You may already have a Facebook Business page to create posts for your business. You may even have set up Facebook Ads manager to run campaigns. But you haven’t truly stood on the shoulders of giants until you’ve integrated Facebook Business Manager into your social media operations. Here’s how to get started:
Facebook may have generated unfavorable press in 2018 because of its data collection policies, but it’s still a firm favorite among small businesses in search of new customers. The evidence is compelling. There are more than 50 million Business pages on Facebook, with 80% of small businesses having already established a presence.
Digital technology and automation might have been slow to make their presence felt in the commercial cleaning industry, but adoption is now rapid given the cost and efficiency benefits delivered. In some cases, technology innovations are not simply being adapted to suit buildings—they are being designed into them from inception. As commercial cleaning enters the realm of Industry 4.0—incorporating the Internet of Things and cloud computing—it is not just those at the sharp end of the sector who must keep up to speed. Those who supply it can benefit if they too are ready to adapt.
On the surface, the commercial cleaning services market appears to be in relatively robust health. In fact, the sector is expected to be worth $74.3 million globally by 2022. Why is it, then, that few managers of the 54,000+ independent building service contractors (BSCs) in the U.S. will be celebrating? Why are so few of the key customers of janitorial and housekeeping products banking on growth in the years ahead?
The business-to-business (B2B) wholesale market is valued at a staggering $7.7 trillion worldwide. To earn a bigger slice of this pie, there is relentless pressure on wholesale distributors to differentiate themselves in a competitive market. This means that distributors are increasingly taking inspiration from the successes of the business-to-consumer (B2C) sector in customer service, user experience, and ease of purchasing. In this respect, one of the key trends in the B2B sector is the rise of digitalization and eCommerce. These are essential pillars of B2C growth that B2B wholesalers can adopt to establish a competitive advantage in logistics. The pace of change, however, is breathtaking: In the U.S. food service industry alone, digital penetration is predicted to reach 70% by 2019, compared to 50% now. Looking forward, wholesalers should have an eCommerce strategy in place to migrate conventional operations to a digital platform. But first, let’s define eCommerce and the new digital journey available in wholesale purchasing.
If the prediction from a recent Nielsen report that up to 70 percent of groceries in the U.S. will be purchased online by 2023 doesn’t ring alarm bells, the growing presence of Amazon and others in the sector should at least indicate that a sea change is under way. Traditional food service distribution faces one of its biggest challenges to date with the emergence of global, digitally driven competitors poised to cannibalize the sector. Independent food service distributors must act quickly to remain competitive by exploring the benefits of a data-driven distribution model. Thankfully, the digital transformation journey is less complex than many challenges the sector has conquered to date.
A look at the top food service trends for the year ahead reveals the resilience of the industry in the face of economic or political uncertainty. Faithful to the principles of the so-called “lipstick effect,” consumers might be prepared to tighten the belt in some areas, but remain reluctant to sacrifice simple pleasures. In fact, dining out grew globally at 5.6% in 2017, and will continue to do so as markets in Asia and the Middle East join mature markets in Europe and North America.
In the search to create menus that convert, food service operators know that the “farm to fork” narrative resonates well with customers, meaning a large proportion of the budget is allocated to higher-value proteins and fresh produce. But for their specialist suppliers, dependent on a limited number of product lines, lack of diversity leaves profit margins dangerously exposed. As a result, independent suppliers face a choice between lowering prices to remain competitive, or expanding inventory across verticals to remain agile. Typically, that means a transition from center-of-plate to broadline distribution.
The food service industry is infamous for its tight margins, high overheads, and dramatic turnover rates within the first few years. Yet overall growth remains strong. Never before have consumers had such a choice of niche, independent businesses, or large chain franchises.