To conduct my buyer interview, I have contacted a French company named Alimentation Fine de France (AFF), which means French Fine Food. My contact was Marie-Dominique X, the key buyer of the company. I asked her a few questions about her company, the general buying process, and the people who are involved. The buying process consists in determining the need, selecting the supplier, reaching the appropriate terms and conditions, issuing the contract, and then controlling the delivery. The first part of this report is focused on how AFF deals with its purchases, from the description of the need to the evaluation of goods and suppliers. Then, a few recommendations are listed in order to understand how AFF could improve its buying process and how suppliers can get business from this organization. Alimentation Fine de France (AFF) is the second largest company on the French fine food and wine market. The central warehouse is located in Bergerac, at 90 kilometers from Bordeaux, Périgord. The company buys 1600 different products from 200 suppliers around the world and then resells them to about 2500 clients, which are mainly gourmet shops and department stores in France and Europe, such as Lafayette Gourmet and Harrod's.
[...] For each product, they use a worksheet in order to keep track of what comes in and out the warehouse. When they have decided on their needs (product description and specification), they start to search for potential suppliers. They use different criteria such as the history of the companies, their knowledge of the fine food market, and their reputation. When available, AFF makes sure the company is healthy via its financial reports. The next step is to contact the suppliers they are interested in and ask them for a proposal. [...]
[...] own products, they practice aggressive promotions as well as high-quality advertising and communication supports. In France, the fine food market is divided between mass distribution and smaller retailers. In the area of mass distribution, Menez and Bur are the number one and two. They are indirect competitors because AFF does not sell products to supermarkets. Concerning small retailers, the leader is SDPR, the subsidiary of a big corporation of “charcuterie” named Smithfield. But the competition is not really harsh since the firm is slowing down and lots of its butcher shops are closing because of retiring. [...]
[...] Key buyer What is the main purchase of your company? We are buying 1600 different items from 200 suppliers, French or import. Every year tons of goods are dispatched from Bergerac to our customers. What about the role of the purchase in your business operation? Buying in the key factor of success (quality, pricing, quantity per delivery, transportation ) Who are the other participants in the buying process? Could you tell me more about the buying group? (Who are the initiators, the controllers, the purchasing agent, the decision makers I am the initiator and decision maker. [...]
[...] Chapter “Organizational Behavior” - Internet The company website: www.aff.fr HACCP quality system: www.haccp-guide.fr The cartoon of the Executive Summary: http://www.columbusrealestatevoice.com/wpcontent/uploads/cartoon_20pics_20265_small.jpg - Buyer interview Marie-Dominique X General contact: 5. APPENDICES Here are some of the products AFF sells: Natural and cooked vegetables Pâtés, terrines and rillettes Prepared meals Mushrooms Sauces Condiments Oil, vinegar Spices, herbs and salts Truffles, foie gras and Aquitaine caviar Fruits and flowers jams, wine & flowers confits Stewed fruits and fruits with alcohol Fine biscuits and cakes (Source: AFF website) * BUYER INTERVIEW * M-D. [...]
[...] This kind of routine enables the 1 HACCP means Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. It is system which identifies, evaluates and controls hazards which are significant to food safety”. (Source: www.haccp-guide.fr/en/definition_haccp.htm) team to focus on other key points such as searching for new tendencies and tastes to increase the business 3. RECOMMENDATIONS P romotion on internet As Marie-Dominique X explained, they use internet to promote their products. Their website is consulted by their clients but also by current and potential vendors. [...]
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