Automatic Ice Systems is a major factory distributor of Leer Brand Ice Merchandisers.
Last week I was at the Leer factory with several members of the AIS Sales Team. Our goal was to better understand why Leer® Merchandisers are superior to other brands and to develop a marketing and sales platform to communicate why Leer is the best investment. During this process, two important concerns came to life. 1) Even though Leer has continued to promote their product improvements, they have never properly communicated a complete list of all the advantages their product offers over competitive units. 2) Very few package ice producers, and distributors, track the cost of ownership of their ice merchandising units. As for the first concern, we are working on a complete list of product improvements Leer has initiated over the past several years. I think most packaged ice suppliers will be surprised how many important improvements Leer has brought to the market in recent history. When viewed as a group this is an impressive list. These value added improvements are the result of Leer listening to the customers. I hope to share this list soon.
Switching to the second concern, let’s touch on the cost of ownership. What is the true cost of your ice merchandising units? Merchandiser cost is much more than the initial purchasing expense. Better merchandisers cost more money to purchase, but these better units will always prove to be a superior investment. Cost of ownership includes, among other things, cost of maintenance. Merchandiser maintenance and the associated cost in down time, lost product, and unhappy retailer frustrations are real factors that should be considered when purchasing ice merchandisers. Just one additional service call can justify the premium investment in Leer. Factor longevity into the equation and I can’t understand why anyone would choose any other brand. I challenge your company to track the cost of ownership of all your merchandiser units. Record the unit serial number, location, parts replaced, associated labor, lost product, lost sales, and any other item that would add to the cost of ownership. A simple spread sheet, and a little extra effort, will help your company better manage these ongoing investments. Controlling cost is rarely about getting the best price. Controlling cost is about making the right investment.