Article contributed by Mike Berman, COO, Day & Nite/All Service, with Tia Tassava
If 2020 was the year we couldn’t have predicted, 2021 lines up as the year we can’t predict. Uncertainty is always the bane of annual planning and budgeting processes, making this yearly exercise simultaneously more impossible yet requiring greater precision.
Although a high percentage of companies already started their cycles earlier, 2021 planning and budgeting are now earnestly taking shape. The guidance offered way back on April 20th will help your organization best manage this daunting assignment.
Certainly, advanced analytics and sophisticated technologies have facilitated planning and budgeting over the years. But in this environment, overreliance on these tools will most likely lead to gross miscalculations. Although accumulated data serves as useful baselines, without converting to true working knowledge, uncertainties will only compound themselves closing out 2020 and entering 2021. It is safe to say we should all expect the unexpected. While even the most meticulously designed company plans are always subject to modification, the last place anyone wants to be in this highly volatile environment is constantly revising budgets—especially adjusting to wild swings. Nothing short of highly inclusive, human element-driven planning and budgeting will suffice for establishing your most secure 2021 plans.
More than any other group, vendors have the most significant potential for contributing to your most accurate and comprehensive 2021 planning. After all, vendors have lines of sight into an entire industry and are best equipped to provide meaningful trend and forecast analysis. Indeed, hospitality industry vendors will base their 2021 plans on the sector as the whole; let this holistic view of the market work for you in your planning!
We further encourage you to include respected industry vendors you may not presently work with as a control group to get the best, most complete insights. Not every (prospective) vendor is created equally or equipped to contribute to your most efficient planning and budgeting process constructively; a cattle call of vendors for these purposes is highly impractical. Qualifying vendors to beneficially participate doesn’t require a great deal of time and is essential for making this work.
To qualify for this control group, invite only inactive vendors that are known to be leaders in their field. While market share is a helpful indicator, do not solely rely on this measure—select control group vendors by their depth of exposure to your market segment.
For instance, if yours is a fine dining establishment, a recognized market leader specializing in convenience stores won’t do you much good. Equally, qualified control group vendors should have considerable resources and deep investments in technology for this to be a good use of your time. Transparency is always a business virtue; make it clear this critical session is not a sales call but an opportunity for leading members of an industry facing many uncertainties to share vital information and critical insights.
While the session may eventually lead to a formal business relationship, that’s not the purpose here. By clearly stating this intent you will immediately separate transactional companies from those truly capable of providing the keen insights needed for succeeding in an environment redefining expect the unexpected cliché.
Recognizing how important collaborative planning and budgeting is as 2020 turns the corner to 2021, the Day & Nite family of companies has set aside September and October to conduct comprehensive client review and planning sessions. While emphasizing key financial influences, notably asset management and valuation, with similarly heightened attention to the environmental, workplace, and food safety-hygiene protocols, the purpose is to best and most comprehensively inform the customer base for its optimal planning and budgeting. No less important, given Day & Nite/All Service/Popular Plumbing’s broad HVAC, Plumbing, Refrigeration, and Cooking equipment installation, maintenance, and repair business, the company uniquely offers a multi-disciplinary perspective. This is further complemented by the company’s Atlantic seaboard “Massachusetts to Miami” self-performing operation, serving a diverse restaurant, hotel, corporate dining, education, and healthcare client base. In sum, the Day & Nite family of companies is actively plugging the fullest extent of its unrivaled knowledge and resources into the customer’s planning and budgeting process.
At this most critical hospitality industry time, Day & Nite/All Service/Popular Plumbing welcomes the opportunity to share its expertise and leadership as part of any non-customer control group. “We’re all in this together” rings louder today than it did when COVID-19 first rocked our world. Being in it together compels the Day & Nite families to play its role, ensuring your 2021 plans and budgets are as precise as they must be in the face of so much uncertainty for the hospitality industry.