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In June 2015 CH&Co and HCM Group merged to form CH&Co Group, a new foodservice firm with a combined turnover of around £200m across 450 units. With nine brands coming together, this presented a significant challenge for the group procurement team, which had to merge all the separate departments into one procurement operation within six weeks.
Headed up by Jonathan Williams, the team set about driving consistent change across the group and transforming the approach from one of silos to a connected, streamlined and collaborative setup.
Following the merger, the group focused on consolidating the supply chain to ensure the most competitive terms were in place. Meanwhile, the numerous initiatives undertaken have delivered improvements in efficiency, CSR, quality control and provenance, while also avoiding any significant price increases. This was achieved through careful management of the integration with projects including the introduction of a full purchase-to-pay system across the estate, a group contract structure that captures over 60% of group spend, and a food safety accreditation process that monitors and measures all food suppliers.
Using a baseline of the lowest-cost common denominator, the purchasing team delivered commonality of supplier pricing across the various brands within two months. And their efforts realised exceptional financial results, with some £2m worth of improvements to cash flow, significantly exceeding budget.
It also implemented a best practice purchase analysis, typically delivering 3% savings. In addition, CH&Co implemented an historic supplier payments audit, to reassure the business that accurate payments have been made. To date, this has delivered in excess of £100,000 in overpayment recovery.
Having streamlined the supply base by 50%, the team has been able to maximise quality, value and development for clients, while a new group procurement support desk has enhanced the customer experience. It has also encouraged potential new suppliers through the launch of an ‘innovation den', in which suppliers can demonstrate their innovations at bi-monthly gatherings.
The team goes out with suppliers on ‘food safaris' to identify upcoming trends and themes in foodservice. These food safaris generally take place in a major city centre, with teams investigating a ‘food-centric' area of the city before sharing findings, identifying themes and planning their next steps.
And if all this work wasn't enough, the procurement team has found time to take on the Three Peaks Challenge, climbing Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis. There is no doubt that this is a high-achieving team in every sense.
What the judges said
"This was a highly professional response demonstrating delivery of services to a diverse range of brands in a consistent manner. There was an excellent balance of commercial and customer objectives."
Chris Durant, Litmus Partnership
"The team managed change against the background of a merger, with all that involves. This entry demonstrated the impact that procurement can have on change in a business."
Peter Ducker, Institute of Hospitality
"A very impressive multi-dimensional entry. The team have clearly delivered and navigated through considerable change this year. A worthy winner."
Jane Bates, Elior
- CH&Co Group
- Sunrise Senior Living
- National Trust
- 2015 Elior
- 2014 Compass Group
- 2013 BaxterStorey
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