Amidst news that Amtrak Express Parcels (Netfold) has entered receivership, its former CIO Phil Young has revealed that UK Brand could have survived the credit crunch had they been willing to let technology take more of a centre stage to seal the company’s future as a leading UK home delivery provider. In a candid interview with the award-winning entrepreneur, Young claims that the company ‘did not fail due to bad management or poor ownership, but failed due to the laws of business economics’.
Amtrak, a well-known brand in the UK Domestic parcel delivery sector, hit turbulent times after its sale three years ago by 3i, the venture capital giant. Over the past years it saw ownership change three times between various Private Equity companies and Young believes that this obviously did have some negative impact on the operation, but that it was very likely to be insurmountable cash hardship as banks tightened their lending that has forced their hand, leaving over 1,000 loyal workers unemployed.
Young, who was awarded CIO Innovator of the Year whilst at Amtrak, believes that had the company invested in technology earlier to help reduce the overheads of ‘credit control’ and implemented a true e-commerce & CRM solution earlier, they may well have been able to ride the economic downturn without the need to rely on the bank extending their credit facilities.
Young, who left Amtrak in March 2007, suggests that they should have moved to a model based around the growth market in home internet shopping rather than account based trading and that “by further building low cost online services that enticed shippers with its ease of use and reporting; Amtrak had the potential to secure their position as a real player in this space”.
“I left because sadly, technology was not seen as a key investment at the time, an investment for the future of the company and a revenue earner, but instead it was seen as a cost. Whilst it is a sad day and a lesson learnt too late for Amtrak, it sends a warning out to others than they must embrace the changing nature of the marketplace if they are to survive”, adds Young, whose autobiography 2 Much 2 Young was released last week.
For more information on Phil Young and his autobiography ‘2 Much 2 Young’ visit www.j-ya.com.
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