Smart Solutions Drives Growth Of New Division With Key Appointments

Smart Solutions Drives Growth Of New Division With Key Appointments

Smart Solutions Drives Growth Of New Division With Key Appointments

Newport-headquartered outsourced services specialists, Smart Solutions, has launched a new division dedicated to driver recruitment and has appointed a services director to head up the specialist offering.

David Edwards joins Smart Solutions from Darren Bell Recruitment, with extensive experience in driving and logistics recruitment developed over 18 years in the industry.  Formerly based in Bristol and the south west, Mr Edwards has experience across the UK, supplying drivers through high street, multi-client branch networks and high volume on-site managed service operations.  He has overseen driver recruitment for high-profile brands including DHL, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and DX Mail.  As driving services director, Mr Edwards leads the division, overseeing the recruitment, retention and deployment of Smart Solutions’ pool of drivers and identifying opportunities to develop the business’s presence in new sectors as a leading supplier of flexible driving staff.

The division currently supplies up to 140 drivers daily to clients in sectors ranging from waste and recycling to parcel delivery, construction and road haulage.

Two further appointments have also been made to support the day-to-day delivery of Smart Solutions’ driving service. Daniel Puttick, 27, from Cardiff, formerly of ADR Network, joins as regional manager, overseeing the south west and south Wales. And Amjid Rafiq, 40, from Newport, has joined as recruitment consultant having previously worked for Driver Hire.

Mr Edwards said: “Smart Solutions is a dynamic and ambitious company with an exciting growth strategy, and has a well-established reputation for quality and service within the managed services sector. The opportunity to join the team and develop this new division was extremely appealing.  My in-depth knowledge of the industry has enabled me to streamline Smart Solutions’ driver recruitment processes UK-wide, and ensure complicated industry legislation is fully adhered to.  The driving division is growing and I am excited to take it forward, alongside my colleagues, drawing on my logistics and distribution background to develop Smart’s presence in a range of existing and new sectors.”

The development of the driver division is a key step forward in Smart Solutions’ ambitious expansion strategy. The company has experienced exceptional growth over the last 12 months, and the 2013-2014 financial year was its most successful to date, with a record turnover of £56 million.

Ieuan Rosser, managing director of recruitment services at Smart Solutions, said: “While Smart was already well-recognised as a leading supplier of flexible labour to the waste and recycling sector, we recognised that there was an opportunity to expand into new sectors with the launch of a driving division. David’s expert understanding of the distribution and logistics industry will be invaluable in helping us to deliver our ambitions.

“We are now able to capitalise on our expertise within the waste and recycling sector by providing waste collection drivers, meaning our national clients can be confident that Smart Solutions has the capability to fulfil all elements of their workforce needs.”

The driving division has been established on the back of a flurry of new contract wins for Smart, and in reaction to a UK-wide shortage of qualified drivers, a situation that has been exacerbated by regulations regarding driver CPC qualifications that came into effect in September 2014.

Mr Rosser continued: “With around 60% of UK freight moved by road, drivers are vital to the UK supply chain, but there are currently simply not enough qualified drivers to fulfil the demand. This can be made more acute by many clients requesting drivers have at least two years’ experience, coupled with new industry regulations that require drivers to hold a Driver CPC qualification, as well as their appropriate license.  It is vital that drivers are fully qualified and of a consistent standard, and so we have taken steps to ensure that these new rules did not reduce the availability of fully-qualified drivers even further. Through our new driving division, we take on newly-qualified drivers and provide our staff free Driver CPC training, in order to make sure there are sufficient, qualified individuals to keep up with industry demand.”

Smart Solutions offers a range of managed services including recruitment, personnel development, training, waste management, managed services, consultancy and commodities trading.

Established in 2007, Smart Solutions has become one Wales’ most successful emerging brands, and is the only business in Wales to have received a Fast Growth 50 award four times. It recently ranked number 25 in Investec’s list of fastest-growing private firms in the UK, one of only two in Wales.

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