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The power of working together
When Peter Baker started Peter Baker Transport in March 1972, it was simple really. He had his ’64 Bedford, a phone, and an invoice book. That was about 50 years ago, and you’ll still see his legacy travelling the roads of New Zealand today.
Not just the ’64 Bedford.
Today, you’ll see blue and white transportation vehicles – lots of them – from Kaitaia to Bluff. Couriers, trucks, heavy haulage, ocean and air freight, and cross-dock distribution centres in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.
Peter says that although a lot has changed since then, one thing hasn’t is the company’s commitment to service.
“It’s become very competitive over the years,” says Peter. “Providing a great service at a fair price, while building a sustainable business, has become tougher for everyone. Look at the airlines – once upon a time it cost $700 to fly to Queenstown – now you can go for seventy bucks.”
OK, there’s another thing that hasn’t changed, and that’s the “working together” culture.
Peter’s philosophy of working together as a team is so strong, the company has absorbed it into their culture. Over 1,000 people, working together across 21 locations throughout New Zealand, working together as employees, owner-drivers, contractors, and agents, means their service is seamless – and they’re passionate about delivering the solutions that help their customers succeed.
“To succeed in business, you all need to work together,” Peter says. “Employees, contractors, lawyers, accountants. Everyone contributes to the growth of the business. I was first introduced to Gilligan Sheppard about 25 years ago, when Kevin Gilligan was a partner of the firm, and then I worked with Bruce Sheppard. I hold him in very high regard.”
“Bruce is one of the smartest people I know, and it has always been a pleasure to work with him. I value his every word. He places huge importance on trust and relationships and really believes in helping people.”
Peter found that apart from the usual tax and accounting requirements, Family Office Administrator Debra Houghton’s guidance for both himself and his daughters for their businesses has been, and still is, very helpful. In fact, the personal interaction and service he receives from everyone he’s dealt with at Gilligan Sheppard has been outstanding. “They never miss a trick – their attention to detail is at a high level. They go above and beyond, I believe, and I think they’re proud of the fact that they’re different.”
Peter likes the fact that Gilligan Sheppard understood his business and the role that the human factor plays. He’d built the culture around that, so it’s vital to have everyone behind it, from employees to contractors – and yes, even his accountant.
Note: Peter sold the business a few years ago and is now enjoying boating, golfing, fishing.