As a rule, quality comes first at Stuttaford Van Lines. This holds even truer for our branch in Durban – the city with the most removal companies per square kilometer in South Africa! In this special feature we speak to branch manager Duncan Schulze about how his team excels in this challenging environment.
With a market as remarkably competitive as in Durban, there’s a good chance of getting lost in the shuffle and losing out on business.
According to Branch Manager Duncan Schulze, when customers can choose from numerous service providers and pricing is competitive, quality makes all the difference.
“We have been able to overcome these challenges thanks to our strong focus on quality of services from first point of contact to final delivery. We have a reputation for being reliable and courteous,” Duncan explains.
“We also always go the extra mile to make sure our customers are satisfied, because we understand that this is what distinguishes us from our competitors.”
The branch’s excellent reputation for moving household goods has drawn the attention of a number of clients such as interior decorators, art galleries and blue chip corporates.
In one recent example, Stuttaford Van Lines Durban packed and moved an entire art exhibition to the Louvre in Paris, and airfreighted an original script of famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven worth half a million British Pounds. With the crews taking the greatest care while packing and crating, all items arrived at their destination safely.
For Duncan – who has been managing the branch since early 2014 – success is not only measured by turnover, profit and customer satisfaction. “We ask our people to thrive and support them in every way we can. We want them to be happy in what they are doing,” he says. “I believe in open communication channels, and we encourage our staff to show interest and learn about any part of our business.”
Examples of this approach towards staff upliftment include a former cleaner who has since become a top-performing sales representative; and an internal sales assistant being cross-trained on the job to become a corporate sales representative.
“My personal key to success is to ensure that I am prepared to do everything that I expect my staff to do and, if need be, to do it myself – whether in the field if short-staffed or in the office – and to always lead by example,” Duncan explains.
Both the branches' success in financial terms as well as its highly motivated staff prove him right.