Settings: 7 Places: 299 Location: Berks & Bucks Used Green Bottoms since: 2011
With a history going back over 25 years, Countryside Nurseries are one of Thames Valley’s leading independent nursery groups with 7 settings stretching across Buckinghamshire and Berkshire. A family owned and managed nursery group, all 7 settings care for children aged from new-born to 5 years old.
As anyone running a nursery business will know, finding suppliers you can trust is important and all the more so with a business operated over multiple settings. With Head Office located elsewhere, direct oversight of day-to-day issues is removed and therefore it’s essential that services are provisioned across all settings that support the work of individual Nursery Managers whilst also making financial sense. For their nappy and sanitary waste disposal, for many years Countryside used a well-known national company but by 2011 they had grown frustrated by the unreliable service and seemingly ever-increasing prices. They decided to seek out a new supplier and, says Finance Manager Lesley Whiteman, “We’re very pleased that we discovered Green Bottoms”.
“We’re very pleased that we discovered Green Bottoms”
Lesley recalls that the cost of their waste disposal had gotten out of control. “We had been in a long term contract with a national hygiene waste company but the costs had steadily increased year after year and the pricing structure seemed almost deliberately unwieldy and confusing” says Lesley, adding “There were many different pricing elements, which seemed unnecessary for a relatively straightforward service, and each of these elements had price rises coming through at least annually and at times more often than that”. On top of these important financial considerations, Countryside had other issues with the service they were receiving, as Lesley remembers, “the reliability had become a big problem too, and it was impossible to get any of our problems rectified. Quite simply we were fed up of hearing unfulfilled promises”.
“But we really liked the idea of a company that solely focused on serving nurseries”
The extent of the issues prompted Countryside to take a fresh look at the market and, amongst others, they discovered Green Bottoms, who had recently launched on a semi-national basis. “We were unsure at first, as they were relatively new and it felt like a bit of a step into the unknown” says Lesley, “But we really liked the idea of a company that solely focused on serving nurseries”.
It seems that, in retrospect, Countryside are happy that they decided to take that step. “To start with, Green Bottoms gave us much simpler pricing” says Lesley, “and what seemed like lower costs on the face of it did actually result in a reduction in our total spend of around 35%, which we were very pleased with”. Furthermore, Countryside have also benefitted from over 5 years of highly stable costs and as Lesley puts it: “That’s like a breath of fresh air compared to our previous supplier”.
As for the issues they had previously encountered with regards to reliability and communication, we speak to two of Countryside’s Nursery Managers to give us an insight into the day-to-day experience of using Green Bottoms. Ann Middleton manages the 39-place Park House Nursery in the picturesque village of Cookham, Berkshire and her colleague Nadine Le Good, who has been with Countryside for over 8 years, currently manages the 35-place Beeches Nursery, which is located in the grounds of a local primary school in Burnham, Buckinghamshire.
“As with anything, the quality of the people delivering the service is important and the team at Green Bottoms are always efficient, well-mannered and pleasant.”
“The service from Green Bottoms is consistently good” says Nadine, “I’ve experienced it across 4 different nurseries over 5 years and they are very reliable, always turn up on time and really, we never have any issues. It’s a service that just works”. Nadine’s colleague Ann agrees, adding, “As with anything, the quality of the people delivering the service is important and the team at Green Bottoms are always efficient, well-mannered and pleasant.”
Lesley Whiteman concludes: “Having to make only one or two phone calls in over 5 years, and then only for very minor queries, is exactly what you need from this type of service” she says, adding “running multiple nurseries is a full-on challenge, so having suppliers you can trust and rely on is absolutely imperative. Having used a number of similar companies over the years, we are very happy with our decision to choose Green Bottoms. In our experience, they are the best at what they do”.
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