Chris Smallwood, Managing Director of Britannia Anchor Removals, recently joined the BAR Board as a new Directly elected Director (DED)
Directly Elected Directors play an important role at BAR; they are specifically responsible for voicing the
concerns of the ordinary membership and for being the connection between the Board and Members. As
such, they play a key part in forming BAR policy and in setting the direction for the Association for the
future. Chris is taking on this responsibility with his eyes wide open. “As DEDs, we are the conduit between the Members and the Association,” he told R&S. “My first priority will be to try to help people understand the benefits of being a Member of the BAR, while at the same time I also want the BAR to understand what its Members need and want.”
Chris has served on the BAR Board before – he was a Board Member from 2006 to 2009. However, he feels this time round he is taking on the DED position with a much better perspective on the removals industry in general and the needs of BAR Members in particular. “When I was on the BAR Board, I hadn’t run my own company at that stage, so I didn’t have that experience. I feel like I have unfinished business at the Board and now I want to contribute more to the Association.”
We also have to drive home to the market the benefits of quality service. We need to ensure there is clear blue water between us and those who are not professional,At the same time, Chris notes that in the past few years BAR has continued to develop in positive directions. He says he would also like to encourage and where possible accelerate further positive developments in his new role as DED. He identifies for particular focus the need to help Members adapt to today’s rapid technological changes. “Technological advances such as price comparison websites, online quoting and online promotions remain a critical challenge that we as an industry are facing,” he says.
“I want to help Members and the Association understand these challenges. A lot of well-established removal companies, especially the smaller ones, are still intimidated by technology. We as an association have to rise up to the challenge and help those Members understand the impact that technology will have on them over the next five years.”
Chris believes that by using these technologies in the right way, BAR Members can gain competitive advantage in today’s difficult marketplace. And, the role that the BAR has to play is to support and make available to Members all the opportunities presented by the Internet.
“We also have to drive home to the market the benefits of quality service. We need to ensure there is clear blue water between us and those who are not professional,” Chris adds. “On behalf of our Members and on behalf of the industry we have to communicate this message and explain the benefits of quality service and putting the customer first.”
As well as being a new DED, for the past year Chris has also been a Director of the Board of BAR Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of BAR. He considers BAR Services as an integral part of the BAR Membership package. “Sometimes Members don’t realise that they are owners of BAR Services,” Chris explains. “When they buy from BAR Services they are also to a degree buying from their own company. It’s inextricably linked to the overall member services that BAR provides.”
He stresses the strategic importance for BAR and its Members having their own packaging company. “If Members provide their support, they can help prevent the market being monopolised and we can all keep control of costs. It’s just one of the advantages of belonging to a professional association.”
Through his recent involvement with BAR Services, and now as a BAR DED, Chris has become a familiar face at Watford. But it looks like his visits will become even more regular over the next year. As an avid Manchester City supporter, Chris says he is also looking forward to combining his visits to Watford with his team’s now regular trips to Wembley!