We were in many ways criticised for it by our shareholders and the analyst community, but with the benefit of time, I think the benefits are now being seen - we have divested the hotel business and strengthened the balance sheet. We also made ourselves the clear market leader in the UK, created a very solid business with the bringing together of Eurest and Sutcliffe and really stopped the creation, not forever, but at least for a good few years, of a third global contract foodservice company. The market is currently dominated by Compass and French-based food contract service company Sodexho.
If Compass had not acquired Sutcliffe, there was a real possibility that significant smaller players such as Aramark or Elior would have stepped in, he says. We buy a lot of food and in this business and economies of scale count - the bigger you are, the more you buy and the better you can do it.
So while it was there, it was relatively small in our terms and we could overcome it. The effects of foot-and-mouth, in particular restrictions on traffic movements, did not impact as much in Ireland, where the company's public food service business is very small, unlike the UK where it has Little Chef restaurants and 40 motor services sites.
Because of the company's decision in the s to spread geographically and by sector, the company has been relatively unaffected by the economic downturn, according to Mr Bailey. That allows you to weather the storms in each economy.
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When business and industry is having a tough time, some of the other sectors we trade in are not. We're in healthcare and education. In an economic downturn, you don't get hospitals or schools doing anything different. Each Compass group company is independently-managed with its own culture and values, but enjoys the benefits of Compass's purchasing power, financial investment and support, says Mr Bailey. It works as long as you've got the right infrastructure and the right people.
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Latest Business. Banks barred from adding legal charges to mortgage arrears Ireland still facing prospect of hard Brexit despite deal, Sibley warns Deutsche Bank shares slide as results raise concerns Drop in volume of goods handled at main Irish ports Most Read in Business. The company has a workforce of , employees who are active in 50 countries. Key to this growth strategy has been the implementation of one common global sales process called Sales Funnel, supported by a global CRM platform. Next to the economies of scale, using the model also has the benefit that all countries talk the same language and can learn from each other.
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Additionally it helps to more effectively pursue international sales opportunities. The Sales Funnel process has been key to identify and focus on the right opportunities, based on clear process and criteria.
For example, the process ensures we are asking the right questions to understand there is a potential match and also seeks to quickly stop pursuits that will not provide a result. The introduction of a uniform, global sales and account management methodology.
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