Clark Food Service Equipment is a food service equipment and supplies company supplying food service design and build services, equipment, smallwares, stainless steel fabrication and custom millwork.
Clark Food Service Equipment provides specialized expertise for the sophisticated operation and has built a strong reputation for its intricate knowledge of food service design and equipment expertise.
When Lorraine began to identify pain points such as capacity and the state of the industry, she decided to seek help.
“Frankly, our sales team was drowning,” Lorraine says. “We needed help – and we needed help quickly – but we needed help from qualified people and good candidates without having to walk through that messy process.”
Lorraine had a family member who had worked with BELAY through a contractor position before being hired full-time.
“The process was very easy,” Lorraine says. “I sat down with my sales team and figured out what we needed, what our big pain points were, where they were feeling the hits, and said, ‘OK, here’s our list. What can a VA do out of this list?’ And I don’t think there was anything on there that [I was told they couldn’t do].”
“At that point, it was just a matter of getting matched because I had three specific sales associates I wanted to match with assistants. I had each associate meet the BELAY team, and then they matched each one of my associates for the VA individually, and honestly, right off the bat, it was a hit for each one.”
Enter BELAY Virtual Assistants Kendra Bridwell, Julia Christie and Ravynn Rants.
“We were able to give enough background of what we do and what we’re looking for that when each one of those VAs came in, they had already met with our sales associate, they had already established some rapport there, and they were coming into it with some experience too that enabled them to get off the ground running pretty quickly,” Lorraine says.
Lorraine deemed Kendra, Julia and Ravynn as “officially unofficial team members,” inviting them to virtual team meetings, providing them with a full suite of equipment through the internal IT team, and even new-hire swag boxes.
“They are team members, and that’s how we’ve wanted to treat them and talk about their positions with us,” Lorraine explains. “So there’s buy-in on all sides. A couple of them have expressed interest in onboarding with Clark full time.”
“Each VA that we were matched with matched what we needed for the sales team member,” Lorraine says. “They came in with specific backgrounds — specific character traits even — that were so on point.”
Because of the perfect matches that were provided to Lorraine’s sales team, she and her team have been able to gain some breathing room.
“[We’re] not feeling like we’re completely underwater all the time,” Lorraine explains. “Burnout is real, so [we’re] trying to stay as far away from that as we can and still be on top of our game and productive.”
“And I think adding VAs to the team allowed some breathing space to be able to step back a little bit and see what irons are in the fire and what needs to come next versus what absolutely has to happen right now.”
Lorraine has also had success with BELAY’s referral program.
“I’ve sung the praises from the rooftops here [at Clark] and said, ‘Look, this is one of the better decisions that we’ve made in a while.’ I would do this again anytime.”
When Lorraine’s husband began to talk about needing some help at his job, she pointed him in the right direction, too.
“My husband manages a company, and he has been just drowning,” Lorraine says. “When I told him he should hire a VA, he said, ‘I just need an assistant. I need somebody to do X, Y, and Z.’
“I think he got sick of hearing me say, ‘Oh, a VA could do that.’ He finally said, ‘Send me their number. I will reach out.’”
The best part of working with BELAY for Lorraine was the easy process.
“It was a little scary at first, not having done anything like this,” Lorraine says. “You never really know when you pull the trigger on something like that, what it’s going looking like and to have that constant communication, the single point of contact on the BELAY team, the ease of which we walked through the steps and the communication around the steps before those took place — everything has been easy.”