Can a 116-year-old moving company be reborn? If so, how and why?
Arpin Group started in a remote area of Canada in 1900 delivering ice and coal.
The world pretty quickly stopped needing home delivery of ice and coal. And,
so, the company shifted, used its existing fleet to move household
goods, caskets...whatever the customers needed. Arpin moved itself, from
Canada to NY to RI and in 1950, pieced together the necessary operating
authority to become a national company.
Now in its fifth generation the family who runs it, an entity today at $250
million and a global mobility leader, has braved political upheavals,
wars, famines, recessions, depressions and, today, speed-of-light changes in
the industry and in the world. Yet, the company thrives. Why? At the top of the
list is an ability to quickly, intuitively, adapt and react to the changes
around them. Working on short-term plans Arpin simply morphs as client
needs evolve. Survival is keyed to reacting to the marketplace and, with some
adjustments, working to deliver the best value, the right combination of
service and price, to an ever more demanding market.
That attitude, cultivated across five generations, has propelled this simple,
traditional, nothing-more-than a mover to the top of the sustainability heap.
Arpin recognized a long time ago it did not want to be the same moving company
for 100 years. So it invested heavily, early on in the transformation race, in
efficiency, clean tech for trucks and warehouses, renewables, paperless
operations, biofuels, and a 24/7 web network to
communicate seamlessly to customers around the world. Arpin cut most
waste from landfills, quickly became a leader in recycling, partnered
around the world with green leaders, self-audited every division and
became recognized, by Audubon and other leading organizations,
as the greenest moving company in the world.
Revenue and profits are up. Arpin has expanded company facilities on every
continent. Customer service levels are at historic highs, thanks to huge
investments in online global training. Yet, the base reasons for continued
success goes back to a great grandfather and team who refused to get stuck in
tradition. The rewards are reaped from innovation and reshaping on the run. A
decision to drive towards high ESG standards was in-bred when coal and ice
evaporated from consumer's homes. Adopting a triple-bottom line passion was
simply the next chapter in reflecting the desires of a sophisticated
marketplace. Delivering value today encompasses protecting eco-resources, shifting,
like the rest of the world, to a low-carbon method and protecting a planet for
future generations. Doing anything less is the beginning of
the end for Arpin or any company blind to the possibilities of serving
humanity and God.