Moving Matters

Colin Wynn

A podcast for the UK Moving industry where your host, Colin Wynn, interviews company owners, branch managers and even suppliers in this wonderful, friendly, family orientated industry. We delve into the past, the present and the future with each of our guests.
Episode 37: Moving Matters with Damien Pahulu of Frontier Packers
In this episode Damien Pahulu of Frontier Packers discusses how he began in the industry after relocating from New Zealand to Australia in 1999, starting as an offsider (porter), and then a driver and now is a contractor for a large moving company in Brisbane, Australia. As a contractor Damien is purely operations based and does international, domestic and government moves, where he and his team pack and load containers which are sent on rail or B-double trucks. Damien’s company, Frontier Packers, run a single truck and a Ute, with a crew of three. Damien’s challenges were discovering that he wasn’t really cut out for managing large groups of people, even though he kept trying, but also his initiative into training videos was not well received by the global company he worked for at the time, so he made his own and released them on YouTube (link below). The one thing Damien would like to change from his moving past is to have backed himself into going out on his own a lot sooner. Damien’s highpoint of being in the industry is meeting company owners and learning from them. Damien talks about AFRA, the Australian Furniture Removers Association, of which he is not a member, however, the company he contracts to is. Damien would like to change three things within the moving industry, changing the mindset that more competition from the cheaper removers is bad, operation staff to dream bigger not only within their role but within the industry, and finally, to change or remove some of the rules set by the relocation companies regarding the forms that must be completed! And I challenge Damien on his mindset that more cheaper removers are good for the industry. Damien’s advice to just starting out in the industry again is to give himself the confidence to back himself sooner and go out alone. Damien believes that in the next 5 years technology will play a big part within the industry (maybe an Uber for porters), as too will be self-driving trucks. Damien lives and breaths removals, but when he does switch off, he loves spending time with his family, and visiting family members and friends. And as always we end Moving Matters with a funny moving story, regarding a wedding portrait (photograph). Enjoy! Links to Damien: * Website (https://damienpahulu.com/) * Twitter (https://www.twitter.com/damienpahulu) * YouTube (https://youtube.com/user/FrontierRemovalVids) * LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/damien-pahulu-90a31352/) Special Guest: Damien Pahulu.
41 mins
Episode 36: Moving Matters - A Funny Moving Story SpecialEpisode 35: Moving Matters with Alan Bennett of Britannia Bennetts of Malvern
In this episode Alan Bennett, Director of Britannia Bennetts of Malvern discusses how he began in the industry some 40 years ago at the tender age of 16, for Ernest Batty Ltd (a 5 vehicle BAR member) where he remained until the company went into liquidation in 1985. We discover that Bennetts of Malvern Limited (prior to Britannia Bennetts of Malvern) started on 27th March, 1987 and today is ran by Alan and his wife of 24 years Judith where they operate 4 HGV’s, 4 low-loaders (2 of which are from the van-hire side of the business), 8 removal staff, 4 office staff and a 20,000 sqft warehouse (on a 2 acre site), where half houses 350 containers and the rest is 130 Self-Storage units, with a further 130 Self-Storage units being fitted in the new year. We discuss what the deciding factor was with Alan joining Britannia Movers International, which Alan points out is a co-operative and not a franchise that everyone seems to think it is (including me). We discover Alan’s challenges, the house purchase collapse in 1989, the 2008 financial crash, but the biggest one has been Covid. We discuss that the one thing Alan would change from his moving past would be to have undertaken a business life coaching course from the beginning, which after 20 years he has self-taught from reading books and watching YouTube. We discover that Alan’s highpoints of being in the industry include taking on Judith, who became Alan’s wife and business partner. Alan claims that she’s the executioner of his ideas (I may have to get Judith on to confirm or deny that claim!). Other highpoints include joining Britannia (where Alan has just been appointed to the board), joining BAR, buying his first truck, and of course seeing his staff develop. We discuss what Alan would change within the moving industry, reducing the VAT threshold is one, and although Alan has no problems with 3.5 tonne vehicles, he would like to change the enforcement of them, and finally completion dates. We discover that the advice Alan would give himself just starting out in the industry, apart from a business/life coaching course is to just treat people with respect. We discuss what changes Alan sees in the next 5 years, in the industry Alan believes the days of the HGV truck is slowly and sadly fading away as we utilise low loaders more and more. Personally, Alan wants to retire at 60 and give something back to the community, for no money, maybe even provide some business life coaching. We discover that outside of the industry Alan enjoys home life on his 5-acre sheep ranch, cycling, walking the dog on the Malvern Hills, however, he really enjoys trips in his most luxurious purchase, a Morgan sports car, bought of course with the permission of Judith. And as always we end Moving Matters with a funny moving story, regarding a trip to the Isle of Wight. BONUS: Alan plays a game with me, the removal man’s slang, from when he started in the industry! Enjoy! Links to Britannia Bennetts of Malvern: * Website (https://www.britanniabennetts.com/) * Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BennettsofMalvernRemovalsandStorage/) * Twitter (https://twitter.com/britbennetts) Special Guest: Alan Bennett.
52 mins
Episode 34: Moving Matters with Warren Leggett of Warren's Removals and Storage
In this episode Warren Leggett, Director of Warren’s Removals & Storage discusses how he began in the industry only 7 years ago, in 2014 to be precise, working at the weekends and hiring vans due to not owning his own. But at the end of 2015 Warren made the leap to go alone and leave his secure full-time employment (as a medical supplies delivery driver). We discover that today Warren’s Removals & Storage have 8 x 3.5-tonne vans, have just taken delivery of their first 18-tonne truck, have 3 storage locations housing a total of 105 wooden storage containers and 107 shipping containers, and employ 19 staff (15 removals and 4 office). We discuss that Warren also has Warren’s Elite, which offers ‘elite’ services to professional people who simply do not have the time to be involved in the moving process, therefore, Warren’s Elite will unpack, replicate the positioning of the items from the old property to the new, put-up pictures, blinds, curtains and even TV wall brackets! We discover that Warren has OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), in every aspect of the business, but especially in customer service. And we cover one of my bugbears within the moving industry, uniforms. We discuss that Warren’s biggest challenge is staffing, which often creates a domino effect across the team when a staff member goes missing in action. However, Warren does enjoy giving his staff opportunities, and is putting 3 of them through their HGV test in the new year. We discover that Warren would not change anything from his moving past, however, he does wish he had taken an alternative route into storage. We discuss Warren’s highpoint, and he has many, citing; buying his first van, offering employment opportunities, moving successful people, his first 2 shipping containers arriving at his new yard, and his latest being the delivery of his first 18-tonne truck. We discover the one thing Warren would like to change in the industry is the conveyancing system. We discuss what advice Warren would give to himself just starting out in the industry again and it would be to quit drinking sooner, something Warren did 2 years ago, and thanks to his clear headspace he was able to fully focus on the business which has just grew and grew. We discover where Warren see’s himself and the industry in the next 5 years, and Warren has no 5 or 10 year plan for the business as he prefers to just go with the flow, however, he would like multiple depots across the UK. Industry wise he see’s it getting very modern, with much more use of social media. We discuss social media in more detail, including the various ways to go about it, and Warren provides a very good Facebook case study. We discover that outside of the industry Warren struggles to switch off, which he does admit is a problem. Warren’s wife works within the company (accounts) and together they have a young daughter. And as always we end Moving Matters with a funny moving story, regarding an apple. Enjoy! Links to Warren's Removals and Storage: * Website (https://www.removalsworcester.com/) * Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/WarrensRemovals/) * Twitter (https://twitter.com/WarrensRemovals) * Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/warrensremovals/) Special Guest: Warren Leggett.
51 mins
Episode 33: Moving Matters with Chris Magee of CrissCross Removals
In this episode Chris Magee, Managing Director of CrissCross Removals & Storage of Belfast discusses how he began as a man and van 5 years ago (buying and selling furniture from Gumtree and Facebook), before branching into Removals & Storage in mid-2019, citing that he wanted to compete on service rather than just price. We discover that today CrissCross Removals & Storage primarily undertake domestic household removals, house clearances, packing services, man and van services and provide storage. We discuss challenges, where Chris states that they are daily and never ending as the industry is very time sensitive, but Chris’s biggest challenge was lack of preparation in 2019 when his one and only van broke down, taking 4 weeks to get a replacement part! We discover that the changes Chris would make from his past would be to start by building a great team rather than building everything yourself, and to let go of his ego early in business. We discuss Chris’s highpoint, and it is the creation of a great local business in such a short space of time, especially the team he has assembled, which we discuss in more detail. We discover the change Chris would make to the moving industry and it is the barrier to entry to keep professional standards up, even though Chris is being totally hypocritical as this is how he started, as have many others in the industry. Chris suggests that maybe there is a requirement for a qualification that allows you to undertake removals. We discuss that Chris is undertaking his HGV (as too is his General Manager) and CPC because he wants to grow the business further and start overseas work. We discover that the advice Chris would give himself just starting in the industry again is to hire quickly, hire properly and don’t be afraid of the financial hit. We discuss where Chris see’s himself and the industry in the next 5 years, and Chris wants further growth with the business, trucks going across the water, increase in storage, bigger trucks for local moves, and to make CrissCross Removals & Storage the ‘go to’ company in Northern Ireland. Industry wise Chris sees heavy investment within autonomous trucks (and I ask with the possibility of autonomous trucks how will that affect anyone wanting to become an HGV driver where the role may then no exist in 10-15 years’ time), and as modern-day life is social media Chris believes this is where you will need to invest in growing your brand. We discover that outside of the industry Chris has a lot of hobbies, he is a fellow podcaster (The C Magee Show), has a massive passion for Boxing and is hugely into health and fitness. And as always we end Moving Matters with a funny moving story, regarding a very challenging day where a wheel fell off a van! Enjoy! Links to CrissCross Removals: * Website (https://www.crisscrossvanandmanremovals.com/) * Facebook (https://facebook.com/crisscrossremovals) * Instagram (https://instagram.com/crisscrossremovals) Special Guest: Chris Magee.
40 mins
Episode 32: Moving Matters with Paul Tracey of Squab Removals & Storage
In this episode Paul Tracey, Managing Director of Squab Removals & Storage discusses how he began in the industry some 29 years ago, as a trainee manager for Pickfords, and at the time thinking he was joining a travel company! We discover that the Pickfords management training scheme was a 3-year program and you learned everything to do with removals, from sweeping the yard, making the tea, answering the telephone and you spent a period of time doing removals, writing reports and making suggestions based upon your experiences. We discuss that Paul has recently become a part owner of Squab Removals & Storage which is based in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. Squab Removals & Storage are BAR members, hold 2 of the quality standards (BSEN12522 & BSEN14873), operate 9 vehicles, have a modern warehouse housing 900 containers, and are seen as the professional choice within the area they work in. We discover that Paul is a strong believer in standards and has been involved in QSS (Quality Service Standards) for the past 6 years and Paul believes there is a very strong link between standards, quality, and profitability. Paul also thinks standards are a health check to a business and I question whether the standards need looking at again considering they have been around for quite some time now, unchanged. We discuss that Squab Removals & Storage have their own training centre, which is a 3-bedroom purpose-built house within one of their warehouses, complete with household effects and the general challenges found when providing a moving service. We discover that Paul has had lots of challenges over the years and the challenges are certainly different being your own boss and having your own business to working for somebody else. However, the challenge of educating customers has never changed and this still shocks Paul to this very day. We discuss the one thing Paul would change from his moving past, but Paul thinks it’s always difficult to look back and much prefers looking forward to the future. Having recently become a company owner, later in life than most, he does wonder if passing up on an opportunity years ago to invest in his own company is a regret. Paul also believes that while you can always blame the past you have to learn from it too. We discover Paul’s highlight of being in the industry and it’s the people, many of whom have become great friends, and the memories made that you will take with you as you go forward. We discuss how we can get youngsters into our industry and Paul says people have to see it as a career and a profession in the UK, just like they do in America and other European countries. We discover that the one thing Paul would like to change within the industry is for our industry to be seen as a profession (as previously discussed) and for customers to pay a proper value for what we do - Paul states when we sell ourselves short, the only people we are ever harming is ourselves, and it should not be a race to the bottom. We discuss the advice Paul would give to himself just starting out in the industry, and it’s knowing and understanding the business as a whole, understand every element of what goes on within the business and understand your numbers (your true costs). We discover that within the next 5 years Paul’s ambition is to grow the business and increase its footprint into 2-3 locations, so Squab Removals & Storage are on the acquisition hunt. As an industry the HGV shortage is going to be a challenge, so we need to put value not only in our drivers but also in our porters too, as they are our next drivers. We discuss that outside of the industry Paul enjoys the countryside, either walking, cycling or driving in his sports car, and Paul is a fan of the egg chasing sport of rugby. And as always we end Moving Matters with two funny moving stories, one involving the pecking order and the other involving lighting! Enjoy! Links to Squab Removals & Storage: * Website (https://squabremovals.co.uk/) * Twitter (https://twitter.com/squabgroup) * Facebook (https://facebook.com/SquabRemovals) * Instagram (https://instagram.com/squabremovals) Special Guest: Paul Tracey.
49 mins
Episode 31: Moving Matters with Miranda Hyder of BAR Services
In this episode Miranda Hyder, General Manager of BAR Services discusses how she started working within the industry for BAR Services some 34 years ago, part time for Tony Allen to begin with before progressing to full time around 1994. We discover that BAR Services is a trading arm of BAR (British Association of Removers) and was setup in 1977 to be a bulk purchasing organisation after a successful study tour of America. Today BAR Services sell to BAR members, non-members, has branched out to supply the self-storage industry and more recently directly to the general public, via its website. BAR Services was and still remains a ‘not for profit’ organisation, where profits are shared amongst its BAR member customers. We discuss why the price of cardboard has risen so much in recent times, and Miranda warns us that it’s about to rise once again! We discover that the cost of plastic has also risen, albeit not as often but sadly in larger percentages, however, it is Miranda’s strategic goal to become more environmentally friendly with the product range. We discuss that Miranda’s biggest challenge was taking on the mantle of running a successful business after the retirement of Tony Allen, and proving to the board of directors that she was the right candidate to take the business forward. We discover that Miranda would not change a thing from her past as she has really enjoyed her working life within this wonderful industry, where she has made many good friends. We discuss Miranda’s highpoint which was increasing the turnover of BAR Services to £6.2 million! We discover that the one thing Miranda would change within the industry is to charge the right price for the service that is offered, and hopes that the industry does not revert back to a race to the bottom line anytime soon. We discuss the advice that Miranda would give to herself just starting out in the industry again and it is to have a healthy liver! Miranda loves to network, and I personally will state she is one of the best I know at it! We discover that in 5 years time Miranda will still be here as she really enjoys her job and the industry. Industry wise Miranda hopes the industry becomes more environmentally friendly. We discuss that outside of the industry Miranda enjoys family time with her husband, two children and grandchildren, touring around the UK in their recently purchased campervan, and runs twice a week with her girlfriends. And as always we end Moving Matters with two funny stories, one involving her first presentation and another regarding a bee keeper – although Miranda does have a little black book containing plenty of dirt on well-known industry folk – NOT! Enjoy! Links to BAR Services: * Website (https://www.barservices.co.uk) * Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BARServices) * Twitter (https://twitter.com/barservicesltd) Special Guest: Miranda Hyder.
44 mins
Episode 30: Moving Matters with Mike Andrews of Britannia Bradshaw Internatinal Removals & Storage
In this episode Mike Andrews, Managing Director of Britannia Bradshaw International Removals & Storage discusses how he began in the industry in 1995 after leaving university where his friend James invited him down to London for a few weeks to do some portering for Britannia Leatherbarrows which consequently led to David Trenchard offering Mike management training. We discover that Britannia Bradshaw International Removals & Storage is two companies, one being based in Leicester (which Mike is involved in with Mark Herrington), and the other John Bradshaw & Son which owns and runs businesses in Manchester, Birmingham, and Stafford. Both companies run under the Britannia banner and offer domestic removals & storage, including international shipping. They also operate BCL Moving, which is more bespoke commercial moving services, and own a shredding plant in Leicester, and are belatedly getting involved in Self-Storage. And I am happy to discover that BCL Moving still run their pink liveried trucks, which were liveried in that way to promote a Breast Cancer Prevention Charity in Manchester. We discuss challenges and Mike’s biggest was every removal man’s worst nightmare, a warehouse fire, which Mike says this is where you realise why you have insurance after such an event! And of course, Mike has the variety of daily challenges that come from dealing with people. We discover that Mike would not change anything from his past because he cannot change them, however, Mike does learn from each making him better next time around. We discuss Mike’s highpoint of being in the industry and it was becoming friends with the late Malcolm Halley, who not only was a great pal but a great teacher. Mike tells us that Malc was always happy, always enjoyed himself and never bore a grudge, no matter how hard things were, are or will be in business. We discover that Mike would like the industry to celebrate more that what we provide is a really good and important service, and to have more pride in our staff, our service, and our price. We also discuss the current driver (and labour) shortage, and the use of low loaders within the industry. We discuss that the advice Mike would give to himself just starting out in the industry is that your team is your business, and as almost all skills are learned if there is anything you cannot do either read a book or watch a video on the subject. And find yourself a mentor from within the industry. We discover that in the next 5 years, personally as we are in strange seas at the minute Mike doesn’t know what opportunities may throw themselves up for businesses in that period but enjoys growth and changes; Industry wise, Mike says that the industry needs to keep polishing itself and setting itself apart from the man & van industry. We discuss that outside of the industry Mike enjoys cycling, walking with the dogs and family, he’s a voracious reader, enjoys music and fly fishing. And as always we end Moving Matters with a funny moving story featuring a gendarme. Enjoy! Links to Britannia Bradshaw International Removals & Storage: * Website (https://www.bradshawinternational.com/) * Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/britmovers) * Twitter (https://twitter.com/britmovers) * YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcELpFmofjUkI7D5TeJmFyQ) * Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/company/britannia-bradshaw/) Special Guest: Mike Andrews.
45 mins
Episode 29: Moving Matters with John Burridge of Richardson Moving and Storage
In this episode, John Burridge, Managing Director of Richardson Moving and Storage discusses how he started in the industry 41 years ago with the same business. We discover that Richardson Moving and Storage was bought by John’s father who started in the industry as a clerk at Pickfords in Newcastle. In 1963 John’s father (together with his brother Morris) brought a bankrupt company called Richardson, and within 10 years they had bought a mill which they turned into a 55,000 sqft warehouse and ran 30 trucks (some of the first drawbars), but after the unexpectedly sudden death of Morris, John’s father decided to sell the assets, ‘mothballed’ the company name and retired. In 1980, when John was 18, he and his father bought an old van and brought the Richardson name back to life. We discuss that today Richardson Moving and Storage is owned by John and one of his son’s Josh, who joined the company 5 years ago. They have their own 25,000 sqft freehold warehouse on their own site housing 560 containers and approximately 8,000 sqft of self-storage rooms, and they run 4 trucks and 2 vans with 12 fulltime staff and are proud BAR members. We discover that Richardson Moving and Storage started in self-storage back in 2002, but John is not a fan, due to the number of times goods are handled and the distance the goods are walked, and often tries to talk people into containerised storage. We discuss John’s challenges which are, offering a high-class service in probably the UK’s most deprived area (Teesside), working with his father, but John’s biggest challenge has been COVID. We discover the one change John would make from his past was his father missing the opportunity to see Josh come into the business, and thus see another generation taking on the mantle. We discuss John’s highpoints, buying his first new van, building their new warehouse, and a job John did together with Mike Devereux for Cleveland County Council. We discover what changes John would like to see in the industry, and he has a few! Pricing, especially from the larger companies who John says must be working below cost; 3.5 tonne vehicles need regulating; To see the skill of being a removal man regulated, and thus recognising the skillset of the removal man (and woman) at governmental level; And the conveyancing system, which John says is not fit for purpose. We discuss the driver shortage and John does not believe the root of the problem is Brexit, he believes it is because we have disrespected drivers for several years, asking why companies want to work staff 65/70 hours a week, sending them away 3-4 nights with no parking and more so no facilities. John believes times have changed in recent years, men want to spend time at home, with their families, they want to have a social life and it’s no longer all about work anymore. We discover the advice John would give to himself just starting out in the industry again (and to Josh), is to educate yourself and understand every aspect of your business. John would have loved to have worked for another company to gain experience and an alternative view on things. We discuss where John see’s the industry and himself in 5 years, for himself he would like to be working 3 days a week while he hangs on a couple more years for his pension, and industry wise John still believes there will always be a position for the small quality minded independent mover, with a good reputation. We discover that outside of the industry John likes mountain biking with his wife around the UK and Europe, skiing, and watching Wharfedale R.U.F.C., where Josh plays, and Tom used to, before an injury put an end to that. And as always we end Moving Matters with two funny moving stories, one involving the negotiation of an exchange of services to get a reduction in the price, and the other featuring a sex toy – at last!!! Enjoy! Links to Richardson Moving and Storage: * Website (https://www.richardsonremovals.co.uk/) * Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/RichardsonMovingandStorage) * Twitter (https://twitter.com/TEEStopMovers) * YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxfdKe4rvblKOIeS1XdfQXw) Special Guest: John Burridge.
50 mins
Episode 28: Moving Matters with Ed Davis of Davis & Mac
In this episode, Ed Davis, Director of Davis & Mac discusses how he became involved in the industry after helping an old friend who ran a successful hourly rated man and van business but was snowed under with work. It was suggested to Ed that he get a van to take on the excess work, so after pitching the idea to Dan Mac (who Ed had previously worked with in a recording studio) and the industry having such a low cost of entry, Davis & Mac was born in 2013. We discover that Davis & Mac are a London based removals and storage company, running 5 luton vans, and they mainly provide house pack and moves, storage and interior installations, all local as the guys are not keen on overnights. We discuss Ed’s lightbulb moment when he was involved in moving a crated chandelier for an interior designer from a storage facility to a super mansion in Virginia Water and discovering just how broad the pricing structure is within the industry. We discover Ed’s story behind the multi coloured fleet of lutons, and it’s a long and very interesting one. Ed looked and began to analyse the branding and marketing of the industry and discovered that although it is a majorly masculine industry, Ed also noticed that his best and highest paying customers tended to be women. Ed also discovered that an angle that had not been done properly at that time was social media, but before tackling that Ed tells how their very grand crest came about. Back to Instagram and Ed tells how he continued to post photos of his fleet, and after 4 years of building a following Ed received a message from Binky Felstead (from reality TV show Made in Chelsea) who had been recommended Davis & Mac by some of her followers (of which she had 1.4 million at the time!). Having secured the removal for Binky, Ed and his crew arrived three weeks later in two newly wrapped vans in pastel colours, one in green and the other in pink, which Binky loved and posted about on her Instagram account. We discuss that following on from Binky’s move Ed and his team have moved several high-profile celebrities as a result of social media and recommendation, even ending up in the national press when they were booked to move Emily Atack (who has 1.7 million followers on Instagram). We discover that Ed’s challenges have been learning to be a boss, managing people (including hiring friends), controlling his emotions, and learning the industry. We discuss that the one thing Ed would change from his past is to know his numbers, as although a gung-ho attitude led to a 3-year contract with a Self Storage Centre, it ended up costing them towards the end due to increased running costs as they began to expand the company. We discover Ed’s highpoints, and it is not only the branding and marketing of Davis & Mac but also meeting others from within the industry. We discuss that the change Ed would like to make to the industry is late finishes, which is not the industry’s fault but the house buying process. We also discuss the current driver and porter shortage. We discover that the advice Ed would give to himself just starting out in the industry is knowing your numbers, be warned about pushing yourself to go into the higher end of the market, and due to past mistakes (which Ed has learned from), Ed states that he’s probably been through the most expensive university course just running the company! We discuss that in the next 5 years Ed would like to grow the business further and is on the lookout for their own warehouse (as all storage is currently with Cadogan Tate) with a big yard space, which would allow Ed to double the fleet size, but he has no desire for lorries yet. Industry wise Ed believes cloud software will be key, Ed would like Elon Musk to automate the retrieval of containers from storage, but the big change Ed foresees is autonomous driving. We discover that outside of work Ed likes to travel, although his last trip was to Sri Lanka in January 2020 just before lockdown and since then he has done nothing but work. Ed also enjoys a bit of DJ’ing too. We discuss that during the pandemic Davis & Mac did an awful lot to help their local community, assisting Age UK Kensington & Chelsea to deliver food to the vulnerable in the area, with up to 1,000 deliveries a week! And as always we end Moving Matters with two funny moving stories, both regarding divorce jobs! Enjoy! Links to Davis & Mac: * Website (https://www.davisandmac.co.uk/) * Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/davisandmac/) * Twitter (https://twitter.com/davisandmac) * Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/davisandmac/) Special Guest: Ed Davis.
58 mins
Episode 27: Moving Matters with Georgina Berry of Richard Healey Removals
In this episode Georgina Berry of Richard Healey Removals discusses that after finishing her financial services exams where she was to become a financial advisor, she joined the family business on a temporary 6 months basis – that was in 1999 and she is still there to this very day! We discover that Richard Healey Removals was started by her father (Richard) in 1965, who was a painter and decorator working in London, returning home at weekends, but soon discovered he was making more money transporting goods back and forth in his van, and thus the foray into removals began! We discuss that today, Richard Healey Removals provide predominantly domestic and commercial removals, some European & International moves, storage in a 120,000sqft warehouse and shredding, running 15 vehicles, employing approximately 32 staff and house just over 1,000 storage containers. And all of this is now managed by brother Richard, Georgina herself, and Barry (Operations Manager)! We discover Richard Healey Removals are heavily involved in training and have their own training facility onsite, which is a BAR approved training school. We discuss the challenges faced and the biggest one was losing a major contract 8/9 years ago that they had held for many years, leaving them with simply no business! Using their resources and having to start from scratch they built Richard Healey Removals into a ‘proper’ removal business. We discover that Georgina wouldn’t change a thing from the past, losing the contract allowed the team to grow as a company into what it is today. We discuss Georgina’s highpoints and its winning awards. Richard Healey Removals are past winners of the BAR Domestic Mover of the Year in 2015, in 2017 they won 2 awards for customer service at the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, and they are previous winners of Scotland’s Top Truck Training Operator at the Transport Awards, where Georgina was presented with the award by Anne, Princess Royal. We discover that the one thing Georgina would like to change within the industry is keys, but also exchange and completion on the same day. We discuss the advice that Georgina would give to herself just starting in the industry again and it would be to network, get to know other companies but also make yourself know to people, use the training resources available and join BAR either as a company or/and as an individual member. We discover that in 5 years time Georgina hopes Richard Healey Removals continues along its current growth path but keeping everything manageable. Industry wise Georgina hopes the decent rates are here to stay as the current driver (and porter) shortage is pushing up wages. And we discuss how we are going to have to do more to entice new blood into the industry, through many of the career paths available, just as Georgina did 6 years ago with Ryan & Ryan (yes, I know!). We discover that outside of the industry Georgina likes to keep fit and reads for relaxation, but is mainly taxi for her two children (15 & 17), where he daughter does a lot of dancing and her son a lot of football. And as always we end Moving Matters with a funny moving story regarding the making of a promotional video. Enjoy! Links to Richard Healey Removals: * Website (https://www.richardhealeyremovals.co.uk/) * Facebook (https://facebook.com/HealeyRemovals) * Twitter (https://twitter.com/healeyremovals) * Instagram (https://instagram.com/richardhealeyremovals) * YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCq56GKoyUzPqSTVPWIlTYQ) Special Guest: Georgina Berry.
38 mins
Episode 26: Moving Matters with Mason Heasley of Extra Mile Movers
In this episode Mason Heasley, Managing Director of Extra Mile Movers discusses how he started in the industry at the tender age of 18, which was only 4 years ago, after discovering his friends were earning more money than he was as a window fitter at the time, so he joined a local removal company and his passion for the industry just grew from there. We discover that during that time Mason lost his way a little and joined the military, but while in the military he setup Extra Mile Movers to bring in some extra income, just as the pandemic started, which turned out to be such a busy time for Extra Mile Movers that Mason left the military, and the other business partners (3 of them) left their jobs to concentrate fulltime on Extra Mile Movers. We discuss that the company name of Extra Mile Movers is down the work ethic Mason and his partners provide as they are always looking to do that extra mile for their customers during one of the most stressful times in life. We discover that Mason would like Extra Mile Movers to become a household name, with multiple depots nationwide, each offering storage facilities. We discuss the challenges Mason has had to overcome, and the pricing was the main one, although competing with other companies around them was another, but with the company so new Mason is fully aware that there will be many more challenges ahead. We discover that Mason would not change anything from his past as he has and still continues to enjoy creating something with his friends, but Mason does wish that he had studied business at school. We discuss Mason’s highpoint of his career, and it was undertaking European work with his previous employer (Hamilton’s) where he got to visit Switzerland and the South of France. We discover the one thing Mason would like to change in the industry is exchange of contracts, maybe making it more like Scotland, but he would also like to see a change to the man and van side of the industry who undercut from others. We discuss the one bit of advice Mason would give to himself just starting out in the industry again and it would be to not stress too much, relax and to just ride the wave. We discover that over the next 5 years Mason see’s Extra Mile Movers getting bigger through expansion, a couple more vehicles and maybe even a warehouse, but all Mason really wants is great staff and a happy work environment. We discuss that outside of the industry Mason never switches off, but being a typical 22 year old he does enjoy visiting the pub with friends now that we are able too once again, and he does play football. And as always we end Moving Matters with a funny moving story involving burning out a clutch. Enjoy! Links to Extra Mile Movers: * Website (https://www.extramilemoversltd.co.uk/) * Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ExtraMileMoversLtd) * Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/extramilemoversltd/) Special Guest: Mason Heasley.
32 mins
Episode 25: Moving Matters with Paul Fox of Fox Group (Moving & Storage) Ltd
In this episode Paul Fox, Managing Director of Fox Group (Moving & Storage) Ltd discusses that his father Roy (formerly a Pickfords man) started the company in 1971 (and this year celebrate their 50th year anniversary) when he had an opportunity to purchase a small valley’s company. We discover that after 8/9 years Paul’s father had built the company into Fox The Mover building a couple of warehouses along the way. Paul joined the company working weekends and school holidays to fund his motorcycle habit and started fulltime at the age of 16, starting as a porter and in the garage, and at the young age of 18 through the RTITB (Road Transport Industry Training Board) gained his HGV licence. Before turning 20 Paul was shipped off to run the Cardiff branch (William Flay Removals) under the guidance of Stuart Fitton. We discuss that when Roy took on the BAR Presidency in 1984, Paul (aged 23) was transferred to run the head office in Cwmbran, which consisted approximately of 8 trucks on removals and 8 trucks on distribution. We discover that Roy, together with John Court, Mike Banks, Mike Devereux and a few others formed a co-operative called Britannia Movers International, which was based upon American Van Lines, but Roy left, amicably, in 1986. In 1987 The Pantechnicon (established 1830) was purchased but was an absolute disaster which nearly cost their own business. We discuss that today Fox Group turnover approximately £10m, 40-50 trucks, 120 staff and 14 business units. We discover Paul’s challenges have been the turmoil years after buying The Pantechnicon, the recession in 1992, the subprime mortgage crisis in 2007, and of course Covid. We discuss that the one thing Paul would change from his past would be to get an education, however this is not a regret but merely an observation. We discover Paul has several highpoints of being within the industry, BAR (which has been Paul’s university from an educational point of view), following in his father’s footsteps and taking up Presidency in 2004, eventually getting all the shares of the company and becoming the owner, and building new & refurbishing old premises. We discuss the one thing Paul would change within the industry is yet again 3.5 tonne vans as it is a low entry into the industry, but that may be changing with European Union legislation insisting that vehicles over 2.5 tonne are registered on your operators licence. We discover that the advice Paul would give to himself starting out in the industry again would be to work smarter not harder. We discuss where Paul sees himself and the industry in the next 5 years, for himself he does not see himself retiring, even though his father retired at 60, and industry wise he does hope that 3.5 tonne regulation is enforced, but also believes it is up to the younger generation to be professional and develop their businesses, perhaps becoming better salesmen. We discover that outside of the industry Paul does try to discipline himself and switch off, and is a frustrated sportsman participating in long distance running, cycling and triathlons! And living in a barn conversion with a couple of fields there is always something for Paul to be doing. And as always we end Moving Matters with three funny moving stories, one involving a piano, one involving a bicycle during an institute study tour to Frankfurt, and one involving Mike Devereux and a minibar! Enjoy! Links to Fox Group (Moving & Storage) Ltd: * Website (https://www.fox-moving.com/) * Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FoxMoving1971/) * Twitter (https://twitter.com/Fox_Moving) * Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/company/fox-moving-and-storage) Special Guest: Paul Fox.
51 mins
Episode 24: Moving Matters with David Trenchard of Britannia Leatherbarrows
In this episode David Trenchard, Chairman of Britannia Leatherbarrows discusses that he may have been born in a tea chest in 1946! David joined the Trenchard’s family business when he was 16, which was started by his grandfather. We discover that today’s company is Leatherbarrows (Britannia Leatherbarrows to be exact), which David and wife Diane bought from Aubrey Appleton in 1981 and was based in Hounslow, West London. David and Diane took the business into Pelican, but after some of the big players had decided to leave David was faced with either recruiting new Pelican members or offering themselves as a group to Britannia, which they did in 1987. In 1988 David was able to buy part of the family business, Trenchards, and took over Sketchley’s which virtually doubled the size of his business. We discuss that David’s challenges were having no money at all when he and Diane bought Leatherbarrows, and 6 months after acquiring the business David was awarded a contract from a local department store who wanted to outsource their warehousing and deliveries, a contract David held for 39 years until the department store went into administration in 2019. We discover that David would not change anything from his past because the traumatic experience of leaving the family business and buying Leatherbarrows gave David much better opportunity than he would have had. We discuss David’s high points, of which there are many, but his biggest high point was in 1992 where he became BAR President for the year (as they were back in those days), the year when the borders came down in Europe. And the BAR Conference that David organised during his Presidency year which was held at Bournemouth International Centre (my first BAR conference where I exhibited as a supplier), which David was the Chairman of the Centre when it was built. We discover that BAR Services did come from a study tour, the first BAR study tour of the USA and a consequent study tour of Europe where David, Derek Blatchford, Joe Luxford and others persuaded BAR to setup a study group to look at such things the industry and BAR could benefit from. In 1977 (corrected – not 1985) BAR Services was born as a co-operative/buying group and recruited Tony Allen to manage it. David was Chairman of BAR Services for 15 years, giving up the role when he became BAR President, but stayed on the board for 35 years! We discuss BSEN12522 (something I was involved in being part of the original 6 companies to field trial it), and David has always been interested in standards. In 1992/3 after David’s Presidency, the French Removals Association had created a Quality Standard for Removals and had recommended it as a European Standard. 7 years on and David had completely rewritten it into what it is today. We discover that QSS (Quality Service Standards), something David is very proud of, was formed because although FEDEMAC wanted to use outside companies to provide the assessments, the BAR, with David’s leadership, decided to use the talent of retired removers and train them to undertake the assessments. QSS is totally independent from BAR and non-BAR companies can apply to QSS for many of the ISO and BS Standards currently available. We discuss that the one thing David would change within the industry is to make the BSEN12522 part of the BAR membership criteria. David would also like more regulation on the low weight vehicles (3.5 tonnes). We discover that the advice David would give to himself just starting out again would be to follow your beliefs and do not be afraid to make yourself the odd one out. We discuss that in the next 5 years David sees himself as just being there to provide guidance to his daughter and son-in-law who now run the business. We learn that David wanted to invest in demountable bodies as they offer more flexibility over rigids, similar to Richard Webster’s (Tonks Removals) comments in Episode 21 (https://www.movingmatterspodcast.co.uk/21). Industry wise David thinks removers need to be cleverer, recruit more youngsters and train them properly, and drivers have got to be self-taught. We discover that David has over 300 model trucks that he has collected over the years! And I recite a story about my old boss, John McGinty (Alton Moves Group) who had models produced of his livery, to only discover an error on them! We discuss that outside of the industry David has never lost his interest in local politics, and upon retirement from an employee of Leatherbarrows David was instrumental in successfully lobbying to drop the number of local councils in the Dorset area from 9 to 2. And as always we end Moving Matters with not a funny, but a charming moving story with a repeat event that happened 25 years apart! Enjoy! Links to Britannia Leatherbarrows: * Website (https://www.leatherbarrows.co.uk/) * Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/britannia.leatherbarrows/) * Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/company/leatherbarrows-removals-and-storage/) * Twitter (https://twitter.com/Leatherbarrows1) * Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/britannia_leatherbarrows/) Special Guest: David Trenchard.
53 mins
Episode 23: Moving Matters with Mark Chudley of Chudley Moving & Shipping
In this episode Mark Chudley, Director of Chudley Moving & Shipping discusses how he started in the industry some 44 years ago (1977), when he met a girl at 17 whose father was Derek Blatchford of Blatchpack of Exeter. We discover that after 18 months full time in Exeter, Mark was sent to Stockport for 4 weeks to manage John Bradshaw, which was jointly owned by Derek Blatchford and Burt Waddington. However, 4 weeks turned into 4 years and Mark returned to the Exeter depot after John Bradshaw was sold to Malcolm Halley, before moving to the Bristol depot for a couple of years. We discuss that in Mark’s latter years of his time at Blatchpack Bristol, he got quite heavily involved in antique shipping to the States. Upon leaving Blatchpack in 1988, Mark started antique shipping for Mike Bell (based in Chicago), which he did for 6 years. In 1994 he expanded into antique shipping for others, and although Mark did not want to do removals, however a change in the antique marketplace (with 911, the advent of the Internet, and the aids virus), meant that in 2003 Mark ordered his first removal truck! We discover that having had experience of the BAR during his early days at Blatchpack, Mark joined the BAR in 2003, and on his second BAR area meeting became National Councillor for the Western Area, which was the start of Mark’s interest in BAR matters. We discuss that approximately 12 years ago Mark met the Morton family in Cyprus, and started a working relationship offering imports and exports, which now accounts for a third of Mark’s business. We discover that Mark has had a few challenges, in the early days it was financial, in 2008/9 it was the recession, but the most difficult was an accident that involved a fatality. Mark’s current challenge is trying to find drivers! We discuss the change Mark would make from his past, especially the early days, was to take a few more chances rather than being too conservative. We discover Mark’s succession plan was going to be his son Adam taking over the business. However, due to a very serious accident to a family member Adam switched industries to ensure continuation of that family business. Due to this Mark decided to look into selling the business and was in discussion with one of the larger groups, and then Covid hit which scuppered everything, but coincidently at the time an approach was made by Paul Fox, and today Chudley Moving & Shipping is now part of The Fox Group. We discuss Mark’s high point, and it is that he succeeded in business, the respect earned, and working with his family. We discover that Mark is BAR President Elect (BAR President from June 2021), and hopes to continue the theme of BAR being there for its members, supporting the Director General (Ian Studd) and to be active on committees. We discuss what Mark would like to change within the industry and it is regulation and 3.5 tonne vans having an affect on the professionalism of the industry. We discover that Mark’s advice to a younger self would be to have more confidence, but on the whole he is pretty happy with what he has achieved. We discuss that over the next 5 years Mark has his 2 years of BAR Presidency, he is not ready for full retirement and is looking forward to opportunities within The Fox Group. Industry wise, Mark does not see any change in regulation and therefore smaller movers will continue to dominate the industry, and he also sees more consolidation. We discover that outside of the industry Mark never switches off, but does find time to visit his caravan in Cornwall in the Summer, enjoys cooking and restoration, which he learnt from his early days working with Mike Bell. And as always we end Moving Matters with 3 funny moving stories including a European trip via Switzerland, and another involving radiator covers! Enjoy! Links to Chudley Moving & Shipping: * Website (https://www.chudleyinternational.com/) * Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/chudleyinternational) * Twitter (https://twitter.com/ChudleyInt) Special Guest: Mark Chudley.
49 mins
Episode 22: Moving Matters with Mark Ratcliffe of Mark Ratcliffe Moving & Self Store
In this episode Mark Ratcliffe, Director of Mark Ratcliffe Moving and Self Store discusses how he started in the industry after relocating from Nelson, Lancashire to Eastbourne, East Sussex in 1982, where after collecting scrap metal and clearing rubbish in an old truck he saw an advert in the local newspaper and got a job as a removal man at Edwins of Eastbourne, where he learnt his craft, from Bernie. Today, Mark owns Mark Ratcliffe Moving & Self Store which has been trading for 6 years now, but Mark is probably more well known for his previous companies, The Small Moving Company and more so A1 Worldwide Movers which he sold in 2006. We discover that Mark has recently opened a Self-Storage facility (2 warehouses opposite each other) and finds this a better storage solution than containerised, which he was heavily involved with back in the mid 90’s, as Mark feels furniture should be stored in carpeted (very popular in Scandinavian countries) and temperature controlled rooms. We discuss that after selling A1 Worldwide Movers, Mark took a sabbatical from the industry and went travelling to Thailand. It was during his travelling that he discovered a lot of expats were relocating, and as a result Mark now specialises in overseas moving to Thailand. We discover Morris, Mark’s vintage 1963 Morris LD, which he found in a field full of scrap metal behind a steel container facility in Bournemouth where he was delivering goods in 2019. After negotiating a price of a mere £1,000 it was soon transported to UVB (Unique Van Bodies) in Warrington where 18 months later it was collected and will hopefully be seen at local events soon, and at The Movers & Storers Show later this year. We discuss Your Moving Group and The Moving Group Academy that Mark is involved with. Your Moving Group was setup 5 years ago with Andy Pearson (of Family Movers), which started life as You Move Group that was predominantly a van rental service (which Mark confesses together they got their marketing completely wrong, and it failed miserably). Today Your Moving Group is a membership-based group with 14 members at the time of recording. The Moving Group Academy is the fundamental and educational side of the industry, which Mark would like to see run along the lines of the old TMI (The Movers Institute). We discover that Mark has faced many challenges, not being cash rich, BAR membership and taking 5 years to secure an archive storage contract of 4.7m files. And although Mark Ratcliffe Moving & Self Store is currently not a BAR member it is something Mark wants to change in the very near future, “watch this space”. We discuss that the one thing Mark would like to change from his moving past was to have had more of a balance of life and to have not committed himself 100% to his work and industry. We discover Mark’s high point of being in the industry was BAR membership at A1 Worldwide Movers in 1995, which Mark sees as the pinnacle of being a mover with standards and service. And Mark recites a lovely story of driving to BAR Services to buy ‘everything’ on the day his application was finally approved, he even took an old BAR Perspex badge which he stood proudly outside of his shop the following day! We discuss the one thing Mark would change within the industry would be to bring movers closer together and believes Study Tours are a great way of achieving this. We discover that Mark’s advice to a younger self would be to grow slowly and steadily, do not get too big too quick. We discuss that in the next 5 years although Mark has no succession plan in place, maybe one of the staff would take over the business, but a proposition has been made and accepted to a company overseas. Industry wise Mark believes the industry will be really good, movers will be able to sell far superior services than in the past and command better prices. We discover that outside of the industry Mark loves music and travelling. And as always we end Moving Matters with not 1, not 2, but 3 funny moving stories, one with Big Tom ending up in a customer’s fish pond, another concerning an urgent removal to store from a standard 16 bedroom house, and Mark’s first International move which turned out to be a complete disaster! Enjoy! Links to Mark Ratcliffe Moving & Self Store: * Website (https://www.markratcliffemoving.co.uk/) * Facebook (https://facebook.com/mark.ratcliffe.10441) Special Guest: Mark Ratcliffe.
59 mins
Episode 21: Moving Matters with Richard Webster of Tonks Removals
In this episode Richard Webster, Director of Tonks Removals, discusses how he became involved in the industry some 30 years ago, as a porter on the trucks straight after leaving school at the tender age of 15! We discover that Tonks Removals was formed by the Tonks family in Scarborough back in 1820 and today celebrates its 201st year in business. Tonks Removals was put up for sale in 1995 by then owner Nigel Tonks, and Richard (20) together with his brother James (22) purchased the business for the princely sum of £8,000, with the assets consisting of a Bedford truck, the goodwill, the equipment, and the storage, which had to be relocated from its existing old school depository. We discuss that there are no set roles within Tonks Removals for Richard or James, however James is more on the trucks while Richard is more office based, but they both like to get away on jobs when they can. We discover that the challenges Richard has had to overcome were the lack of money, as the industry is a high-cost industry but not a high margin one, and being taken seriously at such a young age, but the biggest challenge was learning how to run a business. We discuss that even though Richard cannot change anything from his past, however, if he could it would be to realise what the actual costs are to operate your business, know your costs and stop subsidising others who waltz off with the profit! We discover that Richard’s high point of being in the industry in terms of the business was purchasing land to build their own facility in Carnaby, a mere 8 years ago, and as a person it is having the respect of others which he has earned and worked for. We discuss that Richard would change a few things within the industry but the main one being the public perception of our industry (again!), which has changed in recent months, but he can see it reverting in due course. And I raise the question of whether the general public’s perception is that it’s not seen as skilled labour (which of course it is!) and discuss this further with Richard. We discover that Richard uses demountable bodies (19 at the time of recording), as well as fixed bodied truck, but the demountable bodies offer the convenience of access issues, short term storage and cost implications for replacement of trucks. We discuss that the advice Richard would give to a younger self and it would be to know your costings and not to be afraid to market yourself at the better end of the market. We discover that in the next 5 years Richard sees the niche corporate moving in and out of Europe getting smaller and smaller with company mergers and acquisitions, plus the realisation that people can successfully work remotely, but he sees no change in the domestic moving industry. We discuss how imports and exports since Brexit has affected business and Richard states that it is getting easier as the guidance, systems and knowledge base improves, and it is better as a lot of movers have pulled out of the European market and therefore sees relocation prices rising. We discover that Tonks Removals are not members of the BAR, and Richard explains his reasons for this, but he and James have discussed applying once again. We discuss that outside of the industry Richard tends to sleep a lot! He has started doing a lot more walking with his wife, he is a keen motorsport fan due to his love for driving, and he is actively involved in the parish council. And as always we end Moving Matters with a couple of funny moving stories, a potentially X-rated one involving the client, the crew and a hot-tub, one involving Richard and an obnoxious customer, and a couple of short tales involving digging up a dead cat, and a terminally ill dog. Enjoy! Links to Tonks Removals: * Website (https://www.tonksremovals.co.uk/) * Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/www.tonksremovals.co.uk) Special Guest: Richard Webster.
54 mins
Episode 20: Moving Matters with Sarah Cole of Universal Commercial Relocation
In this episode Sarah Cole, Managing Director of Universal Commercial Relocation, discusses how she became involved in the industry only 20 years ago (next year) after leaving her role as a commercial property specialist within the legal profession to start a family. We discover that Universal was formed in 1978 by Sarah’s father (William), and is a 2nd generation commercial moving specialist based in Greenford, Greater London, servicing mainly the London area, with a fulltime staff of approximately 25 and running a fleet of 8 vehicles. We also discover that Sarah is Managing Director of ISS (Information Storage Solutions), the document archiving side of the business which was started by Sarah’s mother (Margaret) in 1986. We discuss that while archive is going more digital Sarah still maintains there is a large requirement for the physical storage side of things. We discover that Sarah has very much enjoyed working in what is predominantly a male dominated industry and has never found any challenges with that. Sarah has found that there are a lot of women within management roles of organisations but would encourage more to get involved with the BAR initiatives. We discuss how working from home has and will affect the commercial relocation industry and Sarah highlights that even before the pandemic companies were looking at the office space occupied and how they were using it, from a productivity, wellbeing, and a sustainability point of view, but it was such a huge and risky ask to undertake the stress test. However, the pandemic became that stress test and forced us overnight to work from home and leave the office behind. Sarah believes the future is with companies ultimately having a hybrid solution, shrinking the physical space but keeping separate office space for staff to participate in, but affording staff more flexibility about how to undertake their work. We discover that Universal have many accreditations which Sarah believes is fundamental to business because office moving is business critical and the accreditations helps the client to manage the risk. We also discover that Universal have won the BAR Commercial Mover of the Year (CMotY) 3 times and is a great pat on the back for the staff that provide a huge contribution to the company. We discuss that Sarah’s challenges to date are to always move with your client needs and to look ahead at where things are heading. Universal are always trying to add value to their clients to support them. Sarah also believes getting the message across in what they do, how they do it and the value they bring to a service is also often challenging. We discover that Sarah would not change anything from her past, she enjoyed her time as a lawyer but was happy to move on and is very happy with what she does now and where Universal is. We discuss Sarah’s highpoint, which was back in 2015 when Universal were awarded CMotY winners for the first time (having been a finalist twice before), and especially so as the awared was presented at conference (BAR) in the city in which her parents were from, Belfast. We discover that the one change Sarah would make to the industry is to raise our profile, selling our services better and making clients aware how specialist we are and the professionalism we bring, as she believes as an industry, we undersell ourselves and there is often a race to the bottom in terms of pricing. We discuss the advice Sarah would give to a younger self and it was confidence, get involved in the industry and BAR, go along to conferences/events and take up training and development opportunities offered. We discover that within the next 5 years Sarah would like to grow the team at Universal, bringing in more junior members to the team and increasing and expanding the scope of what Universal do. We discuss that outside of the industry Sarah likes to spend time with her family and friends, going out, attending concerts and eating in nice restaurants. And as always we end Moving Matters with a funny moving story regarding Margaret Thatcher and a union card! Enjoy! Links to Universal Commercial Relocation Ltd: * Website (https://www.ucr.uk.com/) * Twitter (https://twitter.com/universal_comm) * Facebook (https://facebook.com/UniversalCommercialRelocation) * LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/universal-commercial-relocation-ltd) Special Guest: Sarah Cole.
39 mins
Episode 19: Moving Matters with Courtenay Morison of Clockwork Removals & Storage
In this episode, Courtenay Morison, Director of Clockwork Removals & Storage, discusses how he started in the industry back in 1994/5 after he was asked to move a wardrobe for a friend across town (which he did with a friend for the princely sum of £20), using one of his long wheelbase vans from his Caller Keg business, where he delivered kegs of beer for weddings, parties, etc., but as this was mainly work on Friday’s and weekends the vans had nothing to do during the week. So having moved the wardrobe Clockwork Removals & Storage was born, in Edinburgh with a Luton van and a 7.5 tonne truck, operating originally from Aardvark Self Storage. We discover that Clockwork Removals & Storage have an annual turnover of £11/12m and run 4/5 branches in Scotland and a further 4/5 in England, including the well-known brand of Edwards Trade Storage which runs out of Gloucestershire and services the London storage market. Clockwork employs approximately 130 full time staff and run 100 vehicles (which includes trucks, vans and cars). We discuss Courtenay’s acquisitions over the years and although there have been none in the past three years, he is negotiations with several companies and is always on the lookout for business with a turnover of £500k+. We discover that Courtenay believes domestic customers get a better deal with traditional 250 cuft storage containers over Self Storage, citing that customers do not need regular access and that there is a massive disparity in cost. Courtenay would never undertake the investment required to ‘kit out’ a property for Self Storage unless he owned the freehold and be within a town with ‘plenty of chimney pots’. We discuss the challenges Courtenay has experienced, the main one being 10 years ago when Clockwork had too much debt and the company was not running as well as it should, even with a turnover of £19m at that time. We discover that one change Courtenay would make to his past would have been to join another removal company, such as Pickfords, to learn the trade first-hand, therefore saving Courtenay years of ‘hardship and pain’ from the mistakes made in the early years of trading. We discuss Courtenay’s highpoint, and it is now, as last year (2020) was a very good year for Clockwork, hitting 10% nett profit even during the pandemic. We discover that Courtenay would not make a single change to the industry, the industry hasn’t changed from a moving perspective, 300 years ago you would have moved by horse and cart but the way in which you loaded that cart is no different from loading a truck, so it is incredibly resistant to change. I challenged Courtenay on the public perception of the industry, and he stated that it has always been like that and it will never change, citing 'buy cheap, buy twice'. We discuss the advice Courtenay would give to a younger self and it was to go and work for a Pickfords or similar company and ‘learn on other people’s time’. We discover that over the next 5 years Courtenay see’s low loaders being more prevalent in London and other major cities with 18 tonne truck restrictions becoming increasingly challenging. For Clockwork, Courtenay believes the storage market has never been busier, and see’s continued growth in this sector. Edwards Trade Storage currently house 5,500 containers but are looking to increase this by a further 2,000, and at that point Courtenay will then look to build a 100,000 sqft warehouse to hold 12,000 containers within 90 minutes of NW10 in London in the next 3/4 years. We discuss that outside of the industry Courtenay enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 children and is keen to get back to playing rugby and enjoy a few pints afterwards, once the current lockdown restrictions are relaxed. And as always we end Moving Matters with a funny moving story that ended up in court due to non-payment and the customer’s goods being skipped! Enjoy! Links to Clockwork Removals & Storage: * Website (https://www.clockworkremovals.co.uk/) * Twitter (https://twitter.com/ClockworkUK) * Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ClockworkRemovalsUK/) * Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/clockworkremovalsuk/) Special Guest: Courtenay Morison.
31 mins
Episode 18: Moving Matters with Melissa Campbell of McGimpsey Brothers (Removals) Ltd
In this episode, Melissa Campbell, Managing Director of McGimpsey Brothers (Removals) Ltd, discusses how she got started in the removals industry, by purchasing the family business at the tender age of 26! We discover Melissa never really had any involvement within the business beforehand, as she studied accountancy at university before joining KPMG in the audit department, where she studied for her charted accountancy exams at the same time! Then in 2018 her career took a U-turn and she ‘stumbled’ across the removals industry. We discuss that Melissa, daughter of Campbell McGimpsey, knew that McGimpsey’s were planning for succession as her father and Uncles were looking to retire in the coming years, and during her fiancé’s (Steven) birthday dinner they decided together that they would make an offer to buy the company, which she made initially by text that evening! We discover that McGimpsey’s was formed in 1983, started by Brothers Peter and Campbell, selling fish and vegetables from a van, where one evening they were asked if they could move a chest of drawers for a regular customer, which they did, and soon discovered they could make more money moving furniture than selling fish and vegetables. Fellow Brothers Stephen and Paul joined the company a few years later. We discuss how Melissa has found life in what is considered a male dominated industry and find that she has not faced any real issues, with the majority being very respectful towards her. We discover that Melissa thought her biggest issues when taking over the company were both her age and not having a removals background. But she soon discovered she had many transferrable skills, and being a Millennial, she had a good grounding in the use of technology in today’s society. We discuss Brexit, and Melissa highlights that January was a challenge, with 5 to 6 vehicles on average moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland on a weekly basis, which now all require import declarations for every single one of those movements. Melissa also highlights that their European work has suffered a massive change, where pre-Brexit they would have gone through the GB land bridge, but post-Brexit is now an import and export into Great Britain and an import and export back out again, so she is constantly looking for new ways, including going direct from Northern Ireland to Europe. We discover that every day brings a new challenge, however, Melissa’s biggest challenges to date, have been Covid and Brexit. We discuss that Melissa’s high point of being in the industry is opening opportunities within McGimpsey’s, providing more career prospects for moving up the ladder. We discover that even after a short period of time within the industry that Melissa would like a form of regulation to exist, which would help to make the industry more professional and in turn introduces better health and safety aspects. We discuss that Melissa is the current Secretary for the BAR Northern Ireland Area and that she felt it important to put herself forward for such a role not only to continue the networks created by her predecessors, but also to drive attendance at meetings as she believes the BAR is such a great support network. We discover that over the next five years Melissa hopes that McGimpsey’s have grown and introduced more technology and processes into the company – this year they have outgrown their storage facility at their Head Quarters in Bangor, taking on an additional 35,000 sqft warehouse. Industry wide Melissa believes the industry will still grow and the use of technology will expand. We discuss that outside of the industry Melissa rarely switches off from the industry, however, during lockdown she took up baking which she enjoys, during times when there are no bars or restaurants open. And as always we end Moving Matters with a funny moving story regarding Paul McGimpsey assisting a client in finding their chequebook to pay for their move. Enjoy! Links to McGimpsey (Brothers) Removals: * Website (https://www.mcgimpseys.com/) * Twitter (https://twitter.com/mcgimpseys) * Facebook (https://facebook.com/mcgimpseybrothersremovals) * YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/mcgimpseyremovals) * LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/mcgimpsey-removals) Special Guest: Melissa Campbell.
35 mins