UK Enterprise Awards 2018

SME NEWS / UK Enterprise Awards 2018 31 , Company: John Good Shipping Ltd Contact: Paul Ferguson Address: 20 St Marys Parsonage, Parsonage Gardens, Manchester M3 2LY Phone: 0161 8346444 Website: JohnGoodShippingLtd is oneof theUK’s leading independent shippingand logistics providers, and as such it was a pleasure to be able to speak with Paul Ferguson from the firm about how it has achieved this market leading position. Best Family Owned Freight Forwarder Company 2018 With over 185 years of trading history, John Good Shipping has a proven track record of reinventing itself and adapting to an ever- changing landscape, from the industrial revolution through world wars and containerization. Today, the John Good Group employs over 300 staff across 16 UK sites offering a diverse range of services through general Freight Forwarding covering all modes, liner and port agency, warehousing, UK haulage and corporate travel. Paul explores this growth in more detail and outlines how it has helped the group to prosper in this fast-paced market. “Historically our company is perhaps best known for its port and liner activity, however over the last 20-30 years there has been a big focus on its forwarding activities, which today makes up over 70% of the business within John Good Shipping. To put the growth into context, the group employed just over 90 staff when I joined the business back in 2003, today the number is 327. In 2017 alone, we opened three new offices in Bradford, Liverpool & Plymouth and saw our turnover increase by 53%. “As a result of this growth, we work with a diverse range of customers from household names down to smaller enterprises all of whom we value and work with to find solutions that fit and really add value across the supply chain. We look to take a consultative approach and place a great deal of emphasis on the relationship and really getting under the skin of our clients’ business to gain a real understanding; by doing so we insure the businesses remain aligned & relevant and that we meet their needs at every stage of the process.” Operating in such a competitive, price driven market, the business must work hard to ensure that it marks itself out as the best possible option for its clients. As such, Paul is eager to highlight his company’s client focused approach and commitment to supporting both staff and clients to ensure that they all receive the support they need. “In the shipping and logistics market, the focus all too often is on cheapest price which can miss the key areas of importance and lead to misalignment in terms of service being offered an ultimately lead to additional cost, particularly if goods are not where they should be when they should be. Therefore at John Good Shipping we look to spend the time and try to fully understand a customer’s requirements and goals to insure a solution-based service delivery comes first, mixed with competitive pricing. “Additionally, we have a professional team who are on hand to ensure excellence for everyone we support. Our staff retention is excellent with over 50% of staff having been with us for five years of more, employee engagement is key to this and is an area we have focused heavily on in recent years. We have a dynamic management team and at board level we can react quickly and make decisions independently which means we remain agile and on the front foot in a fast moving and competitive market. As much as possible we look to communicate throughout the business how we are doing and what our long-term plans and aspirations are, which helps staff feel part of what we are doing and that they are playing a direct and important role in the bigger picture. From a customer’s stand point dealing with a business with low staff turnover means they have stability and have contacts that know them and understand their business, and this is vital to our service offering.” With regards to the future of John Good Shipping, Paul is eager to emphasise the company’s focus on building upon its current technological infrastructure to ensure its ongoing success. “Looking ahead, at John Good Shipping we will continue to invest in our technology systems over the coming years, as we see this being paramount to our ongoing success especially given that we are entering a generation and a world in general that is used to accessing information and managing time at the touch of a button. Currently our system integrates sales, marketing, operations and accounts and has allowed us to move to a paperless environment, something many thought would be impossible when the idea was first discussed internally. We offer real time visibility through intuitive track and trace technology, have data analytical tools to allow quick visualization of multiple data points and continue to develop ways to allow customers to interact with the system directly. “Work is ongoing in terms of automation, with a real focus on reducing touch points in terms of data processing allowing the system to manage as much of the process as possible freeing our staff up to be even more customer focused. This will help us to achieve our overall mission: to make the process of buying and managing shipping and logistics services simple, efficient, stress free and cost effective for our valued customers.” John Good Shipping Ltd UKE180056