Criag Varey interviews

It’s been five months since Craig Varey was appointed as the new Managing Director at Banner. Here he explains how he’s shaping and leading Banner into the future.


Q: What is your strategy for Banner?

A: Initially my strategy is to improve our service to existing customers.  That involves finding out what their needs and wants are, and trying to develop and deliver a service that satisfies these even better than before.

Q: What does that mean in general?

A: Improve the service, improve the standards. Find the products and services that our customers require to make their jobs and lives easier and then see if that falls within something Banner can deliver.


Q: What does that mean in real terms?

A: It will involve finding more goods and services that we can place in one box, in one delivery and under one invoice, to really try and make our customers’ lives as easy as possible.

Q: How are we implementing that?

A: We’re investing in categories and we’re looking to find the right level of people in the right positions with the right experience, both within the customer facing element of our business and also within the back office systems; so that we can deliver the service that our customers expect.

Q: What are the key relationships that matter most? 

A: The ultimate key relationship is with our customers. It’s about how we help some of ourcustomers to move away from a transactional relationship with us, to a more partnership-based, constructional one.


Secondary but also key to us is a focus on re-engaging with our employeesto try and ensure that we have in place within Banner the best calibre of individual to service those customers and the best calibre of individual to drive our business forward.


Last but not least is definitely our relationship with our suppliers. We need to ensure that we’re in a position where we have the right first tier relationships, the right distribution relationships and, in essence, the right products to take to market to service the customer.


Q: How do we move away from transactional relationships to more partnership, constructional relationships?

A:We need to try to find ways in which Banner can add value to customers and that’s partly why we’re investing even more in developing categories and employees.


Q: When you consider Banner in the future what does it look like, what will change? 

A: I think we’ll become less of a product provider and more of a solution provider and I think those solutions will have to evolve over time, probably in some areas, to ways that we’re not even aware of today.  I think lots of what we do is today actually more about partnership rather than contract and within those partnerships it’s actually more about working forward and back through the supply chain to find ways to take cost out of the service and delivery but also excel on service.

Q: What is the key to being successful in your role? 

A: We should be an open, transparent, trustworthy, engaged partner. That’s what we try to be and that’s what we try to instil in the staff.  We won’t get everything right but we’ll try to recover and improve and that’s the key.

To read more about how Craig is shaping and leading Banner into the future read the next edition of B Procurement magazine, which will be out in June 2017.

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