Monday, June 13, 2016

A message from Peter Arpin

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.

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