Inaugural Roadshows prove a big success
The Professional Recovery Roadshows have been proclaimed a great success – both Huddersfield and the most recent one at Brooklands Motor Museum in Weybridge.
With an estimated 148 visitors at Huddersfield and 175 at Weybridge, all the exhibitors said they were very happy to be given the opportunity to interface with their customers and contractors.
Steve Holland of LV= Britannia Rescue said: “I think both shows have been a great success and I hope you will be continuing with them next year.”
The operators were equally enthusiastic with John Rogers of Unity Garage in Leicester saying “Well done to the Roadshow team, the Weybridge show has been a great opportunity to meet our suppliers and work providers in an intimate climate.”
The Roadshows did offer a great networking opportunity for operators and suppliers but the Weybridge show saw the launch of Vehicle & Recovery Exchange (VRX). Andy Lambert introduced an assembled audience of around 60 people to the new web based initiative.
Andy told the audience that the industry has the opportunity of grasping this new system that has been developed over the last few months for the industry.
“It is an opportunity to take control of your own industry,” he said. “For too long the industry has had to work for low rates and free mileage but this new system will offer the opportunity to take control of utilising return loads and maximising the profit in each job.”
Andy then introduced Richard Goddard who had also been in at the planning stage of VRX. Richard spoke with his usual passion and urged operators to engage with the system.
“Operators need to be aware of the intricate value on each job – we’ve been world experts at moving fresh air about for too long. I believe this new initiative will work and we have to grasp it because if we don’t there will be plenty of our work providers who, believe me, will want to be involved. We have to make sure it is our system and we benefit from it.”
The VRX system is a derivative of the Courier Exchange set up in 1999. The system was then modified in 2003 for the haulage industry and then for the US market in 2012. Any Lambert has been advising the company on working with independent operators for the past six months and they have spent over half a million pounds improvising the system for the recovery industry.
How does it work? Well, it is far too difficult to go into it in minute detail but effectively an operator signs up to become a member with a moderate monthly fee. All the members then get access to the web-based system using their own tracking devises to advise of a job they want to sub-contract out to another member. The nearest operator to that job can then make a financial offer to deliver the vehicle and the operator takes a handling charge. The system is transparent and more importantly policed by the owners to ensure everyone is acting fairly.
Both the Courier Exchange and the Haulage Exchange are working very well and delivering £70m of work through the system a year. The company estimate that at present around 80% of the jobs allocated to the system is taken up and the handling fee is negotiable between the two parties.
VRX have a tag line that explains the system simple as – Recover Your Dead Miles.
Back to the Roadshows and all the exhibitors; there were around 20 at each venue, have reported to have done good business. I spoke to several operators who have just started up in business and were running just one or two trucks. They were there to sell their services to the work providers.
On the outside display Roger Dyson attended both Roadshows and exhibited a rotator which brought a lot of interest. Dave Bland was at the Huddersfield show displaying his Eastract vehicle for automated vehicle recovery – it’s a new system to the market place and very interesting.
All exhibitors said they had done good business and were eager to sign up for next year!
What about next year? Show Director Paul Gregory said: “We were asked if we are going to run the Roadshows next year. The answer is that we have been delighted with the response both by our exhibitors and the healthy visitor numbers. We are keen to keep the Roadshows as part of our annual calendar of events because it gives operators the opportunity of coming along and sampling the atmosphere of a Tow Show.
“We will be evaluating the response and sending out a questionnaire to our exhibitors before making a decision on if and where for next year and hopefully we can make an announcement at this year’s Tow Show, but I would like to thank all our exhibitors for supporting these Roadshows and the hundreds of visitors who took time out from the busy lives to attend.”