World Moving & Storage – Changing of the Guard

World Moving & Storage Ltd was founded in 2004 by Raymond Dobbe. Since starting, the company has grown considerably and won regularly at the Westpac Business Awards. Following Covid, Raymond felt it was time to exit the business and place his energy elsewhere. Bruce Reid, who had been working with both Raymond and co-owner, Dave Williams, was presented with the opportunity to buy shares and come on as Director. Bruce now works alongside Dave Williams as Director and General Manager. As Bruce himself says, the offer was one he could not say no to.

“The people and culture built in the businesses are perfectly aligned with my philosophy of business,” says Bruce. “The opportunity to build on this was too good not to take.”

Prior to coming on as Director, Bruce had spent 18 months with both Raymond and Dave as a consultant. His understanding of the business through his time consulting to World Moving has stood him in good stead to steer the already successful moving and storage company.

Bruce has had a successful career working with NGO’s and charities prior to joining the Rosebank Road based company. His work with Coastguard New Zealand as the Chief Executive Officer between 2007 – 2012 saw him strengthening the foundation and growing its reach and capabilities substantially.

“I see lots of similarities with NGO’s and business,” says Bruce. “If you have trust and respect within the team, then the business grows with it. Raymond has built a great team and ultimately it’s about people.”

Bruce was proud of the way the team of 60 came through Covid. Like many businesses during lockdown, the team had to adapt to a new way of operating. With much of the moving work put on hold, Bruce says regular updates with the team to check in with each other helped the team to pull through.

A point of difference with World Moving & Storage is the commitment to have all staff on permanent contracts. It is common practice for moving companies to use casual workers, but Bruce sees real value in having staff on permanent contracts. The company’s next goal is to have all staff on the living wage, which Bruce says they are close to achieving.

“By having all our staff on a contract, we have more stability with our team and in turn, better performance,” says Bruce.

Post Covid, the way the team operates has changed drastically. While strong hygiene measures were already in place, additional PPE measures were implemented. Workers per cab truck also had to be limited – seeing only two crew were allowed in each truck at one time.

Household Exports have always been a good part of the growing company; however, post Covid the export market has been down 60% on normal. This has not stopped Bruce and the team seeking out new areas of revenue. In fact, Bruce says the lockdown gave the team time to reflect and act on ideas they had been thinking of and ways of increasing productivity.

The company has just become the preferred moving supplier for The Pacifica Apartment complex in Auckland City and this is set to be a large contract. Another area of growth for World Moving is currently being seen in retirement moving services.

“We started to focus on this market 12 months ago. We provide a full retirement moving service, involving a de-clutter, packing and unpacking, cleaning… even a cup of tea at the end,” says Bruce.

Raymond implemented a Breakfast Club at the company many years ago to bring the moving teams together in the morning. While providing a hearty breakfast meal to keep the team sustained through the day, it also doubled as a great team building exercise.

These days, the Breakfast Club is staggered to encourage safer working conditions around Covid. The team is still well looked after with a chef having the grill on between 6 – 8.30 a.m. to provide a hearty breakfast for crews before their shift. A menu with two options is provided with people placing their orders the night before via their phones.

Storage makes up a large portion of revenue for the company. World Moving has a 2000 square metre warehouse, a yard that currently has 250 containers on site, and storage of 8500 cubic metres of household goods. Adding storage to a moving service made perfect sense and the company has just purchased 50 further containers. New vehicles are being acquired and Bruce says the extra containers and vehicles will help to further expand the offering available to clients.

“The year has been a challenge for business, but it has forced us to work smarter and be more innovative about how our business works,” says Bruce. “The key still remains in the people we employ and the work environment we provide them with.”