North West Logistics won the New Member of the Year Award and are now a shareholder member of the Pall-Ex network.
Accrington based North West Logistics have only been with Pall-Ex for just over 18 months, but they have already made a big impact.
The Pall-Ex awards recognise the outstanding work of members, who have consistently gone above and beyond throughout the year.
In addition to this, the Lancashire firm has signalled its intentions to help develop the Pall-Ex network for many years to come, after becoming a shareholder member in 2019.
Stephen Dunn, Managing Director of North West Logistics, explains the driving forces behind his company’s decision to, first join the Pall-Ex network, and then invest in it to become a shareholder member.
Tell us about North West Logistics
We started in 2009 and in the last five years we have been a FORS Silver accredited member. The business has moved premises twice since we first started 11 years ago and we have constantly evolved and developed over that time.
We offer a wide range of services in addition to our Pall-Ex work. Our fleet of 60 HGVs facilitate deliveries throughout the UK and Europe meaning we provide excellent flexibility for our clients and our 100,000 sq. ft facility in Accrington delivers a full warehousing service.
Our people are at the very heart of our business and most of the drivers are ADR qualified so they are equipped to handle hazardous freight too.
Have you always been members of a pallet network?
Yes, right from the very start we knew that it was an element that we wanted to incorporate into our business. However, we were members of a rival network for a number of years before joining Pall-Ex.
What made you decide to join Pall-Ex?
Well, around 18 months ago, we heard that Pall-Ex was a very progressive company with big ideas for the future. This, coupled with the fact that a number of highly experienced and respected figures within the industry were migrating to them, really sparked our interest.
When our conversations first started, I was very impressed by the senior management team and their vision for the future of Pall-Ex. Their progressive and mature approach was clear to see and it aligned with how we like to do business.
One of the biggest factors that made my mind up was the investment in the IT Infrastructure. The new Nexus IT system is truly revolutionary for the pallet sector and will give all Pall-Ex members a huge competitive advantage going forward. In Nexus, we have a world-leading system and I am sure Pall-Ex will keep developing in that vein of form in the years to come."
How has Pall-Ex supported North West Logistics?
Pall-Ex were instrumental in helping us win new business with a customer that amounts to 150 pallets per day!
We had representations from all of the senior board and the management team at various meetings. The final clincher was when Pall-Ex Group CEO Kevin Buchanan visited the customer with us, just after the share purchase. They decided to go with us the next day!
The most important point to make is that whenever we have experienced a difficulty, issue, or we have needed support, every member of the senior management team has supported us. We have never felt left out, or our voice not heard when we needed to communicate.
The value added to our business by Pall-Ex has been huge because our customers absolutely love the IT solution we offer already through Pall-Ex - MyNexus. This is why we are so excited about the new Nexus system because it builds on this and takes it to a whole new level."
Has Pall-Ex supported in any other ways?
The Pall-Ex Marketing Team have been a pleasure to work with. The biggest project they have helped us with is our website.
They developed a brand-new website from the ground up for us and I couldn’t be happier with the results. It is very professional and I love the fact that if we need any changes made, we can just pick up the phone and the changes are made quickly and with no cost! I sleep easily at night knowing North West Logistics’ website is in safe hands.
The team are keen to help all the individual members, especially when it comes to helping them improve and develop their businesses. I have found that the marketing teams at other networks are more focused on the network and corporate development. I would strongly suggest that members get to know the Pall-Ex marketing team as I think they will be pleasantly surprised just how much they can offer members. It is a great resource to have available!
Tell us what made you decide to become a shareholder member in the Pall-Ex network.
When we heard that an opportunity might be on the horizon, we were of course very interested to know more so we could assess if it was right for us. Once the process for buying shares and the structure of the company was decided, it was a no-brainer! We wanted to become a shareholder of Pall-Ex.
Being a shareholder means that you are part of the business, and this drives you even harder to make a difference in the future success of Pall-Ex. Together, with other shareholders, it means you also have a say in the future direction and travel of the business. It is infinitely better than just being a member. Hopefully, we will all get it right and our investment in Pall-Ex will continue to grow. I am very confident we will get it right.
What would you say to other businesses looking to become Pall-Ex shareholders?
There is a big buzz about the place and it is exciting to be part of the future. It is definitely the right place to be at this time, and you can feel that just by talking to other members and staff."
Pall-Ex also strengthened their senior management team early on, which was a very sensible move and made a very positive statement as to their intent. There is no limit to what Pall-Ex can achieve now. I genuinely believe they will become the top pallet network in the next year or two.
What has your experience been like so far as a shareholder member?
We have felt more included in the running of the business. I am sure that will be significant in the future too. There is now a structure for the shareholders to communicate though that makes implementing changes in the business much more straight-forward.
Looking ahead, I want to see potential members and customers attracted to the network and that is already happening, thanks to our innovative structure. Our strength will be determined by the quality of our membership and the shareholding is instrumental in attracting the best possible members.
What did winning New Member of the Year mean to you?
It certainly capped off the evening at the awards ceremony. We did not know until the awards were read out so it really was a shock! I think it recognised that both North West Logistics and Pall-Ex had worked hard in our first year together and that had benefitted both businesses.
I think we won because we embraced what Pall-Ex stands for from day one and we felt proud to be part of the team. It can be a challenging and sometimes frustrating environment, but above all, every member needs to have patience and understanding when things go wrong. There are so many variables to contend with and when things do go wrong we all need to take a deep breath and try to ensure we do not repeat the same mistakes by learning from them.
To find out more about North West Logistics, visit their new website via the following link; https://www.nwlogistics.co.uk/.