Nothing but the Best for Bidvest
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Arron Rampling
Bidvest Baltics is living up to the grandeur of its brand name across Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia with attentions now firmly fixed on generating a volume, footprint and capacity befitting such a reputation as well.
Initially incepted as a Lithuanian-owned brand back in 1994, a series of acquisitions – firstly at the hands of the Danish Nowaco Group, and latterly by Bidvest in 2011 – has all culminated in making the business in its current guise one of the leading market players; compounded by customer and supplier relationships driven by more than 20 years of progression.
For the globally-renowned Bidvest Group, the proposition was all too simple therefore, and the 2011 deal has had an immediate impact in capitalising on the food service distributor’s readymade reputation and network.
“It has all been about increasing and improving the business,” states Bidvest Baltics’ Managing Director (MD), Ramunas Makutenas. “When we joined the Bidvest Group we began to invest in different facilities and trucks especially; changing our fleet completely by installing better technologies and systems in order to deliver all three categories of goods.”
Incorporating frozen, chilled and ambient products, it has not just been about the standard of provision and storage either, with efficiencies dramatically enhanced over the past five years to ensure each client is receiving the best service and value possible.
“From an internal perspective we have also implemented an in-house management system to reduce the amount of errors, which has been achieved very successfully,” Makutenas continues. “Further investments have been made in our ordering systems as well – adopting mobile technologies – so that customers can place orders and can be invoiced more easily, securely and efficiently.”
Top service supplier
Instilling similar enhancements to the Company’s storage depot and control centre – ensuring the optimum temperatures and transit modifications from manufacturer to customer – has ensured the quality is right where it needs to be as a Bidvest entity, and the focus is now being broadened to capacities.
Makutenas explains: “Product-wise, we have 1,700 as part of our assortment at present, but we are constantly increasing this amount because we understand that to be a top service supplier, you need to have as wide a product range as possible, and that’s what we’re working on right now.”
Purchasing and trading all goods through one source ensures both quality and efficiency when it comes to offering value for money to end clients, and while a newly introduced fish plant has diversified the business model somewhat into internal production, the main philosophy remains collaborating with key partners to ensure all demands are met in the wider sector.
And the range of companies that Bidvest Baltics is working alongside certainly befit such an ethos too, with the likes of Unilever and Nestle – to name just two – epitomising the international appeal of the brand and its operations.
“I’m responsible for the Baltics so am in charge of identifying and meeting the potential in the countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia,” Makutenas notes. “Our three depots in Kaunas, Riga and Tallinn, respectively, ensure we cover these countries well, but of course we are still growing and making little improvements across the board to ensure we are living up to the Bidvest name and are on top across all three nations.”
Best quality at the best price
Proof that Bidvest Baltics is moving in the right direction comes in the form of its ever-expanding client base firstly, but also by the internal growth being witnessed across its workforce and supply chain.
Improving the levels of talent across all divisions of the business through both internal and external training initiatives instils sustainability all too familiar with an organisation the size of Bidvest, while the Company has also struck a significant balance between retaining longstanding, established business partners, and the kinds of esteemed partners that came by virtue of the 2011 acquisition.
“It’s all about getting the best supply and best goods and the best value, and being part of Bidvest aids this greatly through the enhanced exchanging of information and sharing of knowledge from the other branches around the world,” Makutenas affirms. “We have very good access to all the good things that exist within the Bidvest Group.”
As Makutenas aptly emphasises, being the best is an expectation rather than an ambition when being invited into the Bidvest model, but with expansions already having taken place or underway, an ever-growing customer base, and a vision to improve further in the years to come, the MD is positive that the best is certainly what the Company can claim to be.
“Since joining the Bidvest Group we have improved our service over the past three years and would now like to increase our assortment more than we already have done, while finding the best product, at the best quality and at the best price for our clients,” he concludes. “We are making improvements across all divisions of the Company to be ready for the next stage, while also making sure that the process is being made easier for our clients to access our products.
“Our vision is ultimately to help our customers grow their own businesses through the best possible service; something that will naturally make us more successful and happy also.”