The world of couriership and same day delivery is riddled with stereotypes and worn out clichés. Who can’t remember their days as an intern, stranded on a lonely reception desk where the only chance at interaction was with the impromptu arrival of a bike messenger? (I fondly recall a vague sensation of threat and an undertone of violence when asking various couriers to remove helmets, weapons (!) or incredibly loud walkie-talkies, as they came into different receptions that I have had the pleasure of manning).
Equally, coming from a publishing background myself, I have thanked the heavens themselves for the wonderful same day couriers nay, angels, who have with almost magical efficiency, got manuscripts literally from one end of the country to another with effortless grace and timing.
So naturally our curiosity was piqued at Start Up Magazine when Speed Nationwide UK came to our attention. From 1998 beginnings, this courier group has now expanded to a leading status as a UK award winning franchise. Building an innovative business model, Speed Couriers has an immense network of couriers spanning 2000 movement specialists.
It’s an overlooked aspect of start-up life, but for all the digital and virtual pillars of creativity, online or in the cloud, physicality still matters; and from prototypes to contracts, at some point you will need to get an actual product to your client, in such a way that a courier service is much more preferable to the postal service.
Like all positive propositions, Speed Couriers also offers the convenient mechanism of collection, removing the need for a sweat-inducing run to an obscurely located post office, only to be confronted by a heart wrenchingly long queue on arrival. To Speed Couriers, time critical seems to ring true as a prospect, so that all orders are collected within one hour of their being placed.
Speed Couriers stories reflect how their services have become firm fixtures in British life: Reflecting upon 2012, the group were in and out of the Olympic Village at Stratford, delivering on behalf of a range of athletes. And they don’t stop there – a pair of football boots for a Cristiano Ronaldo photo shoot; a handshake buzzer for the Graham Norton show, wrist bands for Glastonbury and some Smurfs for the Jonathan Ross show, all sit in their missions from last year. (Alongside the more serious lines such as legal documents, exhibition pieces and works of art and medical supplies).
Therefore, next time you have a client to impress, do consider that deliveries do not have to be laborious, stressful or frankly bizarre (remind me next time to recount the story about the messenger who spent twenty minutes doing Michael Jackson impressions in the lobby of a major consulting house); but can be slick, punctual and professional operations in the right courier hands.
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- Interview with Rahul Powar, Founder & CEO of Apsmart and the creator Shazam (thestartupmag.com)