Standards and Controls

As a company, we are convinced that underpinning our growth over the years has been our commitment to controls and standards that give confidence to our customers.

Food Safety

Perhaps the most important element of this relates to Food Safety. West Country Milk is independently audited every year to ensure it meets ‘NSF Due Diligence Standards’ for ‘The Sourcing, Approval & Remote Delivery of Dairy & Grocery Products’.

In April 2017 and for the fifth consecutive year we were accredited to a GOLD Standard in this regard.

West Country Milk contracts with suppliers via a formal SLA which includes minimum standards for delivery of products. Whilst touching upon multiple elements of the Service Levels required a critical element of this agreement is to ensure Chill Chain Integrity throughout the Supply Chain. From Storage, to Delivery Vehicles and Delivery Point, correct environmental conditions are maintained.

Restricted Product Lists

West Country Milk offers some 600+ product options. Not all products are desired at every customer meaning in some cases there needs to be active restrictions in place. These restrictions help to support range control, dietary control and budgetary control.

West Country Milk employs bespoke Computer Software systems specifically developed to manage all aspects of our business. This includes product lists that are specific to each account. These lists can even be established at the ‘site’ level for the ultimate control. For any order placed direct with West Country Milk these controls prevent any request for a restricted product from even being processed.

Importantly, these lists can be revised instantly should lists need to be adjusted; for example according to season.

Financial Standards

Cash flow is the life blood of any business. West Country Milk works with customers to offer attractive terms for payment. However, we are also proud of our long-standing ethics to ensure undue pressure is not passed down to our suppliers. Our policy being to pay suppliers on time, every time.

Occasionally invoice queries occur, however, our controls allow us to minimize this. For example, we process in excess of 65,000 invoices every week, however, our average invoice query count runs at less than 0.004%!! “

Cheese manufacturing and ripening is a complex art – it encompasses the chemistry and biochemistry of milk constituents, the chemical characterisation of cheese constituents, microbiology, enzymology, molecular genetics, flavour chemistry, rheology and chemical engineering.

Supplier SLA's

To ensure clear communication with our suppliers and to warrant the service level commitments we make to our customers we operate under a formal SLA with our supplying dairies.

Product Recall Procedure

As a company we regularly test the ‘traceability’ of the products we supply.

Policies

Below is a list of the policies we have developed to help guide our business culture and the everyday actions of each and every employee of West Country Milk. Click to view:

Customer Service

Each of our key customers has an Account Manager appointed to them to ensure we offer a consistent and responsive level of service and support. Your nominated Account Manager will ensure regular meetings (generally quarterly) to review our performance as your supplier.

On a day to day basis your sites have the option to place and amend orders direct with the supplying dairy or via our Customer Support team in Exeter. They will also be encouraged to report any service related concerns directly to West Country Milk to help ensure we have full insight into any service issues.

We will also appoint a Customer Service Representative based at our Exeter office who will be responsible for handling the day to day enquiries relating to your account.

We are extremely proud of our customer retention record which is impressively high. Though we continue to experience strong growth, from the customers who were trading with us at the end of 2012, over 90% of them are still buying from West Country Milk in 2017.

However, we do not take this for granted and recognise that key to customer retention is excellent customer care. We have a defined escalation process in place to ensure that you and your sites receive answers and solutions on-time, every-time.

New Customers

A simple and yet extremely effective element to our customer care involves the way we manage the start-up process for new customers / sites. Regardless of whether it is a single site or a whole new estate of 100’s of sites our approach is the same.

Well before supply commences we initiate contact with the site to explain who we are, what we can do and how we can be contacted. We also discuss their preferred delivery times, delivery days and specific delivery instructions (e.g. deliver to back entrance and ring the bell).

We offer the option to send an information pack to each of your sites to ensure they have all the important contact information permanently on hand.

We ensure that our suppliers are well prepared and have all the delivery information ready as well as clear agreement regarding the delivery SLA.

We contact your sites to establish either an opening order or a standing order. We clearly explain their options for placing and amending orders.

On the day of the first delivery we place a welcome call to every site to ensure that everything has gone smoothly and that they have no concerns

Of course things do occasionally go wrong. Whilst we make every effort to resolve all issues immediately it is unfortunate when problems recur. In this instance we place the site onto our ‘Critical Care’ list. The site will then receive a call daily for at least one week. We will not assume the problem is solved, we will ensure we communicate with your staff until the solution is confirmed and the site is fully satisfied with the outcome.

Open when you need us!

West Country Milk opens its offices 6 days per week to ensure your sites receive support when they need it.

  • Our helpful staff are on site from 8am till 4pm, Monday through Friday and 8am till 12pm on Saturday.
  • We operate a Day One for Day Two delivery service meaning your sites can place and amend orders right up until 12pm for the following day. In cases where a change is required after this cut-off point we always encourage the site to phone our offices so we can do our best to accommodate their needs.
  • We operate a Saturday Service on Bank Holidays and only close on three days of the year. Christmas, Boxing and New Year’s Days.
  • We operate an ‘out of hours’ answerphone service which is responded to as a priority at 8am on every working day. Further, we offer an emergency out of office telephone number for any issues requiring immediate attention.