Location: We have four sites in Derbyshire. The locations are Swadlincote, Chesterfield (new venture) and two in Ilkeston
Number of employees: 230
What is the history of the company? Who set it up, and when?
The Ward family started trading in metal and waste from a single site in the 1950s, over the years the company has grown substantially and enhanced the services it offers, currently annual turnover exceeds £100m.
The Ward family still own and run the business with Michael and David Ward heading the team, their children (fourth generation within the business) also work in senior roles within the company.
Is there anyone in the business who deserves a special mention?
We like to think it’s a team effort with everyone playing their part to make the business successful. Having recently achieved the Investors in People accreditation we realise the importance of ‘buy in’ from everyone.What services do you offer?
We handle all types of ferrous and non-ferrous metals using processes such as shredding and shearing to densify the material so that it can be sold to end consumers around the world.
We handle all kinds of domestic, commercial, industrial, demolition, construction and hazardous wastes for the public and business sectors alike.
We have transfer stations for direct tipping, we run a fleet of over sixty vehicles including skips, roros, tippers and compaction lorries. We also offer more specialist services such as land remediation and demolition works. Basically we offer a total waste solution package for all!
What areas do you cover?
Really depends on the size and nature of the job, we would consider local work to be Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire. For larger jobs or specialist work we can service nationally.
What are the hardest things you face as a business?
Our employees are the ones that will make the business successful as it is ultimately them doing the work and servicing our customer base, finding quality people can be hard at times so staff retention and training are important to us.
What are the best things about working there?
It is good to be part of an organisation that has the ambition to grow and diversify. Within the last 10 years, three new sites have been set up and expenditure on new and innovative processing equipment has exceeded £10m.
What do you like best about the skip hire industry?
There is never a dull moment – it is a very reactive industry when customers want almost immediate service on occasions. From the customer service team to the transport planners and then to the drivers, it’s all about managing the expectations of our customers and ensuring they are getting the excellent service that they deserve.What do you like the least about the skip hire industry?
Whilst its vital to have Government legislation in our industry all the red tape that comes from the HSE, EA, VOSA, HMRC certainly slow down the wheels of progress.
What one change would you make to the industry?
Abolish landfill tax!
What skip company – other than your own – do you admire?
There are a few locally that are family owned and ran, similar to ourselves, or have built themselves up from having a single lorry to running a small fleet. Anyone who has made a success in such a competitive market has done well, so fair play to them.
What is your relationship like with the other skip hire companies in your area?
We have a good working relationship with our competitors and often help one another out during busy periods, obviously we cross swords going after the same jobs regularly but that’s just business.
Has your company developed any new parts of the business in the past few years?
February 2015 saw the opening of our new site in Old Whittington, Chesterfield – a 7.5 acre site licenced to accept all metal and waste products. The site gives us the opportunity to service the metal and waste disposal requirements of customers into Sheffield and the surrounding areas.
We have some big plans for the site including significant investment in a MRF and 1000t plus scrap metal shear.
What makes your company stand out from your competition?
Having developed from a small family business to a large organisation we have retained the family business ethics but incorporated them in a big business process. The directors and Ward family members are all very hands on and personally oversee the day to day running of all departments.
Customer satisfaction is key and this is a philosophy we build in to all our staff.
What do you like most about Skip Hire Magazine?
The magazine has up-to-date news and views but manages to get the point across and put a smile on your face at the same time.