Establishing the right catering equipment procurement formula has contributed heavily to the success of Westbury Street Holdings, the contract catering business that boasts BaxterStorey, Benugo, Searcys, Holroyd Howe, Caterlink and Portico among its ranks. With annual sales in excess of £500m and clients located all over the country, the company’s growth would never have been possible were it not for the well-oiled operational and procurement machine that keeps everything ticking over.

WSH’s business success has been built on locally-sourced fresh produce, prepared and served by well-trained teams. This philosophy also extends to equipment, where a decentralised approach enables its teams to procure the hardware they feel suits their business best. “We don’t operate a ‘one-size fits all’ approach so it is important to recognise this ethos across all of our activity,” explains director of procurement and supply chain Andy Milner. “Whilst we have naturally embedded frameworks that ensure our supply chain is audited, we need to ensure that we continue to allow flexibility for our teams to choose what’s right for them and their location. Over the last 18 months, we have conducted various audits to help shape and identify links in the supply chain that will allow us to make selections based on service, performance and true cost over lifecycle. Due to the broad and diverse nature of our operations, our initial approach has been to focus closely on a number of areas including vending, coffee and retail equipment.”

A key objective for Andy, whose background in the industry has seen him work in purchasing and supply chain roles for Gondola and Pret A Manger, is to ensure that its relationships with key equipment manufacturers are aligned to all elements of the supply chain, both internally and externally. “That’s why we are focusing closely on developing robust management reports and service level agreements as part of this process,” he says. “This aligned approach is already proving to be a success as we have seen within our coffee category, where we have successfully moved from a ‘total service solution’ covering beans, machines, ancillaries and maintenance to sourcing components separately through different suppliers to gain the best cost and service.”

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“Our initial approach has been to focus closely on a number of areas including vending, coffee and retail equipment”

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