On paper, success is the culmination of choices that seem obvious— at least in retrospect. Take, for example, our biggest accomplishments from 2020:
- We secured the first COVID-relief federal grant for small businesses, and used that money to hold down payroll, ensure security of supply, cover warehousing and double down on drop shipping where needed.
- We reinvested in our promise of essential products for an exceptional value: reasonable prices, exceedingly quick shipping, and new product development took center stage.
- We maintained great partnerships, communicating with our dealers and end-users to keep their orders on-track and affordable even when global shortages put the squeeze on the industry as a whole.
Essentialware wasn’t immune to the pandemic’s setbacks, but we believe all our successes are attributable to one good idea: listening to you, our customers.
You told us to invest in unmet needs—
Not just today, but well into the future.
During our slow time we focused on readying ourselves for the resurgence of business that began building in the spring and summer of 2020. Our extra downtime went towards understanding unmet industry needs, conducting interviews and collecting firsthand experiences from owners, operators, and employees to develop new product concepts for the future of the commercial food service industry.
Here’s what we learned:
What’s most important to you is customization, security of supply, and high quality products that maximize ROI.
- We invested in converting equipment, bolstering our custom program in order to get more product to you in less time.
- More drop shipping, increased inventories, and investment in warehousing. We went big even when you needed to keep orders small. We figured if you can count on us to have the right products at the right time, you won’t have to keep 3 months’ supply on hand.
- Our goal to produce products to OEM specs at lower up-front costs for best ROI was more relevant and essential than ever.
You told us what you care about. Thanks!
When inventory was slim, you stuck with us—
We’ve been asked how we strengthened our position to support the supply chain. The answer is, we did a few things others saw as risky, and in combination they paid off. We shipped product as soon as we got it. While others were trimming their inventory, we increased our holdings to better serve a demand we knew would spring back. When customers needed product we didn’t have on-hand in our warehouse, we drop-shipped direct from suppliers. We honored pricing with no surcharges, absorbing significant margin hits in order to cover our customers despite supply chain challenges.
It’s all about better serving customers, and we got through to our people to assure them that we weren’t going anywhere. As long as our customers were at work—and many of them are essential workers—so were we. We grew because our customers knew they could rely on us.
You kept all our people on payroll—
From 2019 to 2021, Essentialware met our year-over-year growth goals. That growth reflected our team’s dedication, and we compensated them accordingly. We paid our people full time wages during the shut-downs, even when we did not have full time work. That paid off handsomely. We’re proud to report we did not lose a single employee. In fact, we reinvested in our people and expertise, more than doubling our staff in order to better serve you.
It works because all flourishing is mutual. You supported us, now we’re working on ways to better support you. We’ll share more on that in the near future.
Essentialware is a family-owned and operated business. Our values are reinforced in and out of the office, on holidays and weekends, and it drives our motivation to see everyone succeed. We show up for our partners in commercial food service the same way, recognizing that value is more than offering the lowest price. It’s about providing an experience of excellence that makes operations easier, quicker, and healthier.