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Family Firm Takes On Fellow Family Firm’s Transport Operation

As part of the James Donaldson Group, with a number of operational sites across the UK, the Chorley branch of James Donaldson Timber (JDT) initially approached the team at Fagan & Whalley (F&W) back in March of 2019 to discuss ways their operations could be streamlined, and their services improved.

18 months and a real family business partnerships has been achieved.

“When we were first in touch with the team at James Donaldson Timber (Chorley), they had a small fleet of their own vehicles, a few drivers in their employment, and they were managing everything in-house,” explains F&W Head of Sales and Business Development, Graham Clare. “After realising the costs associated with running things this way, they were looking for a logistics company that could step in and take over the management of their distribution operation, helping them to make things more efficient across the board.”

“Before we brought Fagan & Whalley on board, we were using long-term leased vehicles and running the transport side of things, as well as the importation, manufacture and distribution of our timber,” explains Mark Bowers, Commercial Director at JDT. “We began to review our operational practices, and came to the decision that we needed to bring a logistics specialist on board to handle our transport so that we could see an improvement in the levels of service we deliver to our customers and focus more on what we know – timber!”

“Living in the Midlands, I had seen Fagan & Whalley vehicles on the roads, and their brand had started to become familiar to me. After doing a bit of research, I realised their operation was local to our site, and decided to get in touch. Working with a company that wasn’t 100+ miles away was quite an important factor to us when we first began our search, so Fagan & Whalley already had one box checked.”

“It was clear early on that we’d found the right people for the job, just in their willingness to take us on board and tailor their services to offer exactly what we needed. With Fagan & Whalley and James Donaldson Timber both being family-owned and run businesses, we straightaway found a real common ground – a like-mindedness and similarity in the way that we do things, and a shared attitude and approach.”

“There were some challenges to overcome early on, and some initial teething problems, which are inevitable in big moves such as this, but the team at Fagan & Whalley were all great and saw to it that any major obstacles were overcome within the first couple of weeks.”

“Within the first twelve months, we started to see our service levels improve thanks to Fagan & Whalley’s action plan, which saw our transport needs taken care of with transport planning and routing services using dedicated distribution runs and groupage services. When we realised that our costs weren’t coming down quite as quickly as anticipated, the Fagan & Whalley team suggested that we take our action plan one step further and incorporate an urban articulated vehicle into the mix running with two dedicated branded trailers.”

“Post-lockdown, we’ve had to adapt and make a number of changes to the way that we work in order to comply fully with health and safety requirements, but we’re still doing what we’ve always done, which is deliver a strong service to our customers by making sure we’re maintaining the most efficient version of our operations possible, and Fagan & Whalley have definitely helped us to achieve this aim.”

“The large-scale operation that Fagan & Whalley have built has offered so many benefits to us as a company. The team at Fagan & Whalley are experts in their field – they know what they’re doing, and we know that we’ve found the right people for the job!”

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