Starting out as a small family business, Tilda sold Basmati rice primarily to the growing Asian community who migrated to the UK in the late 1960’s. As the popularity of Indian food grew in the UK, Tilda emerged as the eminent brand within the rice category, growing in tandem with an increased appetite for ethnic foods, which Tilda rice was often paired with.
As the business grew its volumes within wholesale, foodservice and retail customers, it became the brand leader and by the 1990’s Tilda had grown to be a substantial business and increased its production capacity at its Rainham site on the banks of the Thames. Assisted by the development of a sizable export market, its premium status and shift in consumer tastes from long grain rice to Basmati rice, the business went from strength to strength. Now firmly established as the UK’s biggest rice brand, Tilda was acquired by Nasdaq-listed Hain Celestial in 2014.
Recruitment of an Interim Commercial & Procurement Professional
As a growing business, Tilda faced the challenge of making investment decisions that would underpin growth whilst controlling operational costs and managing a sharp increase in raw material inputs. They sought an Interim Commercial & Procurement professional to work with various departments to support continued business growth, through the identification of cost saving and value engineering opportunities. Also required was the implementation of systems and the improvement of operational and financial performance of the Procurement and Packaging function.
During the selection process we Identified an MBA qualified candidate who had spent their entire professional career within the Food industry in Commercial and Procurement roles. The experience we felt was particularly relevant to the assignment with Tilda included their track record in achieving operating profit improvement whilst absorbing customer discount requirements. Also of relevance was a rationalisation project they had successfully delivered that saw a reduction in the number of ingredient and dry goods suppliers, resulting in reduced cost prices, operational efficiency improvement and enhanced trading terms. Their results-driven approach, ability to manage and reduce packaging costs and implement robust procurement systems also stood out.
This Interim Manager appointed successfully delivered business critical commercial projects and managed the Procurement function through a significant re-organisation. This included the completion of a Retail Ready Packaging project with a major multiple retailer. They also delivered a £400k annualised cost saving through the trial, selection and negotiation of terms on flexible packaging. They delivered further cost savings on packaging items by negotiating and re-negotiating contracts with suppliers for additional packaging consumables, controlling costs and minimising inflationary price pressure. This yielded savings ranging from 10% to 25% with suppliers.
Wednesday Jan 30, 2019