AB Agri is the agricultural division of Associated British Foods (ABF), a diversified, international food, ingredients, and retail group. Founded in 1984, AB Agri has grown from two people and a telephone to a global agri-food business employing over 3,000 people in the UK and overseas, selling into 70 countries and growing their community every day. With a detailed understanding of the importance of agriculture in our world, AB Agri is changing agriculture for the better, and this has been their core philosophy for over 30 years.
In the UK and Europe, AB Agri employs 1,500 people over 27 sites. 300 of these are based in the head office which means a huge proportion of the staff is widely dispersed. AB Agri runs a lean operation, so keeping track of their contractors across each of the sites is a challenge. Jeff Marston, Group Safety and Environment Manager at AB Agri, explained that the company faced several challenges:
“As the industry faces increasing scrutiny from regulation, the need to standardise our processes for compliance increases. With an ever-growing and complex supply chain, gaining visibility of this was a challenge. Our business has never stood still, and we will continue to adapt to ensure we comply with critical food security and sustainability demands.
We tried to implement an in-house questionnaire for our contractors, but this was too generic and was not always relevant or detailed enough for the jobs at hand. As we run such a lean operation, we were often lacking the depth of expertise and the time to execute this appropriately.
Consequently in 2012, a fire caused by a contract electrician occurred, resulting in a significant amount of damage and cost to our business.”
"I visited the SafeContractor HQ and with just one look at the back-office support team, I knew that we would be in good hands. By pre-qualifying the contractors and offering further support where needed, I now have peace of mind and can focus on other areas of my job."
Jeff Marston, Group Safety and Environment Manager, AB Agri
In summary, AB Agri was seeking a solution that would add support and specialised experience to their team, greater visibility of their supply chain to ensure that they were compliant throughout, and to only hire contractors that had been pre-approved for the work that they needed.
SafeContractor offers an easy-to-use online portal that lists all your existing contractors, as well as new ones you may need, in one easy-to-access location. As the leading UK Health and Safety accreditation, SafeContractor ensures that all these contractors are pre-approved with up-to-date insurance, as well as other regulated areas such as GDPR, modern slavery, anti-bribery and more.
SafeContractor has the UK's largest in-house team of experts to make this process easy for the contractors, and offers a huge range of benefits, from health and safety advice to fuel cards. Jeff continued:
“I visited the SafeContractor HQ and with just one look at the back-office support team, I knew that we would be in good hands. By pre-qualifying the contractors and offering further support where needed, I now have peace of mind and can focus on other areas of my job.”
SafeContractor is supporting AB Agri by future-proofing their supply chain management strategies, through technology. Jeff said:
"The easy-to-use SafeContractor portal has reduced the admin burden for our team and we can now manage contractors with minimal effort. We are realising direct cost savings from this functionality which, as a lean team, translates to a genuine competitive advantage for our business.
By having greater transparency of who is in our supply chain across multiple sites, we can ensure that we are compliant with the ever-increasing regulation of our industry.
Furthermore, we now have the peace of mind that we will not be hit with significant damages costs as we know that all of our contractors have been pre-qualified.
SafeContractor has provided peace of mind for contractors that we hire across our 12 UK sites which we genuinely see as a competitive advantage for our business. We now plan to expand this across the whole of our transport fleet and third-party haulers to further gain economies of scale."
about alcumus safecontractor
For organisations that need to demonstrate compliance with increasingly stringent legislation, Alcumus SafeContractor, acts as a Supply Chain and EHSQ+ risk partner. We verify the compliance of your contractors and suppliers and make them available through an easy-to-use online portal.
This provides vital insight into your supply chain, enabling you to effectively monitor, manage, and make informed decisions about who you work with.