Wanganui business owners Graham and Denise Clarke have the Midas touch when it comes to winning the Fastway Couriers National Franchise of the Year Award.

Fastway Couriers is celebrating 35 years in business and the Clarkes have taken out the overall award, just like they did when Fastway was celebrating 25 years in 2008.

‘’We were just in total shock to win it to be honest. We’ve all worked incredibly hard but we didn’t think we would win this year, but perhaps next year.

“It’s been 10 years between drinks, so we will take the win now,” Mr Clarke said.

Fastway Wanganui also won the Regional Franchise Business Development Award for their focus on networking, developing strong, local contacts and strengthening their reputation throughout their area.

The Clarke’s have been involved with Fastway Couriers for 25 years. They started as courier drivers in Wanganui in 1993 and they became business owners when they purchased the Fastway Regional Franchise in 1999.

“That’s what makes it extra special, the fact that we’ve been around so long. When we first started out we would deliver about 6 cubic metres of freight a day and it’s now over 50 cubic metres.”

Graham says another big change has been delivery to significant increase in residential deliveries due to the rise of online retail shopping.

“I have one courier driver that of about 200 deliveries a day, 160 would be to residential addresses,” he said.

Technology has also dramatically changed. In the early days Graham and his team would use delivery run sheets, which was a very manual process, unlike today with the use of hand held scanners.

“The paper run sheets would get wet and signatures would get smudged. Now a scanner does everything and it makes it so easy.

“One of my couriers complained about having to use a scanner, so I gave him a manual run sheet, He then realised how lucky he was with the scanner and begged me to give it back,” Graham laughed.

Fastway Couriers chief executive Scott Jenyns said the Clarkes fully deserved the franchise of the year accolade. Mr Jenyns said to win the award, franchises are judged on several key business measures of profit improvement, Compliance to the franchise system, OperationalKPI’s such as delivery performance and and sales growth.

“They’re high performers both in using out tried and tested systems and processes but also in developing their own business including a strong emphasis on new business development.

“Graham, Denise and their team has always been at the top of its game. They always go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the best service is provided to all their customers,” Mr Jenyns said.

Other category winners:

-        Regional Franchise Customer Delight Award - (Fastway Whangarei)

-        Transport Linehaul Ltd Contractor of the Year Award - Josh Morrison

-        Franchise Support Office Employee of the Year Award - Adam Dames

-        Regional Franchisee Employee of the Year Award - Tara Lubiejeski (Fastway Christchurch)

-        OPEX Award - Fastway Nelson

-        The Courier Franchisee of the Year Award - Craig Hausman – (Fastway Whangarei)

-        Courier Franchisee of the Year Award: Ruth Wilson (Wellington)

© Fastway Couriers (New Zealand)