Cleone Foods – Winner of the BITC Business Resilience Award 2013


BITC Business Resilience Award 2013


Business Resilience and Continuity Strategy


Cleone Foods Ltd, a small Birmingham based food manufacturing business – Winner of the BITC Business Resilience Award 2013

The aims

Cleone Foods were recognised for their efforts in implementing an extremely impressive strategy which minimises potential threats to their business. Their comprehensive risk assessment has ensured that whatever the issue; their business is prepared and ready for action. The success of the strategy is highlighted in impressive growth figures and minimal disruption to business practices since its implementation in 2009.

The challenges

  • To minimise the possibility of delays in the delivery of its goods as a large proportion of the company’s business is with major supermarket chains and any such delays can result in fixed financial penalties. Prolonged disruption is not only a risk to profitability, but in the long term a threat to the survival of the company.
  • To reduce the impact that extreme weather could potentially bring upon the business with snow being identified as the major, persistent disruptive event for the company.
  • To minimise the risk of potential prolonged power failure, as any such event would create major implications for the business, as a large amount of finished stock is held on site in chillers and freezers.
  • To diminish both the likelihood and the impact of possible IT failure upon the business.

 The solutions

  • Cleone Foods have a reciprocal agreement with Shire Foods in Warwickshire, which allows emergency production to be easily shifted between sites without affecting production.
  • An investment was made into the purchase of specialist equipment, including a forklift snowplough and grit spreader. The company operates as a snow champion, which involves clearing adjacent public roads and the loan of equipment to other local businesses.
  • Diesel powered generators have been put in place which automatically switch on in the event of mains supply loss.
  • Managers and other senior staff are enabled to work from home, thanks to facilities which enable access to remote to IT systems. The company also has dual main servers and mirrored hard drives which are protected further by manufacturers 24 hour replacement warranty.
  • The company adopts a local employment policy, which means the majority of staff live in close proximity to the site.

 The results

  • Cleone foods were able to convince a major supermarket chain of their ability to deliver and as a result, an exclusivity deal was agreed upon. This led to an extremely impressive 11% increase in sales.
  • Since the implementation of the programme, there has been no disruption to the supply chain in relation to extreme weather.
  • A major computer failure was alleviated within 24hours, with no significant impact upon the normal operations of the company.

Learning points

Excellent planning is essential to maintain a successful and profitable business. A full risk analysis was produced of all possible contingencies along with a rating system which highlighted both the potential impact and possible solutions. Progress of the risk analysis was tracked at monthly managers meetings until its implementation and is now subject to regular review.

SWM comment

The impressive results Cleone Foods continue to see is indicative of how forward planning can yield impressive results for business, even during difficult financial climates. The company’s approach to business resilience is a fantastic example and provides important lessons for businesses of all scales.


For more information regarding the strategy please contact Cleone Foods.