About Peters & May
Established in 1973, Peters & May is celebrating its 50th year in business. The company began its journey as a small freight forwarding company, in Reading, UK. Over the last five decades, Peters & May has adapted to meet the changing needs of the marine industry, expanding its offering to suit clients across the globe.
Fast forward to 2023, and the company is now a global leader in yacht transportation and has quickly established a reputation for reliability, professionalism and a commitment to exceptional service. From being the first shipping agent based outside of a major port in the South of England, back in the 70s, Peters & May now has 10 strategically located offices around the world, in the USA, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Hong Kong.
Now, Peters & May prides itself on delivering industry leading bespoke logistic solutions through its knowledge, stringent processes, meticulous planning and attention to detail – with such a high level of global bespoke logistics experience, it is the unrivalled service that marks them out as the best of the best.
Activity with Forward Solutions
Peters & May have worked with Forward Solutions for over a decade, and really, it was the flexibility that the tech firm offered the shipping agent, that stood out the most.
As the company’s Group Finance & Commercial Director, Tom Derbyshire, picks up, it’s Forward Solutions’ ability to adapt that helped to win some returning business: “Towards the end of 2020, we were looking at changing our operations system. So, we went out, and tendered the business, as it happens, and moved away from Forward Solutions.
“After working with our new supplier for a period of time, it transpired their solution was not going to be the right fit for our company. We have quite a varied product offering in freight forwarding, and a uniqueness to Peters & May is that we charter and run our own ships.
“As a result of that, we required a platform that could cater for running the operations of those chartered vessels, as each was essentially its own project in its entirety. We promptly re-approached Forward Solutions, and were shown the roadmap of their product development, which was hugely appealing to us, so we went back and became customers once again.”
It was soon clear that the product Forward Solutions offered, Forward Core was perfect for Peters & May. The flexibility meant that various extras were able to be bolted on to the initial software, ensuring it covered everything required for Peters & May’s complex operational setup. This is something that has always been a priority for Forward Solutions, to be able to provide a solution for any situation or service a client comes to the team with.
Tom adds that the complexity of the project could not be understated: “It was a hugely complex project, as the product caters for the entirety of our business which covers seven trading companies in 10 locations around the world. Previous to this latest project with Forward Solutions, our company was quite dispersed, with two thirds of us using Forward Solutions, and the other third using other products, which didn’t really work as we needed everything in one place, under the same operations system.
“The process took around 12 months to pull together, before the new system went live in March 2023, and for all intents and purposes, it is going in the direction we want it to.”
For such a complex relationship to come together and work in harmony requires proactive problem-solvers. Fortunately, Peters & May have a great relationship with the team at Forward Solutions, as Tom picks up: “Our Customer Success Manager is Scott Manning, who has worked alongside Nigel Smith for period of time, and has since taken over from Nigel. Scott’s very good, he’s always available and on-hand to provide a good set of solutions to whatever queries we have for him.
“Nigel also did a lot of work, particularly during the first two months of our go-live in March 2023. The go-live could’ve been smoother, but between Scott, Nigel and the rest of the team, Forward worked tirelessly on the issues sent to them and we’ve got to a good place. The issues have been resolved, and the rollout of our roadmap for the future is now the big focus of our relationship.”
Looking to the future, Tom can see potential for Peters & May to take on more of Forward Solutions’ products, with a couple potentially suiting the freight agent: “We are currently testing the use of Forward Vision at the moment.
“The product does hugely appeal to our customers, because they would like to book their cargo, and have the facility to login and track the shipment live, to see where it is at in real-time.
“Aside from Vision, the next biggest thing that will benefit our customers is the next UI from Forward. We have seen the new UI and it looks straightforward to use and navigate, it’ll be exciting to fully utilise that across the business, when we are able to receive it.”