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Enabling Procurement Opens New Office in US


Enabling Procurement Opens New Office in US

Enabling Procurement is a boutique procurement consultancy that has developed its capabilities since 2015, with three offices across Belgium, France and the United Kingdom. Our DNA has always been a no-nonsense approach to procurement, and we’ve helped countless businesses to strengthen their supplier portfolios to achieve growth or weather adversity.

Over the last two years, we have been applying our professional approach, developed in industrial and retail environments, to food manufacturing and restaurant sector clients across the US. We have delivered successful procurement engagements across multiple restaurant chains and food brands, including a waffle and pancake brand, a fast-growing frozen food brand, a pet food manufacturer, and several leading companies in the condiments and sauces space.

The landscape we are encountering in the US is quite different to that of Europe. For example, in the US, top-line expansion plays a critical role in the path to success, and supply chains often rely on long-standing relationships with known suppliers and distributors (for example, in case of restaurants, it’s with aggregators- either distributors such as Sysco, or with GPOs).

EP’s successful 3-step recipe

Although there is nothing wrong with this model in principle, we have found that procurement often becomes inefficient; suppliers lacking competition fall into a comfort zone, and supply risks increase alternative supply options are not explored. The balance of power therefore tips to the side of the aggregators.

This creates a scenario where significant opportunities are often left untapped. The Private Equity houses we have worked with have asked us if we could apply our 3-steps ‘recipe’ more widely in the US market:

1- Open up to the market: The single-source long-term partner model is not well suited to current market volatility. We always seek to multiply sources.

2- Own your product: too many SKUs are A-brand. It might seem like a quality guarantee, but it is in fact the opposite. In fact it provides a false security; you still do not know what changes a vendor will make from one batch to another it is not a guarantee that the product you tested 3 years ago is still the same.

3- Quality, Quality, Quality: having a high-performing supply chain is not substituting high quality product for generic, it is rather the opposite. It is about getting closer to the producers, controlling the transformation stage of your product, and ultimately keeping the quality that makes your brand unique. It is about working closely with your suppliers to innovate your product and the inputs- in terms of efficiency, functionality, and customer appeal.

Our approach has been very welcome in the US, maybe even more than in Europe as we tend not to overthink, we walk the talk!

We are using years of experience accumulated in the retail and industrial sectors to transform food procurement, with full respect for vendors; we challenge, ask questions – all our projects start with a full eRFP of every SKU. Why? Because we believe you cannot create the right strategy without knowing what is out there. Once we understand the landscape fully, we then implement procurement transformation while ensuring that vendors – be they incumbent or new – are respected as part of the solution and leveraged fully as partners to achieve top-line growth.

And the results…

First and foremost, we are proud to say that we always leave at our client’s table a much richer choice of suppliers across all of the inputs and services we touch, from their ingredients, to their logistics services, to their indirect expenses.

All of our clients experience hard savings, even in the current climate, and they also experience a more robust supply chain that enables their sales growth despite supply market pressures

EP US team

The EP US team will be led by Ken Aerts and Jorge Milke:

An expert with 20 years of experience as a procurement officer and a consultant with McKinsey and several procurement consultancies, Ken has delivered projects in retail procurement transformation, consumer goods, logistics and distribution, food and beverage and hospitality, as well as the aerospace and transportation industries in the US and Europe. Ken is in charge of EP US operations.


Jorge has over 18 years of industry and consulting experience with firms such as Kearney and Deloitte and has deep expertise in delivering cost optimization programs in food and consumer goods manufacturing and distribution, as well as in the restaurant and hospitality industries in North America.


Interested in joining the EP US team?

We are experiencing a strong demand for our services across the US and are always keen to recruit talent that can serve our clients well.  If you are a true expert with many years of down-to-earth experience in doing procurement, if your main focus is delivering for your clients with respect for every stakeholder, get in touch: we would be delighted to hear from you.