Suppliers and dealers that belong to buying consortium ENSE were this morning getting down to business at the organisation’s autumn conference in the West Midlands.
With 34 dealers and 28 suppliers now involved in the group, the event has almost doubled in size since ENSE’s last formal gathering at the start of this year.
Suppliers that have come on board just recently, such as Adande, Precision, Meiko and Sammic, all have representation at the event, which is being held at Moor Hall Hotel & Spa.
Yesterday saw dealer members get together to discuss the group’s development, while today’s agenda involves a ‘table-to-table rotation’ format that sees dealers spend time with each supplier.
Bob Adams, ENSE’s founder, said: “A lot of people here call it speed-dating, and I try and stay away from that term to be honest, but a table-to-table rotation gives each dealer an opportunity to see each supplier, spend 10 minutes with them and address whatever issues they need to address right then and there.
“Obviously you can’t always accomplish everything in 10 minutes but what it allows you to do is say, hey let’s take this offline, let’s meet next week in your office and finish the discussion. It is about building the relationship.”
At a dinner last night, Adams and ENSE’s UK chief Robin McKnight thanked members for their support and handed out a number of dealer awards.
Francis Catering Equipment was presented with the Distributor of the Year award, which was collected by Neil Humphries, while Phil Dixon picked up the Director’s Trophy on behalf of CS Catering.
The Rising Star award went to Cornwall Catering Equipment, which was collected by managing director Peter Bragg. The Supplier Award, meanwhile, went to Middleby Group.
Robert Autenreith and Gary Licht, respected veterans of the North American catering equipment market, were also in attendance. Along with Adams, both were instrumental in setting up ENSE.