operational planning. Develop practical, logistically-based details that hold together the support system that makes the dream a reality.
5. Implement the Plan and then Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Inadequate implementation planning will nullify a good strategic plan. It’s been said that it’s better to adequately implement a fair plan than to inadequately implement a great plan.
Vision without Actions is a daydream – Action without Vision is a Nightmare! Japanese Proverb
No matter what industry you’re in, maximizing your Return on Investment (ROI) is key to staying ahead of your competition. Resources are scarce and proving that you can get the most bang for your operator’s buck is essential. This article will focus on just one type of investment you can make in a food service operation: capital equipment purchases.
When it comes to equipment purchases, every food service operator will need to justify a capital equipment purchase in their career. Equipment replacement can happen for a variety of reasons whether it is decreasing function or failure, pending replacement due to the age of the equipment, or acknowledging that the operational needs require a different function. So how do you determine if the equipment purchase makes financial sense in an economy that encourages purchases only when the equipment is no longer operable? Below are some recommendations I have found to be keys to success in justifying a good business decision when considering equipment purchases.
Operators that have a clear capital plan, or Capital Assessment, for replacement over several years have a greater chance for approval when the equipment is nearing its life expectancy. This allows the decision makers to plan for the future and hopefully allocate funds for the purchases. A Capital Assessment can be a detailed list, with pictures explaining the issues and projected costs for replacement five or more years into the future.
So now that you’ve taken the surprise factor out of the capital purchase through a multiyear capital assessment, its time to further justify the purchase through demonstrating a positive ROI. The ROI calculation is based on how long it will take to earn back — in the savings generated — the cost of the investment required to purchase a piece of equipment. Normally, a payback period of three to five years is considered acceptable and a good investment for food service equipment.
ROI can be found in several areas:
Asking for equipment purchases doesn’t have to be difficult when you’ve done your homework. And working with an experienced partner such as Clark can make generating that homework much easier to accomplish! Although your purchase recommendations are never a guarantee, having a complete Capital Assessment and solid ROI will surely increase your chances for success.