Guest Blog: Come Right Down To It

Dec. 29, 2016
Since I left high school, I have been a route driver. First on a vending route and now on an OCS route. I like the freedom to begin my workday before the crack of dawn, before there are too many other vehicles on the road.

Editor’s Note: Route drivers are an integral part of each operation. NAMA and Michigan State University have a first-of-its kind survey of route drivers underway.  As an industry leader, please add your valuable input.  Please contact Dr Ron Cichy, O.M., NCE5 at [email protected] and he will get you started.  Each survey takes less than 8 minutes.  Help the industry understand service quality improvements. Thank you.

Since I left high school, I have been a route driver.  First on a vending route and now on an OCS route.  I like the freedom to begin my workday before the crack of dawn, before there are too many other vehicles on the road. 

I drive a different route each day of the week.  I like that variety.  I also like the different people I meet, young and old, who work in the businesses that utilize my services.  When they are on my route, they do not have to worry about their products being stocked.  I take particular pride in not running out of products on a client’s site, yet not overloading them with so much product that they do not have room to store it.  It is a fine balance I learned from experience.

Office Coffee Service

We deliver much more than coffee today, including water, juices, snacks, and SERVICE.  Each site has its own personality based on the people who work there.  SERVICE – that is the name of the game.  In my experience, people are willing to pay more when the products and services they receive exceed what they first thought they would get; in other words, their expectations.   

I just plain like my life.  With my schedule I can be home in the afternoon to go watch my daughter take her martial arts class at the SODA Academy.  I can also go watch my son play soccer after school.  I just go in earlier on those days.  The boss is fine with that as long as I get my work done and my clients are satisfied. 

I remember the old timer who trained me saying: “You have a lot of leeway with your schedule so long as you git your work done first.”  So in a way I earned my schedule freedom.  Route driving is hard physically and mentally.  You have got to load and lift and carry.  Counting is big since it applies to products into and out of my truck and into my machines.  Cash control is included in my responsibilities for some of the sites. 

Attention to detail is a must when I am out driving on the road, at each stop I make, and with each person I meet.  I represent the company out here and my driving habits and friendliness make me who I am.  My driving habits are skills built over the last eight years as a route driver.  And I reckon that my friendliness comes from my MA, who always gave a person a smile even before she spoke to that person.  MA was a friendly sort who everyone liked.

MA liked people and the OCS business is a people business.  We rely on people to sign on to offer our products and services to the talent in their organization.  That talent, if satisfied with our products and services, has an attitude that makes them more self-confident and willing to work together.  We contribute to how people feel about their organization.  When you come right down to it, it is all about people. 

About the Authors

Greg Sidwell, NCE5, CCS is president/CEO of G & J Marketing and Sales.

Dr. Ronald F. Cichy, NCE5, O.M. is a professor in The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University.   

ID 148232917 © Tang90246 | Dreamstime.com
Photo 88890253 | Acquisition © Encho Enevski | Dreamstime.com
Apex Restaurant & Market Solutions