Professional mobile fleet cleaning company PVC Vendo is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
Founded by Ivan Calhoun in 1981, the company was franchised in 1989. The first franchisee was Darren Martin, who is still running his territory PVC Vendo Ramsey today. There are currently 22 franchisees operating across 35 territories.
One of PVC Vendo’s earliest clients was Mr Kipling Cakes in South London. From cakes to bananas, fruit importers Fyffes were another of the company’s early clients, serviced by PVC Vendo Wakefield.
Franchising expert Darren Taylor bought the business in 2018, bringing it into the Taylor Made Franchising group alongside Stumpbusters, Wilkins Chimney Sweep, Thomas Cleaning and Iconic Window Cleaning.
PVC Vendo has an incredibly loyal franchise base, with a low turnover of franchisees and very few resales. Many of the businesses are passed down through the family; there are no less than five ‘father to son’ franchises in the group and one ‘uncle to nephew.’
David Callister, General Manager at PVC Vendo said,
‘It is wonderful to be celebrating 40 years of this long-established and successful company. Very little has changed in the service we offer, we are still essentially a mobile ‘man in a van’ service that washes commercial vehicles at a customer’s site, but as one would expect we’ve updated the cleaning products to be more environmentally friendly. We have also introduced software that allows franchisees to check in to a job, notify the client of the vehicles that have been washed and send out the invoice, all via their phone, saving them hours of administration time. In April 2020 we introduced Sani-Clean, a disinfecting service for the interior of vehicles that kills, amongst other things, the COVID-19 virus, which has been understandably popular during the pandemic.’
Operations Manager Mick Heapy, who has been with the company for 27 years and whose son Barry has also purchased a PVC Vendo franchise, offered his thoughts on why their franchisees are so committed to the brand,
‘I think the reason they stay is because they like being their own boss. It’s hard work, they can be out from early in the morning until late at night, but they are in charge of their own diaries and the money is good.’
Reflecting on the changes since he joined the company in October 1993 Mick said,
‘In the old days we had a room full of people cold calling companies, then we’d send them a flyer in the post and if they liked the service, we’d go over and do a demo. If all went well, we had them signed up by the end of the week. These days it can take months to secure a new client, equally, when we do, they are generally much larger national clients, that can benefit many of the franchisees across the network. The power washers we are using are of course more powerful too. The technology and marketplace may have changed but we are all still working to the same standards, of delivering a professional, timely service to our clients.’
There are currently only a handful of PVC Vendo territories still available for sale, these include Lincoln, South West England and North Humberside. Anyone interested in joining this successful franchise organisation should contact David Callister on email@example.com