Kent Dairy Company

Joseph Oates
Dispute Resolution
Tunbridge Wells
Nicky Crossey, Head of Credit Control

Family business, Kent Dairy Company – distributor of dairy related products - was formed in 2010.

Since then, the business has expanded to include five distribution centres and 200 employees.

Family business, Kent Dairy Company, was established by Dave Terry, who initially operated from a farm in Kent with just 12 customers. The vision for the company was to become the ‘dairy foodservice provider of choice’, where customer service was at the forefront of every delivery.

Since then, the business has expanded to include five distribution centres – in Kent, Hertfordshire, Hampshire, Somerset and, through a recent partnership with Freshways Dairy, Suffolk. Kent Dairy Company works with customers which range from doorstep milkmen to bulk milk buyers and offers its customers a variety of products including milk, cream butter, cheese, eggs, desserts, yogurt, bakery, soft drinks and other products, such as bacon and mayonnaise.

Its seven core values have remained the same throughout – customer, teamwork, innovation, integrity, commitment, goals and responsibility.

Here we ask Nicky Crossey, Head of Credit Control, more about the support CooperBurnett LLP provides the firm:

When did you first start working with CooperBurnett?

“I joined Kent Dairy Company in 2021 and, soon after, put in place a credit control process and created a ‘chase cycle’ to efficiently resolve any debt issues. We are running a big operation here and being paid is important. Last year alone, our credit control team collected £52 million.

If the initial chase cycle fails, which it sometimes does, you need a good legal team on your side. I had known Joe [Oates] since 2013, as CooperBurnett provided this service at my previous employer. I called him and he came to see me and meet David Terry, the owner of Kent Dairy Company, and, following that meeting, we engaged CooperBurnett.

Having known Joe and the team for a while, I had absolute trust in the service they provide – and that was important, as I was recommending the firm into a business I’d only recently joined.”

What support does CooperBurnett give your business?

“If our invoice hasn’t been paid, even after initiating our chase cycle, we turn to CooperBurnett to provide a debt collection service for us, as well as supporting us with any related legal questions we might have. I really like the fact that we have created a really easy, straightforward, process between us and I have complete trust in their ability to fulfil that.

However, you can’t chase that debt without a solid list of ‘terms and conditions’ that customers sign up to – particularly if it ends up in court and we are looking at issuing winding up petitions etc. These terms and conditions have to be watertight. They were challenging to draw up and CooperBurnett helped us to create them – with several drafts going back and forwards.”

Who do you deal with on the CooperBurnett team?

“My main contact at the firm is Joe Oates but I also deal with his colleague Sue Ward. We have a really good system in place. If we can’t get the money from a customer and we’ve gone through the ‘chase cycle’, then I prepare a file and pass it over to CooperBurnett. I almost always get a confirmation from Sue straightaway to say it’s in hand and, depending on when I send it over, they often get a letter out to our customer the same day.”

What would you say to another business looking to work with CooperBurnett?

“In addition to being efficient and professional, the CooperBurnett team are also extremely nice to deal with and helpful, as well as providing exceptional customer service.

I really appreciate and trust their expertise and I totally rely on them to provide us with good guidance. CooperBurnett is always our first port of call; they are always prompt to respond.

Sometimes I pick up the phone with a fairly random question and I pretty quickly get a response. It’s that personal touch I like.

I also really like the fact that they are based locally to our base in Goudhurst. While the majority of our contact is by email – as our processes are so efficient – it gives peace of mind to know they are only 15 minutes away from us.”

To discover more about becoming a CooperBurnett client, call us on: 01892 515022.

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