RHM, one of Britain’s largest food companies, is planning to create a formal group design roster comprising five consultancies, following a strategic move to slash its number of suppliers and review the way it procures design.
It is now seeking to appoint four ‘best of the best’ from a current shortlist of nine featuring: The Core, Williams Murray Hamm, Design Bridge, Blue Marlin Brand Design, Vibrant, Jones Knowles Ritchie, Millini, Ikon and Turner Duckworth. The consultancies are divided into two units, strategic and non-strategic.
All have been invited to battle it out in a further review meeting scheduled to take place later this month rather than via a pitch. Matthew Day, head of marketing at Cadbury Cakes, a Manor Bakeries brand, is overseeing the review as the roster champion for design. He is reporting to Ginny Knox, group marketing director.
RHM expects to select two consultancies from the non-strategic group – featuring The Core, Ikon and Millini – and a further two from the strategic group, involving the six remaining consultancies. RHM is understood to have already appointed Ion Design to the roster.
‘They are selecting from the best of the best across the board,’ confirms Lulu Laidlaw-Smith, international marketing director at Blue Marlin Brand Design.
RHM’s strategy aims to reduce costs and improve value through developing closer relationships with suppliers. Previously, the company worked with hundreds of consultancies, but without a ‘strict roster’ in place, throwing up questions of efficiency.
‘RHM is looking to achieve exceptional creativity by having fewer, more high quality relationships. The work will be co-ordinated across the group in a more consistent way,’ says a spokesman for RHM.