Allens (Stourbridge) Transport Ltd – Business Improvement

Allens (Stourbridge) Transport Ltd – Business Improvement

Section 1 – Introduction

Allens Transport are based in Stourbridge, West Midlands operating crane offloading  vehicles specialising in movement of portable accommodation, storage cabins, air- conditioning units and industrial machinery. Jon Allen, Managing Director explains how  Allens have achieved improvements across the business in recent years assisted greatly by  FORS accreditation.

Section 2 – How did you hear about FORS, what prompted the company to join and how long have you been a member?  

“I had heard about FORS much earlier, but it was in late-2017 when a customer said to me you really ought to get on board with this. Rather than ignore this, I took it as an instruction, did the initial research and felt it would enable the business to improve the framework and systems in place. The preparation process commenced immediately, and we have been members since February  2018”.

Section 3 – What was your experience of the initial FORS Bronze audit?

“We were a little apprehensive in the days leading up to our initial FORS Bronze audit, but on the day the auditor put us at ease, and we passed first time around”

Section 4 – What was your main reason(s) for you progressing (either from Bronze to  Silver and then Silver to Gold or straight from Bronze to Gold)? 

“At that time, we had many of the requirements partially in place for FORS Silver, driven by a  desire to manage risk and costs but it remained disjointed and inconsistent”. A major turning  point was getting the drivers on the SUD Course. This triggered the completion of fitment of  camera systems and the remaining tasks enabling Silver Standard to be achieved during  August 2020.

Gold seemed to be the next logical step in our journey and progress was made with improvements on all fronts despite the pandemic.

Section 5 – Explain how you have made use of the benefits FORS provides? Quantify  savings where possible

Once accredited, we really made the most of the benefits on offer, in particular the available  E Learning modules. FORS accreditation has allowed us to maintain long standing  relationships with some of our biggest customers. and has given us more credibility when  tendering for new contracts and also it is a good mark of our professionalism when going for  new work that doesn’t require us to be FORS accredited.

Section 6 – What improvements have you made? 

Adopting the FORS systems has undoubtedly strengthened our management systems  including training. This has in turn boosted confidence to replace a number of rigid vehicles  with a number of flexible drawer-bar outfits which are both cost & fuel efficient and assisted  in reducing the number of journeys- improving environmental footprint.

  • Driver health and fitness review – The business has for several years arranged annual on-site Occupational Health Examinations by a Nurse Practitioner from KOH Consulting for all employees. Certificates are issued confirming Fitness for Work. A  few minor issues have been diagnosed as a result of these examinations.
  • Recruitment of drivers – Once we have recruited high calibre employees it is critical that we provide a safe and happy workplace so that the individuals can continue to  grow with us. We aim to retain our employees rather than have to recruit new ones,  our objective is to only recruit new drivers once a vacancy is created through retirement, employee relocation or fleet expansion. Recruiting to replace an employee who has left is a last resort! We aim to promote the careers available within the road haulage industry by creating a good place to work which our  employees would recommend to others. We use our smartly presented and well- equipped fleet as another tool to attract drivers
  • Noise assessment – It is the policy of the business to ensure the environment impact  of our operations including noise is minimised to maintain and preserve a healthy environment. Therefore, the business aims to ensure that equipment together with  consistent, effective training, management and supervisory arrangements are  maintained in order to ensure noise is controlled in the workplace (including customer  premises and sites), the neighbourhood and the wider environment. This includes  being considerate neighbours, avoiding unnecessary noise ie doors , conversations,  radios, keeping workshop doors closed, driving in a fuel efficient manner avoiding  harsh braking / acceleration.
  • Modal shift and alternative vehicles – With regards to renewable energy sources, we are keeping ourselves updated on developments with alternative fuels /vehicle  design. In addition we are considering solar panels to power the office electricity. As  a small family run road haulage business generally serving the West Midlands,  utilising rail or water as an alternative to road transport is not really an economic  option for us. However, we feel that we are well placed to support the “last mile”  delivery of cabins and containers that have been moved into a port or rail hub.

Section 7 – What are your plans for the future?

We aim to further streamline the business in terms of environmental and risk management. This may include relocation of our base. Our vehicles are equipped with high specification heavy duty cranes which will prove to be a challenge when considering alternative fuels. Due to the nature of our work, alternative modes are not a current option so we will have to think clever to be a first choice supplier and continue to improve green credentials.

Section 8 – What evidence do you have of positively promoting FORS at requirement  G7?

Our vehicles now proudly show off the FORS logo and we also use the FORS logo on our  web page, e mail signatures and company letterhead.

Section 9 –What FORS Gold accredition means for your organisation/to you?  
FORS membership has undoubtedly provided the framework and improved the positive  mentality across the business to enable across the board improvements.

Section 10 – (Optional) Please provide your social media contact details so we can  follow your organisation 

e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn etc.

Section 11 – FORS members’ feedback questionnaire 

Please could you take the time to complete a short questionnaire and provide feedback  about FORS. Please note all answers you provide will be strictly confidential and will only be  used by FORS to help us to improve the scheme. To access the survey, please click the link  here: