Distributor association CEDA has seen 20 members join its ranks in the 18 months since it began its strategy overhaul.
Its mission has been to refocus, grow its membership and reach the wider catering and foodservice industries with its message ‘Connecting Our Industry’.
The transformation also included a re-branding, new marketing strategy and investment in membership services.
Among the new joiners are Apeiron Catering, Arolite, Barcare Supreme, Berkeley Projects, Ceba Solutions, FSW Gas Services, Grey Simmonds Foodservice Equipment, KCCJ, Midshires Catering Equipment, Scobie McIntosh Foodservice, Space Catering UK and Sprint Group, with more new member applications currently being processed.
Adam Mason, CEDA director general commented: “I am really happy with the progress that we have made. Having spent much of 2015 and 2016 listening to members, partners and operators then devising plans and strategy of how we were going to move forward, we are in a place I am satisfied with.
“Membership growth is great but more important is the retention of and engagement with our existing members; if we are delivering for them then membership growth is inevitable.”
Of the new members to come aboard in 2018, two are returning. Ceba Solutions and KCCJ both re-joined during the summer, citing CEDA’s recent reorganisation as a key factor in their decisions.
Following Ceba’s approval in July, office manager Jonathan Elcock said, “Following CEDA’s renewed outlook, we have received positive feedback from others within the industry and so we have decided to re-join. We also feel it is more professional to have the backing of a dedicated industry body.”
Re-joining in August, KCCJ MD Kevin Slatter commented: “Following on from the restructuring of CEDA and comments/statements made by others we felt the time was right to re-join. Having the association with this recognised body within the industry will enhance the services KCCJ offer.”
CEDA states it is committed to adding value to its membership, whilst reaching out to a wider audience. Mason explained: “We are much better engaged with the membership which means we can better deliver the support and services that they need.
“And we are not afraid to invest in these areas either – the recent financial investment made in developing and delivering BIM training, in conjunction with the BIM Academy and the University of Northumbria is a perfect example of this. It allows members to take advantage of much needed quality training at a really affordable cost.
“In terms of our recognition at the operator level, this is increasing all the time and when our members tell us they have won business as a result of being a CEDA member it’s really pleasing.”
Mason cites the volume and quality of their technical provision too: “The guidance documentation that we are producing has been great. It’s tangible, coal-face, solution providing, best-practice information that has been recognised at every level of the supply chain. ‘Connecting our Industry’ isn’t just a fluffy strapline, it’s a mission.”
Membership now totals 114 companies, who boast a combined annual turnover exceeding £650m, while 49 major equipment and services suppliers are involved as partners, and direct engagement with end users, operators and customers looks set to continue to increases.
“We have created a good foundation to build on but that’s all we have done,” concluded Mason. “We are well on course to deliver our 2022 development plan with projects that will change the face of the industry.”