A Cloud-hosted Mandata TMS is helping to boost productivity and encourage business growth for family-owned McCluskey Removals.
A change in direction for the business
With over 40 years experience working within the logistics industry, McCluskeys has almost come full circle to get the company to where it is today.
Established in 1975, McCluskeys started out in furniture distribution before expanding into home removals. Following a decline in the industry off the back of the economic recession, company directors decided to take the business back to its roots and focus on general and specialist haulage, providing bespoke transport solutions across the UK and Ireland.
Director at McCluskey Removals, Richard McCluskey said:
“During the recession, we knew that the removals industry wasn’t working for us anymore, there were so many people doing removals with just a van, we were chasing our tails trying to quote for work, so we figured that we needed to build the business on something else. We had always been involved with furniture distribution and more specifically, the Piano trade, moving Grand Pianos for manufacturers such as Yamaha in Ireland, which is how we broke into specialist transport, it’s a good niche.”
“There’s very few specialist transport companies; even those who have tail lifts and the specialist equipment required, who will get involved with pianos, because its such a delicate job. You can’t just put a Grand Piano on a pallet, you’ve got to cover it up, put it in a slipper, put on its side to move it, then put back on its legs and upright it again, theres quite an art to it.”
McCluskeys first came across Mandata through a close working partnership with another specialist distribution company and long-time Mandata customer, Bishopsgate Specialist Installations, and decided to adopt a transport management system for themselves in 2011.
“It was around the time that we made the decision to move away from house removals and concentrate on specialist transport that we started working with Bishopsgate. We do a high percentage of Bishopgate’s work in Ireland. We collect and deliver goods for them between their Manchester depot and their customers in Ireland, and vice versa,” Richard explained.
“We had a system in place that we had been using for planning house removals, but it just didn’t work for general transport, so we started to look for a replacement. Tim Bloch, Managing Director at Bishopsgate said that we couldn’t go wrong with Mandata, and that it was the way forward; I trusted him, and to be honest, we haven’t looked back!”
McCluskeys adopted a Mandata Cloud TMS with Accounts integration and a DIP and POD scanning solution which is helping the company to work more efficiently and increase productivity.
“Before we adopted the Mandata TMS, everything was stored in my head and scribbled down on random bits of paper, now we’ve got a proper system in place, we can get so much more done in a day,” Richard said.
“I know we’re not using the TMS to half of its potential at the moment, it’s so big, so quick, so powerful, I suppose getting to know it all is a work in progress. It’s got everything covered though, from job planning right through to invoicing.”
“We use the different TMS Traffic Pads to divide work up into our different traffic areas (Northern Ireland, Southern Ireland and UK) and from that, we can see what vehicles are where and exactly where we need to plan more work in, it’s very impressive. Equally, the accounts integration and eInvoicing modules are just amazing, and the POD scanning system has been a god send.”
“Before we adopted the TMS, I would manually scan the PODs to send to customers each month, and the customers would be on the phone constantly chasing for them, now, every POD is sent out with the correct invoice automatically, we don’t even hear from the customers!”
As well as helping McCluskeys to save time and improve the efficiency of its office processes, the Mandata TMS is also helping McCluskeys to grow as a business and has provided an immeasurable confidence boost to Director, Richard.
“From 2011 onwards, I was working on my own, doing everything myself and largely working from memory. To have a system in place now which provides the level of visibility and traceability that the Mandata TMS does, is brilliant, everything is just there, you don’t have to go looking for information or make 10 phonecalls to find out what you need to know. It has definitely helped boost my confidence to progress. With the system in place, we can start to take more work on,” Richard said.
“A lot of our work comes in via word of mouth at the moment, Northern Ireland is a small place when it comes down to it, but the new system is working like a sales tool, it’s given us the confidence to approach companies for new business. The type of customers we’ve been speaking to already are all really impressed."
Looking to the future, McCluskeys want to continue to grow as a business, and are open to invitations of new business within the general haulage and specialised transport sectors.
“We’ve already seen a lot of tangible benefits since we adopted the Mandata TMS, we’ve increased staff head count, we’ve replaced vehicles, updated things, certainly there’s been an increase in jobs and productivity too; we’re getting a bit more done every week and we’re keen to continue to do so,” Richard said.
The company is also looking to extend the functionality of its TMS by incorporating the use of the Web Services Portal for its customers to be able to book their own jobs online and access POD information in real-time as their jobs are completed.
“The system has already added huge benefits for our customers, invoices are sent out faster with PODs attached, queries are dealt with more quickly, everything is generally just more instant, so allowing customers to book their own jobs online through Web Services seems like the logical next step, it will be a big selling point for new clients too.”
To find out more about the Mandata Cloud TMS and how it could benefit YOUR haulage business, click here.