Simply the best in Norway

20/02/2017 08:16

There's no such thing as business as usual at Unibake Norway, where the ability to keep performing above expectation has just brought two best supplier awards from the country's leading wholesalers NorgesGruppen.

A major integration process didn't stop Unibake Norway from keeping customers firmly in focus during 2016. The customers noticed. Altogether 14,000 voted in the NorgesGruppen Supplier of the Year awards – a turnout that brought two awards to Unibake as best supplier in the food service and convenience channels.

That was one more than the year before, when the Norwegian team won the best supplier award for food service.

"The Vaasan business was integrated in the organisation last year, so we had wondered how our customers would react to that. But these awards show we managed to do it in a good way," says Thomas Bjarkholm, managing director of Unibake Norway.

Trust and added value

Following the acquisition of Vaasan, Unibake’s share of the Norwegian market for frozen bakery products has increased substantially.

"This has increased the need to make sure customers trust us and can see that we provide added value," Thomas remarks.

Customers are clearly not in doubt. The two awards reflect the close partnership between Unibake and NorgesGruppen's end-customers in the food service and convenience sector, which include hotels, restaurants, canteens and petrol stations.

Apart from delivering high-quality frozen bakery products, Unibake Norway trains customers' staff in the bake-off techniques that ensure they serve the best possible products.

Contract-winning sales tool

Thomas attributes part of the success to a powerful sales tool, in use since 2009 for planning customer visits.

There's no such thing as business as usual at Unibake Norway, where the ability to keep performing above expectation has just brought two best supplier awards from the country's leading wholesalers NorgesGruppen.

A major integration process didn't stop Unibake Norway from keeping customers firmly in focus during 2016. The customers noticed. Altogether 14,000 voted in the NorgesGruppen Supplier of the Year awards – a turnout that brought two awards to Unibake as best supplier in the food service and convenience channels.

That was one more than the year before, when the Norwegian team won the best supplier award for food service.

"The Vaasan business was integrated in the organisation last year, so we had wondered how our customers would react to that. But these awards show we managed to do it in a good way," says Thomas Bjarkholm, managing director of Unibake Norway.

Trust and added value

Following the acquisition of Vaasan, Unibake’s share of the Norwegian market for frozen bakery products has increased substantially.

"This has increased the need to make sure customers trust us and can see that we provide added value," Thomas remarks.

Customers are clearly not in doubt. The two awards reflect the close partnership between Unibake and NorgesGruppen's end-customers in the food service and convenience sector, which include hotels, restaurants, canteens and petrol stations.

Apart from delivering high-quality frozen bakery products, Unibake Norway trains customers' staff in the bake-off techniques that ensure they serve the best possible products.

Contract-winning sales tool

Thomas attributes part of the success to a powerful sales tool, in use since 2009 for planning customer visits.

"We have one of the most well-adopted sales tools in the business, and that's helped us get contracts. Our sales reps know exactly how many times they are going to visit customers, and they make sure customers know that too."

Based on this, the Unibake Commercial Excellence team is currently developing a similar tool for rollout in other markets.

Service beyond expectation

Unibake Norway was presented with the two best supplier awards at NorgesGruppen's annual customer and supplier event in early January.  Both are now hanging in the reception of the Norwegian office.

"We have 140 people working at Unibake Norway. These awards are down to their skill and dedication. They always give more than the customer expects."

The celebration didn't last long after the award ceremony. Everyone knows they will have to work just as hard to stand a chance of winning again next year. After all, there is one more NorgesGruppen best supplier award they still haven't won – the award for new product development.

"It would be nice to get all three awards," Thomas laughs.

Interested in learning more about the Commercial Excellence? Contact commercial development director Lars Dalberg-Hansen.

Did you know...

Unibake Norway produces around 200 million burger buns and hotdog breads a year in its bakery just outside Oslo. Almost all are consumed in Norway. These fast food products account for 35% of sales. The remaining 65% comprise products that come from Unibake plants elsewhere plus a handful of external suppliers.

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