Marcia Gibbons’ goal has always been to work in the foodservice industry. While completing a marketing degree from The Ohio State University, she was able to get her feet wet as an inventory control supervisor at a Columbus hospital.
Gibbons is known for being very open minded and curious about the various foodservice equipment and supply items that help create solutions for her customers. In fact, Gibbons’ colleagues note that she is able to turn problems into opportunities.
FE&S: After 21 years working for a foodservice equipment and supplies dealer, what makes you so enthusiastic about the industry?
MG: I really enjoy working with my customers. The day-to-day contact is what makes my job so satisfying. Also, working with vendors and vendor reps makes it a great experience.
FE&S: In the event things don’t go as planned with a project or delivery, describe your approach to resolving the situation.
MG: If something doesn’t go as planned, I first try to solve the problem. It is important to involve my customer to help work through the issue. For example, if there is a problem getting a product due to a manufacturer issue, I need to come up with options for my customer. I am dealing with this situation right now and the manufacturer is getting a substitute item the foodservice operator can use in the interim until the desired product is available.
FE&S: Tabletop is one area about which you seem passionate. What do you like most about it?
MG: I like the variety and creativity in working with the tabletop. There are so many options in china, glassware, flatware and tabletop accessories. I enjoy helping customers design tabletops that work with their concept and makes them proud.
FE&S: How important is developing and maintaining your product knowledge when it comes to serving customers?
MG: Product knowledge is very important. It’s crucial to inform customers about new products that are launched. It’s one of the most significant aspects of my job and I try to stay on top of this area.
FE&S: You’ve been with the company 21 years. How have you evolved professionally over that time?
MG: Definitely my degree of product knowledge has evolved throughout the years. Also, I now know where to turn to get answers, whether it is contacting vendors, vendor reps or people within The Wasserstrom Co. My relationships with customers also has evolved and become an important part of my success.
FE&S: What tool or technology is invaluable to you and why?
The Wasserstrom Co. is very forward thinking in terms of technology, providing the most current systems available. I can’t imagine going back to the way it used to be. The information and reports that we can give our customers are invaluable to them. My laptop and cell phone are important tools that provide information and contact with my customers at all times. It is also helpful in getting instant information from our vendors to pass along to my customers.