Chris Chidley, Driver Hire’s Chief Executive, was in an upbeat mood at the company’s Winter Conference, held at the Nottingham Belfry. Over 100 franchisees and support services staff attended the event which focused on team-work and learning from others. To demonstrate the benefits of working together, the day rounded off with delegates learning how to play samba rhythms under the expert guidance of ‘Back Beat’.
In his keynote speech, Chris Chidley congratulated everyone in the franchise network on what he described as “a remarkable year”. He added that the past 12 months had been exceptional with a 27% increase in turnover with over half the network growing by 25% or more. The week running up to Christmas had proved to be the second best in the company’s 27 year history.
Looking at some of the stories behind the success, Chris highlighted the phenomenal growth in Driver CPC training which, from a standing start a year ago, has seen 4,000 drivers trained on 468 courses. Elsewhere he cited the supply of 150 multi-drop drivers at short notice to a major parcel company. And he was also delighted with the continued growth of Driver Hire’s National Accounts offering, now delivering 21% of annual turnover.
During the conference franchisees from Lincoln, Enfield and Aberdeen shared some of their experience and business tips and awards were presented to top performing offices. This year’s Driver Hire Franchisee of the Year is George Griffiths (Bury St Edmunds). Other award winners included Stockport, Teesside, Birmingham and Oxford.
Looking ahead, whilst there is still some economic uncertainty, Chris was very optimistic. “Uncertainty is good for our business. It encourages customers to use temporary staff,” he said. “But there are opportunities for permanent placements ,selling Driver CPC training and winning new business through National Accounts.”