Customer profile: Baxters Food Group

"I'm not an expert but I have access to people who can answer my questions."


Baxters Food Group has been a Scottish icon since 1868, with the opening of the first shop in Fochabers in the Scottish highlands. Today, the company has an international reach, with sites throughout the UK and in Canada, Australia and Poland and around 1,000 staff. The company manufactures soups, beetroot, chutneys and preserves, which it markets through large scale retail channels as well as its five stores in Scotland.

 

Anne Macgregor, Indirect Purchasing Manager for Baxters Food Group and based at the company's Glasgow office, is responsible for energy procurement and management, including gas and power. Anne says, "On the gas side, we switched to DONG Energy for Business in 2012. Right from the start, it was clear that they were different. They took my business seriously, which is something I hadn’t experienced with other suppliers included in the tender process - and that didn’t change once the contract was awarded. The partnership was successful, so the following year we awarded the power contract to them.


"We were keen to partner with a supplier who would take a real interest in the business and understand its unique dynamics. Low management fees are obviously important to us but, as well as that, we were looking for a more personalised service. With previous suppliers, I would be lucky to see my Account Manager once every couple of years. With DONG Energy for Business, the treatment and the interest in our business is far greater than it's been with any previous suppliers.

 

"Data is key: it has to be timely and it has to be accurate. I like invoices to be simple - clear and precise and then supplemented with back up data. I don’t want to see pages and pages of invoices - it goes through an accounts department and it needs to be easily understood to be processed. That's what I get with them. The data is provided at a granular level and all costs are transparent, including the management fee. Even better, I can see what I get for that: access to my account manager whenever I want it, access to a web portal and valuable data that is sent to me every month. Before I moved to DONG Energy, I was paying a management fee and getting nothing but an invoice.


"Access to high quality information and data is increasingly essential for managing energy efficiently - and the information services package from DES UK is better than anything I’ve seen from other energy suppliers I've worked with. We all need to reduce consumption but the only way you can reduce it is if you can measure it. You might know what you're using - at the end of the month you know you've used x amount of KWhs, but if you can't drill into that, then you can’t do anything with it. The daily market data is exactly what I need to make sound hedging decisions. On top of that, I get detailed consumption and cost data each month and access to real time data via DES UK's web portal, which can help drive operational decisions. I share this data with Finance, Engineering and Production colleagues and it enables them to see what and when they're consuming. We have factory shutdowns and we need to know that when there's a shutdown we shouldn't be consuming great volumes of gas or power - if we are, we can interrogate 'Why is that?' So, the data enables us, as a business, to challenge some of the things that we do and become more energy efficient."

"Some people may think it's risky to place both gas and power contracts with a single supplier but, with DES UK, I don’t feel that it is a risk. The servicing of our account is great and it's easy to get the support I need -anytime I've asked for anything I've had a timely and efficient response. DES UK takes my business seriously and treats it with the courtesy and professionalism that I feel it warrants. I'm not an expert in all things power and all things gas but I have access to people who can answer my questions."