Catering equipment buying consortium ENSE has vowed that its group isn’t complete yet despite signing up a raft of new distributors and suppliers since the start of the year.
The organisation held its third member conference earlier this month, with dealers and manufacturers reporting positive vibes and a positive outlook after attending the two-day event.
ENSE now has around 40 suppliers and 40 distributors under its banner, compared with 11 suppliers and 15 distributors at the same conference this time last year. The combined purchasing power of its distributor members now stands at some £170m.
“We are going to continue to drive both the dealers and the suppliers to forge better relationships and to do more business together, which benefits everybody — that, after all, is what we are supposed to be doing,” said ENSE’s managing director Bob Adams. “There has been a lot of activity in the last few months and we are a far stronger organisation now.”
The gathering of members in Nottingham this month was significant for the fact that it was the first conference that ENSE has held since parting ways with the Middleby Group.
Middleby was among the first major manufacturers to join the group after it was set up in 2012, but Adams cited a “difference in philosophies as to how the group should be run” for the split at the end of last year.
Since then, ENSE has focused on bringing in new suppliers to fill product areas previously accounted for by Middleby brands, as well as categories where it formerly had none or partial coverage.
Brands to have joined ENSE in recent months include Blue Seal, Celltherm, Charvet, Corsair, EPAS, Hubbard Ice Systems, Maidaid, Marco Beverage Systems, MCS Technical Products, Parry, Rational, Valera, Victor, Zodiac and BioClad.
One of the only stand-out areas where ENSE is without coverage is in back bar systems, a category previously served by Middleby-owned IMC. However, it is likely to be only a matter of time before that is filled.
Significant distributors to have joined the group of late include Hallmark Kitchens, CCE, Cookco and Tailormade, while ENSE has also broken into the Irish market by signing up Dublin-based Broderick Brothers.
Adams said the group’s efforts were now focused on maintaining the momentum it has built up and evaluating how it can create further value for dealers and suppliers.
“First of all, we are going to continue to expand geographically, so whether that is Ireland or mainland Europe we intend to grow in those areas, although we are not quite sure of the timing of that at the moment,” said Adams. “We also are going to continue growing our membership in the UK.”
He added: “We are very proud with what we have accomplished to date and the theme of the dinner speeches at the conference was that we have only just begun. There is so much more that we want to do.”