Naresh Patel, who owns Essex-based Vyom Services, says that much of his core business came from supplying via the air, ocean and rail to clients. But he’d also noticed that many of his large customers wanted niche road-based services too.
To satisfy demand, he also decided to create a same day delivery business arm. However, there was one problem. The large same and next day delivery operators that he was using could not meet the complex and specialist needs of his clients.
Naresh says “One of my biggest customers works in the construction sector, where it supplies materials to the Crossrail project. All Heavy Goods Vehicles working on the project have to meet its stringent lorry safety requirements. Fleets must be members of the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) and must have blind side detection equipment installed. These upgrades can cost several thousand pounds, and so the majority of UK fleets don’t meet the standard.”
The Exchange gives me real-time access to its virtual fleet, which is huge. There are over 40,000 vehicles to choose from and, most importantly, it also caters for forwarders like me who need specialist drivers and vehicles.
“When I posted my first load, I really didn’t know what to expect. I’d already been let down by a large parcel carrier and had fairly low expectations. But within five minutes of putting the job on the HX, I had not just one – but three offers. They were all very competitively priced and fitted the strict Crossrail criteria to a tee. I can honestly say that that day, more than any other, was pivotal to me in terms of growing the business. It meant that not only could I deliver for my customer, but win many other contracts too.”
Mr Patel recently won a large contract with a major hospital supplier. Without HX, however, he says that he wouldn’t have landed the work.
He explains, “I’d tried to win it previously, but without success. The problem was that the provider needed vehicles to collect the goods on Saturday, store them on board the vehicle over the weekend, and then deliver them early Monday morning. Finding a haulier to do this job was virtually impossible, so I’d always have to turn the work down. However, when I advertised the job on HX, I found several interested parties – who were all highly experienced and supremely qualified to do the work. The supplier is happy, and so am I.”
Some 18 months later, Mr Patel has added 35 clients to his portfolio, many of whom use his company exclusively for its same day service capabilities.
He says, “I post between 30–35 loads each week, and I’m confident that when I move to new premises later in the year and take on some new staff, that number will only increase, as will my margins. I’ve already increased them by 5% thanks to HX. It may not seem like much, but that’s an extra couple of hundred pounds each week, which is really making a difference to my business.”
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