Chidley says the driving agency has had the tool in place for the past four years “to allow us to understand which customers buy what services from which office and at which time of the year”.
That allows the network to determine which clients may be prospects for Driver Hire offices they’re not currently served by. Chidley says: “If I got every one of our offices dealing with every customer then that’s a true networking effect.”
Driver Hire currently has 87 franchisees operating from 109 offices and turnover to March 2008 of £77m. Chidley feels the UK could support at least 150 offices and the plan is to reach that number during the next few years.
However, a failure to recruit enough good people and ongoing talk about the state of the economy may derail his plans. Chidley says: “Lots of customers will use more temporary staff than permanent staff, which is great for us. But in an environment where everyone’s talking about doom and gloom, our employees may believe it’s doom and gloom for us. We have to get them realising it’s a great opportunity. We need to dispel the doom and gloom merchants.”