New access rental company
John Corrie, the access industry veteran and founder of Safe Access Solutions has moved back to the UK and is opening a new access rental company.
In late March he set up Core Access Rentals for which he is listed as sole shareholder and director. He will be the managing director, while son Dean is operations manager.
Both of them have been working in the Middle East for the past few years, where they have managed Rental Solutions and Services and have now returned to the UK. The two are starting off with a modest depot in the West Bromwich area in the west Midlands. The plan is to open next week, with a few machines offering a high quality service and then gradually build the business on a firm foundation.
A number of readers have contacted us in the past couple of weeks, to say that the Corries have called on them looking to set up rehire agreements, and we understand that they have approached at least one manufacturer to discuss new equipment. All of the calls we have received have had the same tone, expressing concern that given their previous companies left many of them with unpaid debts, mostly for machinery rehires, and that they might well do the same all over again.
The Corries past ventures have included Safe Access Solutions (SAS) in which John Corrie was a major shareholder and director, although he stepped down as a director
apparently following a lawsuit from Ras Al-Khaimah bank, regarding an outstanding loan, which according to reports at the time resulted in him declaring personal bankruptcy. Dean stayed on as director until the company was dissolved in 2015 when the business assets were sold to AFI
The family was also apparently involved with Access on Demand (AOD) which was dissolved with outstanding County Court judgements, and more recently Hoist Hire(UK) Ltd which has been dissolved – nothing to do with the business known as Hoist hire services. The two had also joined Green Access Platforms with Keith Kendall, Mike Wishart and Pierrick Lourdain, but made a swift exit after just a couple of weeks or so.
John Corrie has a long history in the access industry having started out as a manager with Ashtead in 1991, moving to Hewden in 2000, and Nationwide in 2005. In 2008 he moved to Abu Dhabi as general manager of Instant Access, returning to the UK in 2012 to set up Safe Access Solutions (SAS).
A key question here is does a person deserve a second chance?
John Corrie is clearly a first rate sales person and has held several senior managerial jobs with large companies over long periods of time. So he is clearly talented and a skilled operator, although some might wonder whether those talents were tuned to the financial challenges of an entrepreneurial start up? However there was little or no question about the quality of the service and organisation at SAS, in fact a number of people were impressed at the time.
There are plenty of examples of individuals that have faced repeated bankruptcies, only to learn from their mistakes or misfortune, and find great success later on. The chance to bounce back and have another go is, whether you like it or not a corner stone of the western capitalist system, as long as no fraudulent activity is involved of course, which the system treats quite differently- and rightly so.
When it comes to leaving unpaid debts behind, there are two views: On the one hand no one is forced to extend credit for rehires, or even to let such people have machines – we all have free will after all. But all too often companies not only extend credit to start ups without making the right checks, or taking sensible precautions to limit potential damage from non payment, but continue to provide more and more credit, long after the first invoice remains unpaid. In one way they allow these people to carry on building up a debt mountain that will lead to a bigger failure than if the industry had worked together and limited their exposure.
However, this depends on how the debts are accumulated. Promises of payment and winning the trust of good natured suppliers with lies and untruths, when it is clear that the company is unlikely to be able to pay, and building up debt within the business to levels that are totally unsupportable by skipping between suppliers or other more methods, is not only immoral but often illegal. To repeat the process or errors with another company takes the issue another level all together. We do not know exactly what happened at SAS when things started going wrong. All manner of aspersions have circulated in the industry at the time and more recently, many from ex business partners/employees. As is often the case there are different versions of what happened depending on who of the protaganists you speak to. It was clear at the time that a fair number of unpleasant personal events occurred in the final days of the business – but only those directly involved really know what happened.
Going forward actions speak much louder than words, and while the Corries say that they want to run a solid, modest and responsible business with Core, and perhaps try to repair some of the damage done in the past, they can only do so with their actions, in the short term and over a lengthy period of time if they are to stand any chance of convincing those that previously got burnt, that this time it is different.
Is this second or third time lucky for John Corrie? Only time will tell.