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!
Links to Squab Removals & Storage: