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Prime Mover Magazine


VFS and its one per cent rule

VFS and its one per cent rule

When a new leadership team took the helm at Victorian Freight Specialists about a decade ago, it scrutinised every aspect of the company to find that extra per cent of performance – from procurement all the way through to marketing.

If the National Transport Commission’s (NTC) most recent effort to quantify Australia’s road freight task is anything to go by, there is a distinct divide in the transport industry between internationally renowned names such as Toll, Linfox and K&S, and a fragmented majority of small businesses filling in wherever the top three decide not to compete.

According to Clayton Forbes, CFO at Melbourne transport business, Victorian Freight Specialists (VFS), however, there is a third, less visible category hidden somewhere in between – one where nimble business practices meet tier-one professionalism to serve highly specialised niche markets that operate in what he likes to call a ‘neutral zone’.

With a strong focus on servicing regional Victoria and southern New South Wales, VFS exposed one such market niche when it came on the scene in 1998 and quickly started taking ownership of it. “Our success came by staying out of everyone’s way,” Clayton says. “We sit somewhere in the middle, on the side, and get on with everyone.”

Clayton is part of a young, ambitious leadership group that formed around current CEO, Jonathan Rowe, when ex-Linfox and TNT executive, John Rowe, and co-founder, Roland Neef, decided to take a step back from the daily grind about a decade ago. “The business has always had that special edge,” he says. “When John’s son Jonathan took over, he simply reinforced it by bringing in a team of talented young people that were able to get the most out of each area of the business.”

To read the full story, grab a copy of the November edition of Prime Mover - out now!

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