Steve Jordan talks to Nigel Shaw as he takes over the chairmanship of the BAR’s Commercial Moving Group (CMG).
Nigel Shaw, Group Director for Specialised Movers in Sheffield, became the CMG chairman at the annual BAR conference in May. Some might say it’s about time, seeing as Nigel has been working on the CMG Council for at least 15 years. Nigel, by contrast, with his trademark enthusiasm, is sure that the timing is perfect and is greatly looking forward to the task ahead.
Before discussing any plans he might have, Nigel was quick to praise his predecessor, Sarah Cole, Managing Director of Universal Commercial Relocation in Greenford, West London. “She’s taken the CMG in a completely different direction on the marketing side,” he said. “Sarah worked very hard on brand awareness and it’s really paying off.”
Nigel explained that the CMG has recently partnered with Premises and Facilities Management magazine and is sponsoring its ‘Partners in relocation’ award at the annual awards ceremony taking place at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London on Wednesday, 1 November. “We are also advertising on their online publication,” he said. CMG is also making full use of social media having recruited Andy Carr to manage the online promotional programme and website development. “It’s all aimed at further improving our brand awareness and getting the CMG message out to a wider audience.”
It was in September 2009 that the CMG made the bold decision to require all members to achieve the BS 8522 standard (originally PAS 126) for commercial moving services. Nigel said that this had proved to be a great success having lifted standards within the industry and ensured that BS 8522 accreditation and/or CMG membership appear on many tender documents.
“It’s made a very big difference,” said Nigel, “because having BS 8522 ticks a lot of the health and safety boxes required by facilities managers and large corporations. It saves a lot of time and effort for everyone.” Nigel explained that although BS 8522 is a requirement of CMG membership, they are often weighted separately on tender documents and the omission of either one can make the difference between a pass and a fail.
Nigel said that CMG membership was currently steady at around 55 members who appreciate the benefits it offers. “Of course, it’s not necessary to be a member of CMG to obtain BS 8522 but membership does provide the backup of BAR, including, the networking opportunities, the dispute resolution service and the increasingly important brand recognition,” he said.
He also acknowledged the initiative of David Bunting, a past CMG chairman, who two years ago suggested that it was important for the CMG Council to interact more with members. His suggestion was for all the 11 councillors to telephone four or five members before each council meeting to gain feedback. “This has built a warm relationship between the council and the members, and has gained some very interesting feedback, which is then discussed at council meetings,” said Nigel.
The CMG has a range of new projects that are exercising Nigel’s waking hours. It is working closely with PHS crate rental to create a database for customers triggered by the individual crate bar code. It means that the customer can record what’s in each crate, and even include photographs, without having to label the crates individually potentially causing a security problem. The customer can even share the information within their own organisation. When the crate returns to PHS, the information is wiped and the crate is ready for reuse. “This will be an exclusive service to CMG members,” said Nigel.
CMG is also working on a database network of members for the purpose of hiring staff. Nigel believes that this will become particularly useful if more companies choose to relocate following Brexit as it will be possible for members to locate labour from members across Europe.
The organisation is also working with Dutch technology company Move4U to develop an app that will allow facilities managers to book pre-contracted moves, such as office churn, straight onto their chosen mover’s system. This again will be exclusive to CMG members.
All these innovations will be showcased at the CMG seminar and golf tournament taking place at Carden Park in Cheshire on 30/31 October, 2017. Non-CMG members are welcome to attend.
“I can honestly say I have a passion for the CMG and hope my two-year term as chairman will add benefit to the membership,” said Nigel in conclusion. “I know the CMG has helped my company gain headway in the commercial moving market.”