GDF Suez (UK)

Background

GDF SUEZ is one of the world’s major energy suppliers with around 200,000 employees worldwide. The group is the No.1 buyer of natural gas in Europe and the 5th largest producer of electricity in Europe.  They are listed on the Brussels, Luxembourg and Paris stock exchanges and is represented in the main international indices:  CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Stoxx 50, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe and ASPI Eurozone.

Stock in Trade has been managing office supplies at the group’s main E&P (Exploration and Production of gas) site in London (including making deliveries via helicopter and barge to its gas platforms in the North Sea).

A different kind of supplier

Problems with previous stationery suppliers prompted Office Manager Michele Woodcock to make the switch to Stock in Trade after she met the company at a trade show:

“There are numerous suppliers in London, some good, some not so good. Whenever we had delivery or other problems we’d simply change suppliers, only to keep on experiencing similar problems – wrong deliveries, late deliveries and so on. We’d heard of Stock in Trade before and we knew they were different, so decided to switch to them.”

Stock in Trade’s service, extending well beyond the mere provision of goods, has eliminated the problems that existed with previous suppliers. In Michele’s words: “Stock in Trade offer an ‘all-round’ personal service. They really are there to help you.  They’re not your typical salesmen who sell you anything out of a catalogue, then once it’s been delivered and they think they’ve sold it to you and that’s it – their work is done.”

A flexible approach to supplies

Although Stock in Trade have their own catalogue and online information, Michele found that Stock in Trade were able to deliver items not listed: “They’re very competitive on price, but they will also come up with ideas, working with other suppliers that they have themselves. They have managed to source 3 or 4 large specialist items that have not been in their regular catalogue. If it’s not in the catalogue they will make sure they source it from somewhere else and come back with an option, usually within 24 hours.

“The cost-savings we have made are really a credit to their professionalism. They will always point out if we have ordered  a particularly expensive item when a more reasonable but equally good quality product is available.”

“They knew the stock I had better than I did!”

With nearly 100 employees spread over 4 floors, The GDF SUEZ site poses problems in the distribution of IT consumables and stationery from one central cupboard. Since Stock in Trade has taken over the management of stock, says Michele, these logistical problems have gone:

“Since Stock in Trade started auditing our stock they have helped us clear our old stock out and in doing so saved us lots of money! And since they knew where things were, I could actually phone up and say, ‘I’ve run out of toner for that particular printer, where is it?’ And they would tell me exactly where it is. So they knew the stock that I had better than I did myself!”

For Michele, it’s like having an extra employee:

“They can see our usage much better than we can. It makes things work so much better. Instead of phoning up to order something, you’re told you have it and it’s stored in a cupboard somewhere. That’s something we didn’t even consider when we first engaged them.”

Moving forward in partnership

With a major office move to larger premises in central London due to take place in 6 months’ time, Michele sees an important role for Stock in Trade: “I will be bringing them in to help us design our stationery cupboard and how it will work in the new office building, with deliveries, storage, shelving and so on.”

Being in a central London site, optimum use of space will be key:  “It’s important that we get things right from the outset,” she says, “down to the last square metre, and I know that Stock in Trade will help us fulfil that ambition.”

www.gdfsuezuk.com

On November 25, 2010, posted in: Case Study by
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