ENSE satisfied with progress as membership grows

Buying group ENSE is on track to meet its year-one targets as it edges closer towards its first 12 months in the market, the organisation has told Catering Insight.

ENSE’s arrival in the market last year as an alternative buying consortium to Cedabond drew mixed reaction from the industry at the time, with some questioning the additional value that the group could bring to existing supplier-distributor relationships.

However, ENSE now counts 28 dealers and 21 separate brands as members of the group. It claims the collective purchasing power of its dealer members represents £110m.

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In February it appointed former CEDA chief Robin McKnight as its managing director and his presence has been a key factor in moving the operation forward.

Bob Adams, who set ENSE up, says he is satisfied with the way things have developed so far.

“Last year we said we expected 25 to 30 [dealers] before year’s end. We got started into business a little later than expected, so we missed our target, however we hit it five months later. At this point, we’ve been in business for nine full months, so to say we are quite pleased with progress would be an understatement.

“We are looking to continue to build our membership with companies that possess high levels of integrity. That’s important to our current members, so their reputation continues to be strong.”

At the end of 2012, ENSE had signed up around a dozen members. That number has more than doubled since.

New distributors joining since the start of the year include the likes of CKS Catering Equipment, Fulcrum Commercial Kitchens, Grey Simmonds, Newco Catering Equipment, Northern Refrigeration & Catering Equipment and ScoMac.

On a supplier level, Hatco, IMC, Imperial, Instanta, First Choice, Lincat, Metcalfe and Signature FSE are among the brands working with the group.

ENSE launched with the vision of driving profitability for dealers and market share for manufacturers, and Adams insists suppliers have understood it is not a case of “simply sign up and start receiving orders”, but that results will come from embracing dealers and working with them to grow the business.

“Due to confidentiality, I cannot divulge financial details, but I can tell you that all of our dealers received retro from last year’s short term in business and, other than brand new members, they are all building towards very healthy payments at the end of the year,” said Adams. “As far as the manufacturers are concerned, some are growing at a 50% growth rate while others are in the 20%-30% growth rate.”

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