Nick Taylor, CFSP, KaTom Restaurant Supply
KaTom Restaurant Supply in Kodak, Tenn.After a significant relocation from Southern California to Eastern Tennessee, Nick Taylor found himself at a career crossroads. With his family in tow, he was looking for new opportunities, and then he met Patricia Bible, CEO of
“It was the right place at the right time,” Taylor recalls. “I met Patricia Bible outside of work, and she invited me in to see KaTom. The company was looking to start a new division.”
When Taylor visited KaTom, he was hooked. He accepted a position five years ago, and he has never looked back. As director of outside sales, he manages his own book of business, which includes emerging chains, group purchasing organizations and other high-volume customers. A large part of KaTom’s continuing growth in the industry, Taylor also leads a very active and tight-knit sales team.
Here, Taylor discusses what it was like getting up to speed on a new industry, the importance of customer interaction and more.
Q: How has what customers are asking from you and your team evolved in the past couple of years?
A: It’s important to remember that every customer in this industry is different. In general, we try to look at timing points with respect to each customer and help to organize the customers’ quarterly and yearly reviews. On the food side of the business, people typically only look to change their suppliers when something negative happens. On the equipment side, it may occur when there’s a new build or some other big event. Because these circumstances can be so overwhelming, you want to have contact with customers at those critical timing points. In our customer relationship management system, we look to document those conversations, outline the next steps and fulfill the needs of the customer. We take all of that information and create a custom plan for each of our customers to ensure we’ve pinpointed all the ways we can add value. In these situations, communication gives people organization, and organization gives people perspective and peace of mind.
Q: How are you and your team addressing supply chain issues with your customers?
A: Purchasing and communication. If you buy in bulk, you won’t have as many supply chain problems, and in order to do that, you need sufficient cash flow and warehousing. Once an order is placed, getting as much information as possible to a customer about lead times is crucial. Knowing the timeline allows customers to make decisions surrounding their purchase, like whether to keep or replace an item. The majority of the problems in this industry are miscommunication, whether intentional or unintentional. So, it’s important to begin with the end goal in mind and map out the project from there.
Q: What’s one thing that excites you about the foodservice industry?
A: Guest experiences are being elevated, big time, and it certainly carries over into our industry. When you have someone come over to your home for dinner, what do you want to hear? You want them to say, “Wow! that was great,” and the same line of thinking applies to our customers. Experience and convenience through selecting the right equipment and supplies go hand in hand, and it’s exciting.
Nick Taylor, CFSP of KaTom Restaurant Supply, sits down with Jason Wange, Foodservice Powerplant Network, to talk about being named an FE&S DSR of the Month.
Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Presents DSR 3-2-1 is sponsored by Salvajor.