It’s party time for the folks at Highland Moving and Storage in Edmonton, Canada. They are holding a party to celebrate both Christmas and their 75th anniversary of being in business. The party will be held Saturday November 30 at the German Canadian Cultural Association Hall for all of their 200 employees.
They have come a long way since their humble beginning. In 1938, Peter Kachur started a one truck moving company. He called it Jim’s Express and Transfer and worked out of a garage in downtown Edmonton.
The company moved furniture for a few stores and also odd local moves. It had modest revenues over the years. After an extended stay in Australia, Peter’s son, Don, came back to Edmonton. Upon his return, he immediately saw the need for the business to change. He looked at the competition – and how much money they were making – and changed the company’s focus.
The company changed its name to Highland Moving and Storage. They began doing business with oilsands companies. They sought out corporate clients. (Those clients now represent almost 40 percent of their business.) They secured federal government work. They purchased more trucks. They opened an office in Calgary.
Under Don’s leadership, the company matured. Their revenues have grown from $300,00 during the mid-1970s to about $15 million per year currently.
Jim’s son, Don, is now chairman of the company. He is active in the day-to-day operations. His son, Casey, will head up their overseas moving operations. Casey grew up folding and packing poxes and working on the trucks.
Yet, Casey is still willing leave his executive position (and his suit) to pitch in and help out in areas where he is needed. Earlier this summer, a truck broke down and a customer had to be moved by the Calgary office staff. Casey donned a Highland t-shirt and did the move. That just a small example of the dedication to providing great customer service that all of the folks at Highland Moving & Storage have.
Don recently commented about his company’s philosophy. He said that much of their marketing is by word-of-mouth. If a business that is based on customer service provides excellent service, they get lots of business. If they don’t, nobody comes.
For a family company that has been in business for over 75 years, they have customer service nailed down!
“Family business remains an uplifting experience after 75 years.” Edmonton Journal; 22 November 2013.