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Crate expectations: an interview with PPS Midlands

Nov 12, 2012
PPS Midlands is an established crate hire company, new to the office and commercial moving sector.

It’s not every day that a completely new supplier enters the industry. However, that’s exactly what PPS Midlands Ltd did recently.  Steve Jordan dropped by the company’s facility in Measham, Leicestershire, to take a look.

PPS Midlands is an established crate hire company, new to the office and commercial moving sector.  Ten years ago owners David Peggie and Iain McArthur went into business supplying plastic crates to the UK’s food processing industry.  The company quickly gained a reputation for reliability and personal service in the cauldron that is the world of Just-in-Time deliveries for industrial clients.

Joanne Moss from the company first identified the opportunity for office and commercial moving.  “I was working in the direct sales department handling enquiries,” she said.  “I noticed that we were getting an increasing number of enquiries from schools and colleges.  We had a few unbranded, lidded crates in stock so we started hiring them out. It very quickly became apparent that there was a business opportunity for us so I asked David Peggie, our MD, if we could investigate a more strategic approach.”

“I have always been open to new ideas,” said David.  “When Joanne suggested investing in the moving sector I was delighted to give it a try.”

David explained that he first looked for a small crate hire company to buy but that proved difficult.  “There weren’t many about and those that do exist were largely cross hiring from the bigger firms.  We wanted to be totally independent.”  The company soon sourced a supply of crates, branded them in its trademark light blue and the business was off and running.  In addition to the standard lidded crates PPS also provides computer crates, one-metre crates for larger items and filing systems, dollies, trucks and a range of materials.

PPS Midlands operates from two sites: Measham and Grimsby.  Both sites have automatic washing lines and repair workshops. Transport is subcontracted and the company is confident of providing a first class service throughout the Midlands area. “We intent to expand to provide a nationwide service as soon as possible,” explained David.  “We are currently on the lookout for suitable premises, probably through third parties.”

Although the commercial moving sector is new to PPS David is confident that his company’s experience in the food processing sector has prepared it well.  “Our food processing customers are very demanding,” he explained.  “They carry the minimum of stock and we have to provide Just-in-Time deliveries to keep the business running.  We’ve never let anyone down yet.”

Joanne added that the company was a great place to work with everyone pulling in the same direction.  “Everyone here is prepared to work to get the job done even when, just occasionally, customers make unreasonable demands on us,” she said.  “I think it’s because everyone feels part of the team and their opinions are equally valued.”  Indeed, it was as a result of David valuing Joanne’s opinion that the company decided to diversify.

The company will be supplying crates both direct to customers and through partnerships with moving companies.  “We are very keen to build up relationships with movers,” said David. “We feel that there is space for another major player in the market and that we are perfectly positioned to fill it.”


Photos: David Peggie and Joanne Moss with one of the new PPS lidded crates; right: the automatic washing unit at the PPS Midlands site in Measham, Leicestershire.

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