SCOTLAND’s largest independent courier firm has earned a place on the shortlist for an award that seeks to champion talented women and female-led organisations across the country. Eagle Couriers has been shortlisted as a finalist for the 'Business of ...Read More
The beginning of 2019 was hugely successful for Eagle Couriers, with the company taking a 50% share in Surrey-based Wey Group International, specialists in UK same day and overnight deliveries as well as international shipments.
By adding Wey Group’s fleet of drivers, Eagle Couriers is able to call on a combined fleet of more than 185 vehicles throughout the country, further expanding the company’s operations south of the border.
We caught up with Wey Group’s Director, Chris Jacobs, to find out what keeps him going when faced with many challenges – transport and non-transport related.
With over 30+ years of experience, Chris really gave us a good insight into the inner workings of the transport industry.
Where are you from?
I am originally from Surrey but I moved to Hampshire 23 years ago when my first child was born.
How old are you?
Just recently, I turned 60.
How long have you worked in the transport sector?
How did you get into the sector?
Well, firstly, I trained and worked in the photography and videography industry, but it was very competitive. At this time, same day motorbike courier delivery service was becoming extremely popular and so I thought – I have a motorbike – maybe that’s the job for me. It was as simple as that!
How did your journey with Wey Group start?
I have been with Wey Group from the very beginning when it opened in 1982. Back then it was Wey Couriers and then it turned into Wey Group and I just transitioned with it.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
I think the biggest challenge for the company and me personally has definitely been surviving numerous recessions. Having continuous uncertainties to deal with for a long period of time has to be one of the most challenging aspects a business can face. An example of this is the uncertainty surrounding Brexit that businesses across numerous sectors are feeling right now.
During times like this, consumers are more cautious of how they’re spending their money which ultimately impacts business.
What has been your most satisfying moment so far?
I have to say our recent finding of new business in Eagle Couriers and THS has been extremely satisfying– it’s been great seeing my idea and plans for the business implemented and executed – and working even better than I had ever imagined!
Anything you would do differently?
There are probably thousands of things I would do differently now but then I guess hindsight is a wonderful thing.
To be serious, if I were to start all over again, I would be more prepared financially in regards to not having to rely on other people to deal with my money. I also think it would have been extremely beneficial to have completed a business management course or some other related study prior to working in the industry.
What keeps you hungry to work?
I guess this has changed a lot over the years but right now I am building a keen team in the customer care department who are all in their early to late twenties. I love seeing their development and growth in day to day business. I think I am still hungry to work every day because I really want to help others and I feel I have the knowledge and expertise to make sure these guys don’t make the same mistakes as I did when starting out.
On top of that, it’s a great feeling to know that if these individuals were to move on with their career, they have a great foundation which they will be able to build upon.
Have you got any out of the ordinary delivery stories?
This would have to be our first international request when we were asked to transport two race horses to Saudi Arabia – it was a massive learning experience. For the client, it was a very expensive and important shipment and it took a lot of planning on our side. It was a great success but it was our first and last time escorting horses!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers?
Looking after my team has always been really important to me. I make it a priority to acknowledge and guide whilst always keeping individuals up to date with their position and options – again, this is especially important with the upcoming Brexit.
I think recent circumstances have shown that you need to have a plan B and C in place to ensure you’re prepared for as many circumstances as you can and that you always have another plan to fall back on.
I strongly believe that to maintain a successful business the most important thing is to be flexible and aware of your surroundings. At Wey Group we want to keep striving forward through retaining customers and challenging our competition.
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