HEFF invests in vans as it launches revamped distribution service
Regional food group Heart of England Fine Foods (HEFF) will now offer a full distribution service after taking the logistics side of its Delivery Service in-house.
HEFF launched the service to its members in September 2012 and was previously running the operation with distributor Weddel Swift but it has now hired drivers and bought two branded vans to carry out deliveries.
The West Midlands food group has also unveiled an online catalogue and ordering system, which works with both smart phones and tablets, and said it can now hold ambient goods in stock.
“Historically we’ve led the way on one order, one delivery, one invoice approaches to selling regional food,” said HEFF chief executive Karen Davies (pictured with one of the new vans), “but the weakest point was always the physical part of the process, actually getting the produce to where it needed to be.”
Food producers will receive their orders weekly from the HEFF Delivery Service and drop their products at one of seven regional hubs, including Birmingham, from where the dedicated vehicles will collect them for scheduled delivery runs to retailers and caterers.
“Taking the logistics in-house is a big deal for us and for our members and we’re all excited about it,” added Davies. “Buyers from some of the biggest names in retail, including Selfridges, Costcutter and Nisa, appreciate this approach to accessing the products of our members, especially as they know that to be a member a food producer has to be fully accredited by us across all areas of their business, including for food safety.”
HEFF first began offering a consolidated delivery service with AF Blakemore’s Heart Distribution division but the deal broke down and they parted company in 2011. Heart Distribution continues to trade and is still operating a one order, one invoice, one delivery service.