Over 100 franchise owners and support services staff attended Driver Hire’s Winter Conference, which focused on teamwork and learning. To demonstrate the benefits of working together, the event, which was held at the Nottingham Belfry, finished with delegates learning how to play samba rhythms under the expert guidance of ‘Black Beat’.

In his keynote speech, Driver Hire’s Chief Executive Chris Chidley congratulated everyone in the franchise network on what he described as “a remarkable year”. He added that the past 12 months had been exceptional with a 27 per cent increase in turnover and over half the network growing by 25 per cent or more. The week running up to Christmas had proved to be the second best in the company’s 27-year history.

Looking at some of the stories behind the success, Chidley highlighted the phenomenal growth in Driver CPC training which, from a standing start a year ago, has seen 4,000 drivers trained on 468 courses. Elsewhere he cited the supply of 150 multi-drop drivers at short notice to a major parcel company. And he was also delighted with the continued growth of Driver Hire’s National Accounts offering, now delivering 21 per cent of annual turnover.

During the conference there were a number of guest speakers including Ruth Waring from road transport consultants, Labyrinth, who gave an insight on the challenges facing clients. Also on-hand was the Managing Director of online training business, Virtual College. Franchise owners from Lincoln, Enfield and Aberdeen shared some of their experience and business trips. Awards were also presented to top performing offices, including the Franchisee of the Year, which went to George Griffiths (Bury St Edmunds).

Commenting on the year ahead Chidley said: “Uncertainty is good for our business. It encourages customers to use temporary staff. But there are opportunities for permanent placements, selling Driver CPC training and winning new business through National Accounts. We’ve got great products, great services, a great business and a great brand.”

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