“Vesper definitely helps us to build upon our strategy and buying policies”
Nestlé case study
Most people know Nestlé through their brands. Nestlé’s portfolio covers almost every food and beverage category – offering products and services for all stages of life, every moment of the day, helping people care for themselves and their families.
Jan Bert Banga works as a Regional Strategic Buyer at Nestlé based in Switzerland. He has over 12 years experience within the Dairy Industry.
Can you give us a bit of background on Nestlé, and your role as a buyer?
Nestlé is the one of the largest food companies in the world.
We buy a whole lot of raw materials; coffee, sugar, cacao, dairy, grains, cereals - you name it! Dairy is the largest branch within the commodities group at Nestlé; it’s a crucial part of the portfolio.
Each commodity has its own dynamics, market development and prices so we have a large team that are involved in dairy purchasing [approximately 20 buyers in total] and each one is dedicated to a specific dairy product. As we are a global food company with presence in almost every market in every country, our procurement is very locally diverse. We have procurement offices in Switzerland, Kuala Lumpur and Panama where we manage our European suppliers, Asia and Oceania, and the supply base from North, Central and South America. I’m part of the SMP and Milk Fat team, based in Switzerland.
We’re watching the market on a daily basis - the market is super volatile so we follow it very closely. Being the largest buyer of dairy, it's always important to establish how or when to buy, so our strategic approach is very important to us and that is being fed by dairy market intelligence tools.
I would say I’m saving at least 30-45 minutes per day by using Vesper
Why did you start using Vesper?
If you looked at my internet browser [prior to Vesper] I had tabs open of every single website used to follow market indicators (futures market, statistical data etc). So I had nearly 20 pages open on a daily basis just to be able to coordinate and gather market data. Vesper is a great solution - everything is combined in one space, you can really personalise it depending on what is important to you, and that's the uniqueness of this tool. It is a great contributor to save time and is something we haven't seen in any other tool out there. The tool immediately caught my attention - it’s very user friendly.
I would say I’m saving at least 30-45 minutes per day by using Vesper, which i can then spend doing what i should be doing - trying to get the best prices from our suppliers!
What are the main benefits you’ve noticed since using Vesper?
I like that Vesper’s calculations and forecasts are computer based models which is very good for getting an unbiased opinion. But I also like that Vesper has decided to include the human touch into the tool by offering the comments by Gira - a well reputed company.
I particularly like the calculations section. For Nestlé, it is important to consider what our suppliers would prefer to make out of milk because there are times when SMP and butter are not the most profitable return for the manufacturers, so they would prefer to make something else out of it. I like this section, where you can play around and calculate different components and commodity prices based on the milk prices - what should producers be producing right now instead of what they are selling - I think that's a very cool section.
We look at the Vesper forecast on a daily basis. That is most important to me as a user because we want to know what the prices are going to do in three, six, or nine months time - it’s the greatest feature for us as a buyer.
Vesper definitely helps us to build upon our strategy and buying policies. We don’t rely purely on the tool and Vesper’s forecast, but it helps us build a good case and gives us the ammunition to defend our policy changes - whether we should stop buying for a certain time or if we should jump into the market.
How else do you use Vesper in your day to day role?
If we see something that catches our attention in the market or some production numbers or quotation figures, then when we have regular calls with the team, we share Vesper on the screen to say “have you seen this, what do you think of it?”
I use Vesper as an input to prepare my piece for our weekly team calls where we discuss the market, review the buying activities that we’ve done, comments from suppliers - basically reviewing the market.
Finally someone decided to offer something really useful to the dairy industry; the idea to combine all the dairy market intelligence in one place and make something beautiful out of it - and I think Vesper has really done it!