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Country Range Group

The SME Productivity & Innovation Centre (PIC) at Edge Hill University delivers impact through an intensive fully-funded programme that helps established SMEs, with the vision and potential for growth, build a coherent business model strategy to scale-up.

Country Range Group case study

Food service buying group

Coral Rose, Managing Director – The Country Range Group

“Completing the programme didn’t just provide us with a focus to the problem in-hand it enabled a focus on different areas of the business. The off-site facilitated workshops challenged our approach and helped with self-development. The experience exceeded our expectations.”

Coral Rose, Managing Director – The Country Range Group

Bespoke Integrated Technologies: Smart management and customer insight information system

The Country Range Group completed the programme and are continuing to work collaboratively with Edge Hill:

  • Develop the digital and data management capabilities within the organisation to increase productivity.
  • Increase the dynamic capabilities of the organisation and their members to support their 2020 business growth strategy.
  • Access follow-on innovation funding to develop their technology infrastructure and assets.
  • Access a pipeline of highly skilled students and graduates through placements and internships.

Starting point

The Country Range Group (CRG) is a food service buying group for UK based food wholesalers. CRG’s purpose is to position members as foodservice wholesalers of choice for caterers and brand owners.

CRG also own and operate their house brand “Country Range”, which recorded product sales of over £100m in 2017. Country Range is widely recognised by professional caterers as a high quality, trusted and reliable food brand.

CRG wholesalers offers an unrivalled package to customers, based on local knowledge, service, flexibility and a comprehensive product offering, including the Country Range brand.

The opportunity

CRG is one of the UK’s leading independent food buying groups. The effective use of data is increasingly a key driver of profitability and productivity in their business and sector. Continuing to drive growth required a step change in the sophistication of their digital capabilities, supporting purchasing, supply and other key management information decisions.

The group Managing Director, Coral Rose, anticipated the complexities in identifying, planning and implementing a proficient solution. CRG needed support to scrutinise the scope of the business requirements and to develop a feasible solution.

The journey

The Innovation Sprint Programme allowed CRG the dedicated time and space to address and unpack the complexities of the business needs identified.

CRG found the facilitated workshops challenging and highly constructive. The Programme was an essential process to help them clarify the drivers and requirements of the organisation, the scope of the technological infrastructure required, and the needs of their members.

The solution

The solution was to develop and implement a smart management and customer insight information system, utilising a range of performance and market data to drive growth through data-driven decision-making.

In addition to determining the technical feasibility of this new technology led service, CRG also developed a detailed and sustainable financial model.

CRG are continuing to work in partnership with Edge Hill to support the further development and implementation of the new technology, accessing sector leading, research-informed expertise.

The Innovation Sprint Programme has really supported the business to capitalise upon a highly complex, yet commercially rewarding opportunity. The Innovation Sprint framework and tools used throughout the facilitated workshops helped to refine their concept and to transform their solution into reality.

CRG also aim to adopt the Innovation Sprint Programme framework in future when exploring other new business opportunities prior to any investment.

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