Allied Mills is returning to the commercial market in Great Britain after a three-year gap, which followed the sale of six of its nine milling sites to ADM Milling.

Allied divested the milling sites in February 2003. Since then, it has concentrated on milling for parent firm Associated British Foods’ (ABF) brands in Great Britain, although it still supplied customers in Ireland from its Neill’s mill in Belfast.

An agreement with ADM to stay out of the commercial market in Great Britain ended this month, and Allied now plans to target new customers as well as service its existing business.

Speaking exclusively to British Baker, group commercial manager Nick Donovan said the new Allied Mills wants to differentiate itself by offering innovative solutions, high-quality products and producing to customers needs. He commented: “We have invested in innovation over the last few years and we are very forward-thinking. Our competitors are very good. We have been out of market for three years and we know we need to prove that we have something more to offer.”

Over the last three years, Allied has focused on re-engineering its business, and becoming a “21st-century organisation”, he said. It has invested heavily in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and is using cutting-edge technology to communicate with and service customers. For example, it has installed silo telemetry on bulk silos, which monitor stock movements, so customers do not need to re-order when they are running low.

And Allied is using web portals to communicate with customers, so they are able to log on and view statements, orders, proofs of delivery and certificates of conformance. Plants and processes have also been upgraded – for example, with debranning technology.

Its milling sites in Manchester and Tilbury – comprising a total of four mills – will now service commercial customers as well as existing ABF trade.