Quakertown Grocery Outlet, the Area’s Newest Grocery Store

In an age of cell phones and text messaging, personal touch means everything.

For the new Quakertown Grocery Outlet owners and staff, that means face-to-face customer contact is the top priority.

“Customer service is our main goal,” according to Michael Anderson, franchise owner and operator with wife Vikki Anderson of Quakertown Grocery Outlet, the area’s newest grocery store.

The Anderson’s are bringing back such old-fashioned practices as helping customers take their bagged items to the car, and walking the selling floor to help patrons find items, and get their requests and suggestions.

The car service is extremely popular, “especially women with small children or older people, they really appreciate this service we can provide for them,” Michael Anderson said. He has personally helped load customer’s cars with their grocery orders.

The pair have set the customer service bar high. “I walk around the floor, and I talk to people every day. Our staff is friendly, and they want to help our customers,” Michael Anderson said.

Quakertown Grocery Outlet is committed to providing a great customer experience, offering brand name goods at deep discounts and giving back to the community in a variety of ways.

From a strong grand opening in April, Michael Anderson said a steady stream of customers is validating his business decisions, and despite working up to 16 hour days, the new store is the Anderson’s professional dream come true.

Housed in the former Sears Hardware Store at the Trainer’s Corner Shopping Center, located at Routes 309 and 663/313, the store has been transformed with bright LED lights, high ceilings, wide aisles, and a clean, fresh look.

Their business has created 36 new full and part-time jobs, many of which are being filled with first-time workers.

“We are teaching them (first time employees) how to work,” Michael Anderson said of his management and seasoned floor staff, as they take on new hires.

In addition to working the floor and running the business, Michael and Vikki also create special, free events – mostly for youngsters. A recent Mother’s Day craft featured artificial floral bouquets tots could easily make for gifts. An upcoming “Taste of Bargains” tables, spread out throughout the store, will feature items customers may sample to get acquainted with new tastes, especially organic products, Michael Anderson said. “We have some unusual products and wanted to give people a chance to try them,” Anderson said.

Special events like the “Taste of Bargains” when offered are held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on a Saturday.

Community engagement kicked off at their grand opening, when the Anderson’s donated $1,000 of goods to the Quakertown Food Pantry, setting the tone for business and service organization relationships.

Located at 70 N. West End Boulevard, the store is a franchise of California based Grocery Outlets, Inc.

 

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Elements of Hiring, Finding the Right Fit

The right person for the job can make all the difference to a business owner’s bottom line.

But cash value isn’t the only thing employees bring to the table. Talent, skills and an authentic investment in the firm’s goods or services and corporate philosophy are soft skills often difficult to discern in a 20-minute interview, or while scanning an online resume response.

With over 70,000 job boards in the United States alone, finding the perfect job to worker match remains a challenge for most employers.

In the digital era of social media, hiring boards, Monster.com, the sheer volume of places a job seeker can look for work is often overwhelming, according to Jennifer Schultz, owner of Recruitment Queen based in Warminster.

“Advertising platforms have created too many sources,” Schultz explained.

Finding the magic blend of skills, character assets and drive still requires purposeful planning, advertising in the right places and interviewing to find the best candidate, Schultz said.

Narrowing the field to find more qualified candidates means targeting the search for workers and keeping an active pool of candidates at the ready.

Knowing where to look is half the battle. “Job seekers are so frustrated with the process, they pull out,” Schultz said.

Ask current employees for staffing recommendations, look to professional organizations or networking groups, connect with local chambers of commerce and pinpoint where best to find people from among the multitudes.

Reaching a target market might limit the amount of people but it increases the amount of qualified candidates, Schultz advised.

Some are desperate for jobs and will apply to most anything, even jobs for which they don’t qualify, Schultz said.

Targeted advertising and active recruiting- even when there are no current job openings – are in an employer’s best interests, according to Schultz.

So is transparency and making job postings easy to find.

Don’t hide the job postings, Schultz cautioned. “Often company websites hide their job postings, making them difficult to find,” Schultz said.

Capitalize on making available jobs easy to see on a website, and go the extra step. Promote work/life or flexible job options. “Who offers the most job security, who is the best company for those over 55, or for Veterans,” Schultz said.

Promoting your company’s assets and work environment to prospective employees, the way you would to customers or clients, is a perspective shift that could yield big results.

Shultz’s Tips:
1) Be thoughtful about where you recruit, target your search.

2) Brand your company. What can you offer as an employer to attract and retain talent?

3) Tell your story. Think like a job seeker, and be convincing.

4) Have an open mind: Look beyond body art and tattoos. For a potential candidate with body art, can it be covered up during the work day? Can piercings be removed? Tattoos are so widespread, they shouldn’t be a deal breaker for a qualified job candidate,” Schultz said.

Member Spotlight – Pulse Technologies

A global company in the advanced technology medical device and contract manufacturing and engineering services industry makes its home in Upper Bucks. Based in Milford Township, Pulse Technologies is a major player in the area’s economy and a global player in the medical device, component and assembly industry.

“What sets us apart is quality, service, technology and commitment,” said Pulse Technologies Director of Global Sales and Marketing Robert Madigan.

Specialized customer service is required by the Pulse Technologies’ team because of the niche industry the firm serves – and lives depend upon it. “We offer high levels of quality and our owners and our company have invested in, and embraced, advanced technology,” Madigan said.

Such technology advances includes ultra smooth medical surfaces and pump components used during surgical procedures, along with the development of new metals to be used in devices, components and implants for patient treatment and care, according to Madigan. “We are developing new materials specifically (for) medical markets,” Madigan said.

Pulse Technologies employs about 188 full time staff, working across three shifts; up to six days a week in its 70,000 square foot facility.

Madigan said 97 percent of the company’s business is medical device implants and examples would be heart pacemaker lead components and stent-line implants.

Pulse Technologies serves cardiac, vascular, orthopedic, spinal and extremity; neurostimulation, cochlear and ophthalmic, device, component and implant markets, the company’s website said. While 80 percent of the firm’s business is to clients in North America, on the global market Pulse Technologies serves customers in Europe, Israel, Southeast Asia and Australia, Madigan said. “We work closely with our customers to make life saving devices that are economically feasible,” Madigan explained.

Pulse Technologies was founded in 1993 by Bob Walsh and Frank Henofer, who are involved in the strategic focus and direction of the company, Madigan said.

For more information visit www.pulsetechnologies.com.

Protect your greatest business asset: Your employees.

As a small business owner, you know how important your employees are to your success. You depend on their knowledge, experience, talent, and loyalty to keep your company running smoothly and efficiently.

But, like many businesses, you may have been hit hard by the recession, and trying to keep expenses down—making cuts, freezing payrolls, and streamlining operational costs—means your employees may be assuming heavier workloads, longer hours, and broader responsibilities, often for the same paycheck.

 

So, in these tough economic times, how can you show your workers just how much they’re appreciated? Small gestures, like movie tickets or a night at a local restaurant, can help improve morale; but, if you’re looking to offer something more substantial, consider supplementing your employees’ benefits package with life insurance through a voluntary payroll deduction program.

 

Voluntary payroll deduction is one of the simplest ways employees can purchase permanent life insurance to protect their loved ones, and a smart way to supplement the benefits you already offer them. It can usually be set up using your existing procedures for payroll deduction, and, best of all, there is virtually no direct, out-of-pocket costs to the employer.

 

Remember, when you invest in your employees, you invest in your business. That’s just good business sense.

 

Note: Employee participation in a payroll deduction insurance program is completely voluntary. Since this program is not intended to be subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), employers cannot contribute to, or endorse, this program.

 

This educational, third-party article has been provided to UBCC as a courtesy by UBCC members Dominic G Rafetto and Robert J Kreider – Agents with New York Life Insurance Company. 100 Witmer Road, Suite 100, Horsham, PA 19044  To learn more about the information or topics discussed, please contact Dominic G Rafetto at  610-533-3541  dgrafetto@ft.newyorklife.com  or Robert J Kreider at 215-512-6661 rjkreider@ft.newyorklife.com