Sales & Marketing Manager Steven Pofcher of Channel Manufacturing recently visited our offices for a Content Review Workshop (CRW). In a CRW, manufacturers meet with our Content staff to go over best practices that can help optimize their products’ presence in the AQ Catalog. They also meet with our Customer Support and Product Management departments to review AQ’s newest features, capabilities and releases.
Channel manufactures high-quality aluminum and stainless steel carts, racks, shelving, dollies and other storage and transport equipment used in restaurants, bakeries, hospitals, schools, stadiums, supermarkets and other institutions.
Steven actually began his career in the music business – he ran a chain of record stores, as well as managing and promoting local bands. The business and marketing end appealed to him, so after earning an MBA from Boston University, Steven worked for large advertising agencies in New York City. After leaving the advertising business, Steven went on to marketing positions at global companies such as Lysol, Maxell and several foodservice equipment (FES) companies. He’s been with Channel for just over a year.
It was at one of these first FES companies that Steven heard of AutoQuotes. Henry Motes, one of AutoQuotes founders (and father of AutoQuotes founder Kent Motes) repeatedly called Steven, asking him to publish in those early AQ Catalogs. “We became friends over the phone, and I even looked forward to Henry’s calls.” says Steven. “I was interested, but the company was hesitant about the new technology.” A later FES company, with Steven’s input, signed up for AQ. “It’s an amazing system,” says Steven.
At Channel, Steven uses AQ in a number of ways every day. He prepares quotes, retrieves information and specs, benchmarks Channel products against other manufacturers, and analyzes the competition. “Often a customer will contact me, asking if we have a product similar to a competitor’s,” says Steven. “I can use the AQ Catalog to compare, match, and offer them a Channel product that meets the specifications.”
Steven works with AQ Content Manager Nancy Nelson, CFSP. “AutoQuotes is a very thorough company,” says Steven. “Information is double and triple cross-checked. Nancy and the rest of the AQ team are very knowledgeable about foodservice equipment in general and specifically Channel Mfg. products.”
What trends has Steven seen in the foodservice market? “I see a return to what I refer to as ‘value and total cost of ownership,’” says Steven. “For example, a number of years ago, we saw a large influx of knock-down bun pan racks from China. They were cheaper in price, and cheaper in quality. Buyers jumped on these inexpensive racks. But, the quality was bad and foodservice venues had to constantly replace them because they kept breaking. Channel racks may not always be the lowest cost, but they are built with the customer in mind with our high quality standards. Buyers now realize it is not only about the initial cost, but they now look for a high value, long-lasting product.”
Thank you Steven, for coming to our offices. If you’re a manufacturer that publishes in the AQ Catalog and would like more information on our Content Review Workshops, please contact your Content Account Manager for dates and details. “The two days I was at AutoQuotes was time very well spent,” says Steven.