Education Key to Maintaining Expertise 

Tim O’Connor
Managing Editor and Communications Manager, FEDA

When a restaurant operator needs something, whether it be advice on what kind of refrigeration to install or emergency help getting their oven back up and running, they want an expert that can support them. It’s this knowledge and ability that makes distributors and dealers invaluable within the foodservice equipment space.

To maintain that expertise, FE&S professionals should be on constant lookout for learning opportunities. Enter FEDA’s new Learn Institute, which offers webinars and other online learning resources. This upcoming resource will help distributors stay on top of the industry and gain in-depth knowledge about products from partner manufacturers.

The FEDA Learn Institute will be home to other kinds of education as well. A common challenge we hear from members is that they don’t know where to start when it comes to digital marketing. The sheer number of platforms and myriad different ways to interact with potential customers is daunting and difficult to comprehend especially for someone new to digital marketing. It’s why digital marketing is one of the first topics the FEDA Learn Institute will tackle through programs from Corporate Strategies & Solutions and the Digital Marketing Institute. This issue of FEDA News & Views dives deeper into the subject on page 20, explaining how distributors and dealers can use digital marketing to target specific customers and measure the effectiveness of different campaigns.

Of course, many other outstanding resources for learning are available, such as the University of Innovative Distribution (UID), which will be held in Indianapolis this March. The four-day event features sessions from 33 faculty members covering nearly every topic and challenge facing distributors in our changing, technology-fueled landscape. As part of its support for the event, FEDA provides scholarships to employees from FEDA member companies to attend the UID this year the association will be sending a group of 22 learners to the event. As explained in our cover story, the UID is expanding its efforts in 2020 beyond the four-day program to offer year-round learning opportunities through the creation of a webinar series and a blog that will build upon the topics and discussions presented in Indianapolis.

As our industry continues to evolve, dealers and distributors will need to continue their education to keep pace. We hope that this issue will serve as a guide and inspiration for how you can keep your business ahead of the pace of change and at the forefront of developing your team members.