Caterforce is set to launch a national accounts division in a bid to become the “third option” foodservice operator distributing across the whole of the UK (along with Bidvest and Brakes).
Unveiling the plans at the Caterforce conference in Hinckley, Leicestershire this week week, MD Nick Redford (pictured above) told delegates that the past five years of strategic plans had been to get the group into a position to execute national accounts.
“We believe this group is in a unique position. It has a geographical framework and support of all eight members to invest in an opportunity that we believe is huge. We believe the market wants us and we believe the supplier base wants us,” he said, adding that the eight Caterforce members had already committed investment for the new division and were setting up steering groups to orchestrate the move, while recruiting for the national accounts team would start shortly.
To explain who the new national target customers would be, Redford used the example of a Caterforce wholesaler helping a customer grow their business from a single outlet to several, but losing that customer once a new branch opened outside their delivery area. He underlined how those customers could be key national accounts for Caterforce members but were currently the least important business to the two standing national operators – Bidvest and Brakes.
Redford and his team have set aside the coming year to set up the new division, which will be operated separately from the main Caterforce HQ by experienced people recruited from other operators –including someone to head it up. It is expected to begin trading in January 2017.
Read more on this story in the October issue of Wholesale News – out next week!