Botley courier firm sold for a six-figure sum

Adrian Smith at the 12,000 sq ft Milton Park warehouse

Adrian Smith at the 12,000 sq ft Milton Park warehouse

First published in Business The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , covering business. Call me on 01865 425433

A BOTLEY-based courier service has been bought out for a “six-figure” sum and has moved to Milton Park.

DCS Sameday, founded in 1986, has been bought by The Swift Group, which has a £10m turnover and employs 150 people.

The Oxford firm, which has moved to a 12,000 sq ft depot, will retain the DCS name.

Swift managing director Adrian Smith said the deal to buy DCS Sameday had been worth “hundreds of thousands of pounds” but would not be drawn on more precise figures.

He added: “We have been expanding right through the recession. I may sound arrogant but in my view recession starts between the ears, you have to use your common sense to beat it.

“It purges the weakest out of the market while the tough get going.”

DCS Sameday was founded in 1986 by the Darby family, with DCS standing for Darby Courier Services. It was bought in 2005 by Mark Scanlan – from whom Swift has now bought it.

All 10 staff at DCS Sameday, formerly based in Botley, have transferred to Swift Group, which is based in Newbury.

Mr Scanlan has become regional manager of Swift’s same day delivery service.

Swift was founded in 1989 by Steve Huntly who died in a motorcycle accident last year. Mr Smith, 43, who has been in the courier business since the age of 18, joined Swift seven years ago.

Now he owns the group jointly with a Huntly family trust.

Mr Smith added that one driver of growth in recent years had been the internet.

He said: “An element of growth in the business to consumer area is definitely online ordering.

“And to some extent the same applies in the business to business area too.

“The just-in-time mentality exists there, and customers don’t want things sitting on shelves. Storage costs money.”

He added: “The secret of success is rationalisation. The dark arts of logistics can save customers money.

“We work closely with them and are frequently called into their board meetings.

“Recently we worked out a scheme which, overall, saved a customer £3m a year.”

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