When I was the in-house Quality Assurance Manager for a 175 –unit franchise group in four states I made hundreds of visits to all of the units with a very focused visit agenda. Many times I identified issues that needed to be addressed. The company structure was such that I had access to numerous internal resources. I would instruct managers to call HR, Risk Management, maintenance, POS, etc. When I started my own business I was suddenly without all of that key support. It is in my nature to try to help the unit managers meet their business needs. Since I have become so specialized the most efficient and cost-effective way for me to assist is to direct food business owners and operators to a trusted resource pool that I know will meet the needs of my customers, clients and colleagues.
I have assembled people I have known for more than 15 years, as well as professionals I continue to meet. How large will our Resource Pool become? That completely depends on how many needs operators have. Every time we identify a specific need, we will source a qualified expert to take care of it.
We have a vetting process to determine the fit for potential partners that includes several meetings with leadership and a mixture of current partners. We are always happy to meet new professionals so that we can understand what unique support they might bring to our clients and customers.
How we do business
Every partner in the TouchPoint Resource Pool has their own business or association to manage. Each one has processes, procedures and customer service protocols that set them apart from their competition. We completely understand how valuable customers are and we are absolutely committed to proving excellent support when another partner has a client with a need outside our own expertise area.
When a food business operator contacts the TouchPoint Resource Pool it is often for direction, advice, a bid, a second quote, or just as a sounding board. TouchPoint does not have a payroll, so we generally do not pay partners for their time. That means that each partner has their own fee structure. Of course there is NO COST to contact us.
When a business comes to TouchPoint, there is an established process. We welcome the opportunity to engage in the conversation that will actually work toward resolving the situation. It is our commitment to help you to increase your productivity while decreasing your risk.
Here are the steps we follow.
Listen We will let you explain your situation, need or goal. We will ask questions so we can best understand. It is important to take a enough time with this step so that the next steps are meaningful.
Advise Once we understand your situation, the next step is to tell you from our best professional perspective what you need to do. This step is very concise and we will help you to narrow your focus. Most often the answer will be “Based on my experience you will need to…” Sometimes there will be choices to be made. Listening should help to narrow the choices and we want to remove the gray as much as possible. Depending on the professional and licensing restrictions the partners may have, the amount of direction may vary.
Propose After making clear to you what needs to be done, the next step is to propose how the TouchPoint partner will be able to meet your need. You should understand that the partner will explain what they can do for you, how the working relationship goes, and what the cost will be. If you are in a business or are preparing to start a business you understand this is an important step. It is crucial that you have an understanding of the cost so you can accurately plan your business budget.
AT THIS POINT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER THE PROPOSAL AND RESPOND TO THE PARTNER. We completely understand that you may decide on an alternate plan or option, and that is fine. We are still happy to work with you at any time and go through the first three steps as your business grows and changes.
Consult When you reach an agreement and enter the relationship, the Partner(s) will work with you to make sure the product or service is delivered, providing their expertise and guidance.
Train We make sure that you understand the product and its procedures. Sometimes the deliverable is an actual training class for staff or managers.
Implement Depending on the agreement your relationship might include ongoing support and consultation to make sure that the equipment, software, behaviors, etc are working effectively to meet your needs.
Audit There are times when periodic, targeted audits can be useful to determine how the business is operating. If requested, many of our partners are able to perform audits in their disciplines. Examples include food safety, HACCP, alcohol handling, food cost analysis, HR audits, OSHA audits, cash management, etc.
Defend Food businesses are subject to regulation in many areas. We have many partners who speak the “legalese” of the regulators who do the inspections. We are in many cases available to sit down with you to work with regulators for clarity of interpretation and agreement in process.
How we work together
Each one of our partners has their own business and their own customers. The mission of TouchPoint Resource Pool is to allow each partner to offer yet one more valuable support tool to their customers. We don’t compete for business, we enhance each others’ offerings. As we interact with our customers we listen to pick up on additional business needs or stress. All TouchPoint partners have been vetted and we have a level of trust within the group that allows us to feel completely confident when we refer a customer further into the Pool.
A client contacts our commercial property realtor intending to buy a neighborhood bar. The realtor has a short checklist of services and organizational needs that this client might need as they go through the process. The realtor recommends the beverage menu and alcohol training support partner as well as the depository banker and the merchant services partner.
A person wanting to start a food production business on a small scale contacts our retired regulator for some advice. The regulator walks them through the process. Introductions to the group include HACCP plan writing, lab testing for products and surfaces, and a plan reviewer who can help shorten the time for approval by the state plan reviewers.
An independent restaurant operator is struggling to build sales and flow through of the business cash. Our operations consultant works with them to review the menu, the pricing, hours of operations, and staffing issues. In the process they make the connection to the CPA, the background check service, and the entire Marketing Function to formulate a viable plan.
These are but a few examples of how we work together to support any food business that has a need. We know that our customers have great passion for the work they do. They all want to succeed and prosper. Nobody in the business has the time, the energy, nor the proficiency to do everything necessary to take care of their business. We let our customers focus on what they do best while we take care of those other details.
Contact us with your general or specific need. All inquiries are held in confidence as requested.