Franchise New Zealand - Year 31 Issue 01 – Autumn 2022

Page 15

Opportunity: Business & Commercial

prepared for growth Aramex franchisees respond boldly to the freight explosion by doubling capacity Stuart and Carol Spittle


tuart Spittle spent 20 years as CEO of a large manufacturing company before deciding to move out of corporate life in the mid-2000s and take control of his own destiny. He’s certainly done that – just two and a half years after buying the Northland Aramex Regional franchise, he and his wife Carol have virtually doubled capacity, personnel, premises and business, and have been finalists in the Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards. How have they achieved all that? ‘When you buy a franchise, you have various expectations that the system you are buying is capable of fulfilling all its requirements,’ reflects Stuart. ‘Your potential for success is heavily based on the ability of the franchise system to deliver the support structure. In a business like this, you especially need a good operational computer system and a network that can deliver the product in timely and orderly ways. That’s exactly what Aramex provides, and they do it very well.’

‘Our biggest asset was, and remains our staff, some of whom had been with the company for many years before we took over,’ Stuart continues. ‘I recently talked to all of them individually to ask how they felt about all the changes we’d made, and I received some very illuminating comments. The overall view was that it was no longer a frenetic place to work and they could see all the advantages the long-term planning offered. Several felt the whole operation was much more transparent, more productive and they felt closer to the business. Relationships between staff and courier operators were much improved, and they felt empowered in their respective roles – much more involved than previously and happier as a result.’ It’s this combination of business planning and people focus, combined with an ongoing attention to detail that saw Stuart and Carol named as finalists in the Awards.

We can handle it

A better time than ever

The test of that came early on in the Spittles’ new business. ‘Four months after we took over in November 2019, the whole country went into lockdown and suddenly the courier business went crazy. Aramex customers were able to adopt an online sales model almost overnight thanks to Myfastway – Aramex’s self-service, electronic label consigning platform – and thousands of new customers signed up in a few short weeks.

Aramex is one of the largest courier and logistics companies in the world, operating in 72 countries. In 2016, it acquired Fastway Couriers and now operates through a well-established network of 18 Regional Franchisees and more than 250 Courier Franchisees under the Aramex banner in New Zealand.

‘Covid accelerated online shopping by about five years and we were newly in place right at the beginning of this surge. In one way it was great – who better than us to deliver all those parcels in Northland? – but it was also a massive challenge. ‘Amazingly, Aramex delivered in every way and the massive surges in demand have not caused any hiccups. The fact that none of us anticipated such increases is irrelevant – the system remains as smooth as it is robust and, as people continue to shop online, I have no doubt we can handle it – and more.’

Planning and people pay off But no matter how good the systems, such a massive surge in business could tax any franchisees, let alone newcomers like Stuart and Carol. Fortunately, they had done their homework. ‘With my CEO hat on I went through every detail of the business and quickly identified potential problems and assets for our fast-growing business,’ says Stuart. ‘It was very clear we had out-grown our premises and, although it took a few months of negotiations, we now have a building fit for purpose, double the size of the old one. It was an essential method of futureproofing the business, and everything flowed smoothly from there. – PUTTING PEOPLE IN BUSINESS

Regional Franchisees operate the depots in their respective regions, providing logistical and back office support services for individual Courier Franchisees as well as managing administration and contracts in their area. Courier Franchisees own their own territories and provide pick-up and delivery courier services for clients as well as building on-the-ground relationships and generating new business. The investment required to become an Aramex Courier Franchisee depends largely on the deeded territory, with opportunities available to suit most budgets. An ideal entry-level opportunity is available through the new Courier Lite franchise model.’ Stuart concludes, ‘I think we were very fortunate to take on the business when we did. We’re an essential business that’s become more essential than ever, and everything about the Aramex system from the Advertiser Info franchise agreement to operations Aramex has exceeded our expectations. The surge in demand has seen Contact a doubling in freight traffic over P 0-6-833 6333 the last two years, meaning that P 0508 NZ Aramex it’s a better time than ever to join Aramex – at any level!’