In this episode, Martin Budd, Sales Director & Brand Ambassador of Pickfords, discusses how he began within the industry, firstly within records management in 2001 with Hays, before joining Sirva (Pickfords) in 2003 for 3 years followed by Crown, and then PHS Data Solutions. And in 2016, Martin was invited to re-join Pickfords where he remains to this day.
Martin discusses what a Brand Ambassador is, it’s not just your logo, it’s what you do and the way you do things.
Pickfords is the de facto brand recognition of the industry (for those 35 and older, states Martin), and they move anything, anywhere, anytime. Pickfords have approximately 50 branches (46 warehouse units) throughout the UK, where they took on an additional 15 branches/warehouse units last year and are looking to put more dots on the map as they return (once again) to the local markets, where back in the hay day Pickfords had approximately 175 locations within the UK with a fleet of 6-700 vehicles!
Martin is the current Chairman of the BAR Commercial Moving Group (which has 50 members). However, his tenure finishes in May when Robert Poyner of Crown Workspace takes over the role.
Martin’s biggest challenge is working within an industry that is very tyre kicking focused, but also managing the relationship between the technical and sales parts, as Martin likes to look at things from the customers perspective. A challenge for Pickfords is that it has an aging workforce, but they do run a pro-active apprenticeship program for a variety of roles within the business.
Martin wouldn’t change anything from his moving past as he feels incredibly lucky to have joined Pickfords at a time (2003-2006) where he was able to soak up as much knowledge and experience as possible from some great people working there.
Martin’s highpoint of being within the industry was winning the contract to move NATO’s headquarters in Brussels in 2016/17, where 2/2.5 years was spent on the project management alone, and the physical move consisted of 4,200 staff, 19km of secret archives, 200 safes and 2,700 crate movements, into a building of 254,000 square metres! Martin even convinced NATO to make a film of the entire moving process, something you can see yourself on the Pickfords TV YouTube channel here.
The one thing Martin would like to change within the industry is how customers try to commoditise our industry, by doing a group walk around on commercial moves.
The advice Martin would give himself just starting out within the industry again is to soak up as much knowledge and experience as you can.
In the next 5 years Martin hopes to still be at Pickfords doing what he does today as he absolutely loves it. Industry wise, he does see people moving back to working in office environments again, albeit different to pre-pandemic days, and the man and van industry scares Martin where the consumer does not see the value or expertise of getting a professional mover.
Outside of the industry Martin loves great food, great drink, travelling, meeting people, and loves to live life.
And as always we end Moving Matters with a funny moving story, regarding a defibrillator.
Links to Pickfords:
Special Guest: Martin Budd.