Sitting Down With Scott Carter, Director of Foodservice Sales for Arctic Walk-ins

In the current economic environment of inflation and post-pandemic consumer habits, Arctic believes our Customer First culture, now more than ever, is the key to our success. We spoke with Director of Foodservice Sales for Arctic Walk-ins, Scott Carter, to hear more about his role, why he loves working with Arctic, and the different ways he supports customers with their walk-in coolers and freezers. A slightly edited transcript of the conversation can be found below.

Scott, please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be a part of the Arctic customer support team.

“Before Arctic, I came from a competitor where I worked for 12 years. I, along with a lot of other people, were let go in 2020, and I found out about the Arctic position in early 2021. I went down to Miami to meet JB and some other people in senior management. We hit it off and in May of 2021, I came on board.”

Scott Carter, Director of Foodservice Sales for Arctic Walk-ins

How would you define your role as the Director of Foodservice Sales?

“It’s really a jack of all trades. I’m kind of the conduit between our dealers, reps, inside sales support, and senior management. It involves a lot of different hats. It’s sales, it’s processes, it pretty much runs the gamut in terms of responsibility. It’s a lot of switching gears and ultimately it is all about taking care of the customer.”

You’re actively managing a territory, yet also get to work on product, process, and customer first initiatives. How do you prioritize your day?

“Pretty much the same every day, whether I’m traveling or not. I get up early and I knock out as many emails as I possibly can to get answers to people that need quick responses. I make a lot of phone calls, lol.  When I’m traveling, I’m going out to see various customers, whether they be dealers or end users, working closely with our representatives in the field. That’s pretty much it. It’s a lot of emails, phone calls, and a lot of 1-to-1 contact with our customers.  Communication is key for all involved and I love talking Arctic, so not a challenge for me.”

Arctic is committed to world class service, in real world time, with real world people. Do you feel that the customer first culture Arctic is embedding in the team is making a difference?

“Absolutely, from top to bottom. Everybody is very much hands on and that includes senior management as well. We work as a team and there were six or seven of us internally that worked very hard to land a major piece of business with a big chain. It took months and it was a collaboration that worked out so well and became the model of how we’re going to do things moving forward. The culture is paramount in all employees and practices. Everybody is on the same page and it’s a great team.”

What do you think most customers are looking for in Arctic’s product for 2024? 

“There are  very few differentiators in the world of walk -in coolers and freezers from one manufacturer to the other. You need  to stand out and focus on the things that you do very well. For Arctic, we set ourselves apart from our competitors by really servicing them. We pick up the phone when they call, we get back to them quickly, we assemble all of our products at the factory, take pictures of them and send them to the customer so that they know when it arrives in the field, it’s going to go together exactly the way it’s intended to. There’s no guesswork there, we don’t like surprises. Our customers don’t like surprises, so we work very hard to take that element out of the equation.”

From your personal experience, what have you seen change the most in walk-ins in your time in the industry with regards to coolers and freezers?

“The technology has changed substantially with the refrigeration systems that we use today versus what the industry standard was five years ago. They’re more efficient from an energy consumption standpoint. The refrigerants that they’re using are more environmentally friendly and there’s also the requirements by the Department of Energy that everybody has to meet in terms of insulation values on the panels, etc. The major changes have really been with regulations that we all have to adhere to and these are good for our green conscious mission at Arctic.”

Arctic Walk-ins Freezer

What technology or features are out there that will be of benefit to the customer base in the coming years? 

“The on-demand defrost, as it’s known in the industry, that’s available with refrigeration systems is huge. It’s something that comes standard with our refrigeration systems. It doesn’t necessarily come standard with our competitors’ refrigeration systems, but it’s a huge energy saver. They’re able to really cut their energy consumption down. They’re able to prolong the life of the product that they’re storing inside of the walk-ins. That is a current technology that we embrace and really go to market trying to get our customers to embrace it as well. In terms of anything else, there’s other things that we could probably integrate into the walk-in like maybe an inventory control module or something like that, so that they can keep track of things in the walk-in and make sure that they’re staying on top of their working capital.”

What are a few helpful tips for Arctic customers/partners in making for a smooth design order/delivery process?

“Being up front with as much information as they can provide to us, so that we can provide them with an educated assessment and quote. Secondly, I would say as far as ordering, make sure that the purchase order has approved drawings that accompany it. Be clear about all of the details in terms of the destination, who the contact information is, etc.. There’s been a huge amount of turnover in the industry, especially since Covid. I mean it was going on before Covid as well, where a lot of veteran people in the industry left for whatever reason, and then it went into hyperdrive during Covid. Now we see a lot of new people in the industry, a lot of young people who just don’t know any better yet. They’re learning and we’re here to teach them. However, a lot of the information that comes to us isn’t complete, whether it be to request a quote or when they’re placing an order. It’s part of our job to educate them, and it’s never going to end. It’s going to happen all the time, every single day, but that’s what kind of drives it is that there’s always that rate of turnover in the industry that we have to address and make sure that the new people are brought into the loop in terms of how we do business.”

How has sales, marketing, customer support for the team changed for the better since you joined? Outside, of course, Arctic hiring you?

“I’ll say that our internal people at Arctic are the best that I’ve ever worked with. It sounds biased, but I worked for one of their competitors for 12  years, and those people, many of whom are still my dear friends, can’t hold a candle to the people at Arctic. They really can’t. It’s a testament to their experience and their dedication. I think bringing people in key positions like Ben Casey as vice president of sales and Nate Proulx as the Eastern Regional Sales Manager, has been a big help to us as well. They’re industry veterans who really know our customers very well. We’re just continuing to make those types of moves to make our company better. From top to bottom, we’re continuing to get better every day.”

In 30 words, where do you see Arctic in the next 5 years?

“I see a substantial amount of growth. I think in 2024, we’re poised to make a big leap in terms of sales volume, for a number of reasons. We’re establishing great relationships out there. We’re hiring the right people, in the right positions, and I think that we’re just going to continue to experience growth.”

Scott, you are the resident expert on Arctic walk-ins. If someone wants to pick that cold storage brain of yours, what is the best way to contact you?

“, or they can call me at (305) 775-6144.”

According to John Bergher, Chief Marketing Officer at Arctic. “Scott is the exact DNA of the Arctic culture.  Positive, helpful, hard working, no excuses and always, Customer First.  I feel honored to work with him and call him my friend.”

Thanks for taking the time to sit down and chat with us, Scott!