In this exclusive Q&A series, operators gain behind-the-scenes insight into our unique distributor partnerships.
At Henny Penny, we go to market differently than most equipment manufacturers. Through our network of distributor experts, we’re able to provide hands-on-support before, during, and after purchase and installation. Our distributors are in the field everyday solving customer challenges and demonstrating that cooking precision and consistency lead to both quality food and operational savings.
Operators around the world count on Henny Penny distributors. In Australia and New Zealand, they count on J.L. Lennard, founded in 1879 and one of Australia’s oldest family-owned businesses!
J.L. Lennard imports and distributes a range of products from world-renowned manufacturers in Europe, America and Japan. The company became a Henny Penny distributor in 1994 and has six total locations between Australia and New Zealand.
Get to know J.L Lennard:
What is your corporate vision and strategy?
With dedicated national account and local sales teams in each major city across Australia and New Zealand, we take pride in offering our customers a total solution for all their capital equipment requirements.
From the initial face-to-face consultation through the development and implementation of the right equipment, we also provide training and responsive after-sales service and preventative maintenance programs.
To keep equipment operating at its best, we have service technicians in each major city, along with locally stocked spare parts.
Given that our company has been in operation for over 140 years, it’s fair to say that everything we do is based on building successful long-term partnerships, and we highly value our supplier, employee, and customer relationships. This approach has been central to our success and we look forward to a bright future based on always going the extra mile to ensure we exceed expectations.
How many people do you employ?
We have a team of 100 people in Australia and 20 in New Zealand.
Approximately 25% of our team is in Sales, 50% in Service and Spare Parts and 25% in Management, Administration and Purchasing roles.
What is unique about your territory?
The physical size of Australia makes it challenging to supply and service our customers.
If you lay Australia over America on a map, you will see that we have a huge country with a very low-density population (apart from Sydney and Melbourne). With five branches in Australia and one in New Zealand, we’re able to provide superior service across the territory.
What foodservice sector are you primarily focused on?
We sell to all sectors but QSR, Small Chains, Chicken, Pizza, Treat, Supermarkets and Burger Shops are our main focus.
What is your favorite Henny Penny product to sell and why?
Evolution Elite Open Fryers as they are a perfect fit for the QSR environment. Between oil savings, quality improvements and staff safety, the Evolution Elite just makes sense.
Who are your key customers and what equipment do they use?
Key accounts include Hungry Jacks, Red Rooster, Nene Chicken, McDonald’s, KFC, GYG Mexican, and Nando’s, just to name a few. Since most of these are in the QSR segment, we see a lot of kitchens with Evolution Elite fryers!
Long-term partners of ours include McDonald’s, KFC and Hungry Jacks.
What % of your business does Henny Penny represent?
Normally Henny Penny represents 20-30% of our business, although given we are rolling out close to 1,000 fryers and holding cabinets for Red Rooster, it’s going to be higher than that this year.
Could you share what kind of onboarding process you’ve put in place to support Red Rooster?
We have a dedicated person responsible for roll out administration for Red Rooster. As there are 350 total stores, 2 suppliers, and over 900 pieces of equipment, it is critical to have one person that can change and adapt orders to meet ever-changing customer needs. We have a delivery and training structure that simply needs to be communicated to our team for each install, and from there the plan just falls into place.
How do you manage to earn so many new customers? What’s your secret weapon?
Understanding the customers’ needs and expectations is critical; sometimes we understand what they need more than they do. We try to solve customers’ problems rather than trying to sell them something. Henny Penny is simply the best equipment in certain applications, e.g. fried chicken and if you want the best fried chicken then you will need the best equipment to cook and hold it. When we have the best solution for the customers’ need then the sales process is not at all difficult.
The secret weapon is not allowing the customer to make a bad decision. To be the best, you need the best equipment in the market, and we don’t let our customers settle for second best. If you set yourself up for failure, you’re likely to succeed at only one thing and that is failure. Set yourself up to succeed from the beginning, plan to be the best, and buy the equipment that will get you there.
To learn more about J.L Lennard, visit their website.
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