Alex is no stranger to ‘big-deal’ shipments and the six palettes of 160 limited edition canvas prints – hand finished with silk – was no exception. “When we quoted for the job, initially, the client was under pressure in New York, they had packers packing it and they needed it as quickly as possible for the week before Christmas,” he explains. “My concern was the value of the artwork, being just over £1million. I was reluctant to have them sat somewhere over the Christmas period, so, I had to speak with the Operations Director and Company Director, on a conference call, and talk to them about the benefits of paying a little bit more to ensure they arrived quicker. We had an expedited service on a dedicated vehicle, in New York, and then transferred across to the UK within the day and then out for delivery. So, door to door, the process took about 2-3 days.”
The customer wasn’t a stranger to Alex’s way of working as they were already a valued customer of InXpress Longbridge. “Whenever they have any issues with deliveries, internationally or within the UK, they call upon me and I get things sorted.” This sometimes involves some rather famous names taking advantage of Alex’s professionalism and expertise, “we also work and look after specialist jobs for them. On one occasion the Company Director was going over to the USA to have some artwork signed by Billy Connelly. He had a range of art that he was going to sign which were limited edition prints. The goods had to be delivered at a certain time, to ensure they were ready for the meeting with Billy, in Miami. They were then collected and returned to the UK within 5 days.” Demonstrating the trust the client has in Alex.
Alex works has a proactive approach with his clients, making sure everything which can be done, is done. “With artwork, it’s 5% duty and VAT rather than the normal 20%. We would set up a part payment to customs, which is a fast payment, to ensure goods aren’t held and delayed. We check the paperwork and make sure it’s all correct so we can speak to all the people and parties involved and ensure they are fully aware of what’s expected of them.”
With it being the Christmas period, during the journey for the £1million shipment, there were many potential obstacles such as extra costs which may have been a hindrance to the operation, but of course, this was not something which was going to stop Alex making the process run smoothly, “When goods are bought in the airlines will hold them for a period of 24 hours without incurring any charges but, if they fall within Christmas holidays or weekends then storage charges can incur and the airlines themselves are quite costly. That’s another reason we suggested the working hours and week, to ensure costs were avoided.”
Alex was thankful once the shipment had been delivered and the process completed, but also proud of his achievements and his dedication to the cause. “I was very relieved when the process was complete! I didn’t tell my MD the value of the shipment until it was already underway! He asked me to let him know once it was delivered. I have confidence in the people I work with and I’ve been doing this for many years now. My reputation is important so I always make sure I do things properly and we don’t cut corners. If you have a good working relationship with your partners there isn’t an issue.”
The client was just as happy with the result as Alex and he received high praise for his commitment to the shipment, “My client was very impressed with the service, the Operations Director sent me a personal message saying, ‘This has been amazing and we really do appreciate your help and support.’ It makes it all worthwhile, we get repeat business and it increases the value of what we do as well.”
To find out more about how to build your own successful business, using the InXpress franchise model, which will allow you to develop your passions outside the office, please call Mel on: 0800 195 2125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.