47JAMVANS |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
Justin Yates and Matt Williams,
managing directors
State-of-the-art Euro 6
standard fleet of vehicles
JamVans is a leading London removals and storage company,
moving people across London, the UK, Europe and beyond.
Started in 2010 by Justin Yates and Matt Williams, both just
18 at the time, the team is now composed of 32 staff and 13
vehicles. The company’s central mission is ensuring the provision
of service that would challenge the industry status quo and
provoke serious discussion for clients. This remains a massive
part of what they do to this day.
A two-man operation
Having completed our A levels with secure university places ahead, we made the
decision to move away from studying business and looked at simply starting one
instead. With minimal funding but a great deal of ambition, we purchased a van,
put an advert in the local newspapers, and got moving – quite literally. From the
very beginning, we ensured that the business focused on service quality to secure
both repeat business and large-scale contracts; this would entail sustainable and
stable growth. With the assistance of integral contacts and freight websites, we
were able to piece together removals and deliveries across Europe. Within our first
year of trading, we had visited 16 countries.
Accredited and celebrated removers
With an ever-expanding team and a fleet to match, we thought we were doing
things right, and our clients seemed to agree. As a young company, however, there
were times that we required a little more trust and experience to win future clients. In
keeping with this, we became a member of the British Association of Removers (BAR)
FACTS ABOUT
JAMVANS
»Managing directors:
JustinYates and Matt Williams
»Established in 2010
»Based in London and
Hertfordshire
»Services: Removals and storage
»No. of employees: 32
»No. of vehicles: 13
»Member of British Association
of Removers
»Which? Trusted Trader
»Justin and Matt received
Young Entrepreneur of the
Year Award in 2016
»www.jamvans.co.uk
JamVans
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
48 | JAMVANS
and a Which? Trusted Trader in 2016.
These certifications enabled further
expansion, and allowed us to compete
against larger removal companies on
a level playing field. Soon, we began
achieving the appropriate margins for
a quality, professional organisation in
ourindustry.
A specialised team at the
heart of it all
We regard our people as the business’s
greatest assets, and this has been
true from a very early stage. We have
established a team of experienced,
qualified staff who operate exclusively
to high standards. Internal training and
progression helps to increase employee
retention, and ultimately ensures a
higher quality of service. The removals
industry does not fluctuate seasonally,
however; there are peaks and troughs
throughout the year. This can prove
challenging when we look to retain
staff and maintain sustainable full-time
employment for them, rather than
casual work. The more the business can
commit to the employees, the more the
employees will commit to thebusiness.
Although domestic removals are a
large part of our core business, much
of the training and skills developed are
transferable to other markets. These
include safely handling, transporting
and protecting furniture without
damage. As such, we have diversified
into furniture store deliveries, charity
shop logistics and fragile deliveries as
our clients recognise our experience
and expertise; a general courier service
often has little to no knowledge of
handling and protecting furniture
appropriately. Along with commercial
moves, exhibitions and storage, this
approach provides the business with
a steady flow of work and ensures
a higher return on investments. This
stability is thanks to the fact that
our business is not solely reliant on a
volatile housing market as its single
source of revenue, along with the
future uncertainty ofBrexit.
Many of our team members originally
began working for us on casual
contracts, as full-time alternatives
were not financially viable. Within 18
months, all were full-time employees;
as our business has grown, so have
our team members. The responsible
use of casual contracts has allowed
us to grow; without them, we would
not have been able to presently
provide the wealth of full-time
positions we do, and employ such a
comprehensiveworkforce.
Our expert export wrapping
and packing service
Storage facilities In North
London and Hertfordshire
We regard our
people as the
business’s
greatest
assets, and this
has been true
from a very
early stage.
We have
established a
team of
experienced,
qualified staff
who operate
exclusively to
high standards
49JAMVANS |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
Adhering to future standards
2019 will see the introduction of the
new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)
in London to tackle toxic air pollution.
For us, this means that a state-of-the-
art fleet is required: all engines must
adhere, at least, to Euro 6 standards.
For many businesses, this means a
substantial cost if their fleets are aging
and out of date. Our fleet, however,
has been kept up to date as part of our
growth strategy, with some of our latest
additions including the required Euro6
engines. At a glance, this appears a
costly exercise, but it is necessary to
force the transport and automotive
industries to change to ensure cleaner
air for people living inLondon.
Removals, specifically, is an unregulated
industry, and as a result, this can lead
to less responsible and under-qualified
companies operating vehicles. With the
introduction of the ULEZ, companies
with a moral obligation and willingness
to invest in their businesses should
naturally flourish. This will establish
higher-quality standards across our
competition, and ensure a level playing
field: those that choose not to invest
and advance their businesses will
be less able to drop their prices and
undercut those that do.
Innovating and advancing:
the future of JamVans
Although our industry is not one that
can be fully automated, we are looking
at applying innovative technology to as
much of the business as possible. With
the recent investment in a new market-
leading website with a unique cost
calculator, our innovation has begun.
Using this, clients are prequalified and
have an idea of the charges prior to a
surveyor’s visit and quotation.
Technology, however, does not stop
there; as well as offering the traditional
on-site survey, virtual surveys have
become a reality. Potential clients are
able to provide a surveyor a virtual tour
of their home using their smartphone.
This is as effective as a physical survey
when it comes to putting a quotation
together; between isolating the items
that require moving, looking at access
to a property and many other traits,
virtual surveys now allow us to be
more efficient and timely.
The theme of employee investment in
our business continues into our future
growth. Two additional move co-
ordinators have been added to our back
office, both with previous experience in
European and international removals.
This has enabled the business to expand
into these areas, with the company
now having the ability to move
anybody from London, Hertfordshire
and the surrounding areas to anywhere
in theworld.
After an expansion into larger premises
in 2017 and the further addition of
vehicles and staff, we welcomed the
addition of an operations manager
to deal with the 70 per cent revenue
growth we experienced. This ensures
that required quality standards are met
by all team members and remain in line
with our company-wide sustainable
growth strategy. This operational focus
has allowed us, as directors, to take a
more active approach when it comes
to further expansion anddevelopment.
The company
now has the
ability to move
anybody from
London,
Hertfordshire
and the
surrounding
areas to
anywhere in
the world
Our innovative virtual
survey technology