Relying on Dealers to Carry Our Message to Market

Kevin Clark
Welbilt, an Ali Group Company

 Some of today’s operators are looking for more comprehensive services and, in response, many dealers are expanding their services and capabilities. At Welbilt, we have seen successful, growing dealers across the industry develop a better understanding of the specific needs of their targeted customer base, as opposed to the “one size fits all” strategy. As a manufacturer with our name on the product, it helps us and our reputation in the market that our products are properly specified, installed and demonstrated. We strive to support and reward that activity.

As a group of manufacturers serving a diverse and broad end-user base, we rely on trained dealers and dealer salespeople to carry our message to the market. Across both the Welbilt and legacy Ali Group brands, we have been investing in a variety of training tools and methods, like our hands-on roadshow program, to better arm dealers with pertinent information that helps us both succeed in the market. We value the time and effort our key dealers spend learning the features and benefits of our products.

With Welbilt becoming part of Ali Group in July 2022, we are poised to work even more closely with dealers and operators. The consolidation of this powerful global foodservice equipment entity has equipped Welbilt with an understanding of the diverse nature of foodservice equipment manufacturing inherent to the Ali Group DNA. We know that much like dealers, our manufacturers are diverse in their segments served, their needed support services and even their key target markets. By pushing the decision-making back to the brands and closer to the market, we feel our brands can better serve the end user and their dealer partners. We are already seeing the benefits of this more local and thus more responsive decision-making across the organization.

Welbilt is a collection of manufacturers, each with unique challenges and needs. The acquisition and management changes will allow our manufacturing plants to respond better to external and internal challenges, whether those are labor, supply chain or market issues. We believe in more transparency and communication of how we can work together to serve the changing and challenging needs of operators. This will inevitably lead to some shifts as I feel manufacturers have to be more strategic in choosing their dealer partners just as dealers need to be more strategic in choosing their key manufacturers. We strive to move from transactional relationships to strategic ones.

Innovation is core to Welbilt’s — and Ali Group’s — product offering, and that innovation often comes from market need. While there are many industry challenges, our focus is, therefore, on the labor issue and how our innovative products and a forward-looking strategy can provide proven and practical solutions to the issues facing today’s foodservice market. We encourage dealers to pay close attention to this to help communicate these trends to the market.