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.
Links to McGimpsey (Brothers) Removals: