Members of UK buying group ENSE paid a trip to Meiko’s factory in Germany last week following the warewashing manufacturer’s entrance to the consortium in August.
22 senior employees and management from 13 separate kitchen houses took part in the visit to Meiko’s Offenburg headquarters, where all of the company’s equipment is built.
Meiko’s UK managing director, Bill Downie, addressed the ENSE community in a seminar entitled ‘Creating the future together’, telling dealers that value, rather than just price, was the driving force behind success.
“Value must be driven by a commitment to quality, not only of our products and services but also the quality of relationships, communication and the commitment to each other and to our end-user customers. We must always think of quality in terms of truth and integrity, because that is what binds relationships,” he said.
Downie also slammed some of the practices that he feels are damaging the industry, including below-sensible selling prices, value engineering and the scatter-gun approach of a “number of manufacturers which offer their products to all and sundry at similar pricing levels”.
“That approach makes no consideration to the added value contributed by the professional catering equipment distributors who are, in certain circumstances, struggling to remain competitive in what is a fiercely aggressive market place,” he said.
ENSE founder, Bob Adams, accompanied dealers on the trip and he reiterated the importance of Meiko to the group. “When I look at what we have experienced over the last 24 hours – the technology plus the programme Meiko UK has put together for the ENSE dealer – I simply do not understand why a dealer would need to look elsewhere. Meiko has all the angles covered.”
The seminar outlined Meiko’s dealer policy for ENSE members, including a detailed summary of the discount structure applicable to ENSE members, retrospective rebate scheme entry levels and band percentages, and Meiko’s enhanced after-sales support, including three-year ‘all inclusive’ offers on ECO series machines and a GiO three-year ‘no bills’ all inclusive end-user offer – both of which include 500 personalised promotional leaflets.
John Penhaligon of Cornwall Catering Equipment, one of the dealers that visited the factory, said: “I knew this trip was going to be good by Meiko’s reputation and it has lived up to expectations. As a distributor it is important to have support from manufacturers who exclude the web-based dealers.”
Kid Catering Equipment’s Keith Davis, meanwhile, said the quality of the factory reflected Meiko’s brand positioning. “We look after lots of sites with a mix of undercounter and rack transport dishwashers and I know it is rare for us to attend a Meiko as a breakdown; the quality is good,” he said. “Yes, Meiko may be a premium price, but the kit offers longevity and it could be 15 years before our customers need to put their hands in their pockets again.”