APC Overnight’s Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Smith tells Post&Parcel that its recently-announced strong trading performance was achieved by “focusing on the things we do best”.
As Post&Parcel reported last Friday, APC notched up a 31% year-on-year growth in profits to £3m for the financial year. Revenues were also up – albeit by a more modest 0.8% – to total £103m.
Smith explained that APC Overnight achieved these results by moving away from non-core activities like white goods and furniture delivery and concentrating on its core strengths: delivering parcels and packets for SMEs.
“This is what we are incredibly good at,” said Smith, “and we have built up a strong connection with the SME community.”
Indeed, APC Overnight’s connection with that community has grown to the point where it is now servicing the needs of about 25,000 traders.
While APC Overnight has a tight focus on the market that it serves, it has broadened the range of services.
“We work with boutique SMEs rather than big traders,” explained Smith, “and we then focus on providing innovative services that enable our SMEs customers to compete on level terms with the big players.”
The new offerings include: a national click and collect service that APC Overnight has launched through a partnership with the InPost parcel locker network; a mobile booking and tracking app which is available on both iPhone and Android platforms; and an international delivery partnership with Air Menzies International.
“SMEs often don’t have the admin resources needed to organise these sorts of services on their own,” said Smith. “We act as broker, offering these first class services to our customers and making them intuitive and simple to use.”
APC Overnight has also been investing in its personnel, with the launch of a training academy, housed in a dedicated building next to its main hub in Cannock. The academy is kitted out like a small version of a sortation centre so it can provide real hands-on training.
APC Overnight’s distinctive structure – it operates a national network of 112 locations and is owned by 33 network shareholders – probably gives it a keener understanding of the SME mind set.
And as the UK will be marking “Small Business Saturday” in two days’ time (2 December), Smith clearly takes pride in serving the needs of this business community: “We’re firm believers in SMEs being the backbone of the UK economy – it lives and dies by the successes of these small businesses. We therefore want to level the playing field and help SMEs scale-up their logistics management to match their growth plans.”