In this episode Andy Shotbolt, Managing Director of Britannia Reeves discusses how he began in the industry after a (non-working) 3 night trip away to Scotland at the tender age of 11 with his grandfather, who was a driver for White & Co, a company Andy joined, becoming a fourth generation remover for the company.
Andy spent approximately 18 years at White & Co, starting as a porter for Curtiss & Sons (a division of White & Co based in Portsmouth) before moving onto their Southampton branch and then head office in Botley. 24 years ago, Andy joined Britannia Reeves and today heads up the company as Managing Director.
Britannia Reeves celebrates 125 years in business this year, starting in 1897 by Robert Reeves originally as rag-and-bone. In the mid 90’s Reeves of Petersfield joined Britannia (prior to Andy joining the business), and today Britannia Reeves cover all aspects of removals, have 2 containerised warehouses holding approximately 800 containers, 2 smaller warehouses which have recently been converted to 24/7 self-storage (which Andy is looking to expand), and a successful shredding business. Britannia Reeves employ 14 full time staff and run a fleet of 10 vehicles (6 x large, 4 x low-loaders).
Andy’s biggest challenge was being sent to a branch on a Monday to problem solve, only to find that not only had the manager and manageress ran off together, but they had also emptied the filing cabinets, erased everything from the diary and told all staff on the Friday that they were no longer employed! Another challenge was moving a 4.5 tonne bronze cannon from HMS Victory into the museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
There’s not really anything Andy would change from his moving past, as his past has enabled him to be where he is today and to assemble a really great team around him.
Andy’s highpoints of being within the industry are the places he’s visited and the people he’s met along the way, but a proper highpoint was being voted onto the board of Britannia Movers International where he served for 7 years.
The one thing Andy would like to change within the industry is professionalism, and that has to start with us, beginning with employing your staff on a full-time basis and treating them with respect, as most have a family and want to be part of that family lifestyle in these modern days.
The advice that Andy would give himself just starting out in the industry again is to learn what we do, get a grounding in it, know your numbers, learn the legalities of the industry, and learn from those that went before you.
In the next 5 years Andy doesn’t think there will be much of a change within the industry but hopes we will endeavour to satisfy the green issue regarding materials, and IT will play a bigger role (Andy being a huge fan of Video Surveys, which we discuss in more detail). Personally, Andy still sees himself at Britannia Reeves, maybe slowing down slightly although his wife (and I) is of a different opinion!
Outside of the industry Andy likes fishing, clay pigeon shooting and in recently years, wait for it, Andy has taken up running, after a challenge from his youngest daughter, and is just about to start paddleboarding. Andy also has a huge passion for local history and provides historical tours of old Portsmouth, which involves 7-8 pubs!
And as always we end Moving Matters with a couple of funny moving stories, regarding divorce cases.
Links to Britannia Reeves:
Special Guest: Andy Shotbolt.