In the first of two interviews with FIDI’s two incoming Board members – following their appointment at FIDI’s General Assembly – FIDI Focus speaks to Graebel’s Dale Collins about his new role
New FIDI Board member Dale Collins is MD for EMEA at Graebel, as well as its President, Global Transportation Services and Chief Strategy Officer. He comes from a family with four generations of moving industry knowledge.
FIDI Focus: What has been your experience with FIDI?
Dale Collins: I have been involved with FIDI since 1979 through my father’s company in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands. I learned about FIDI then; what it does and how it operates. My father and mother would tell me the stories of the people they met and the wonderful friendships they created over the years. They had a lovely relationship with the mother and father of my fellow new Board member, Aulina Mithal-Sood.
FIDI tackles important issues – I have seen it make decisions that I felt were incorrect; and others that were right but had negative consequences. An organisation such as FIDI has to make the best decisions possible – the perfect decision is never consistently achievable.
I am confident that FIDI has a bright future and will continue to play a critical role in the global mobility space.
FF: What are the hot issues for Affiliates in your region of the world?
DC: With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, the most critical issue today is survival and business continuity – every Affiliate is facing those challenges.
Those that have been working toward a strong business model and fundamental business practices will weather the storm, and those that have not will struggle.
I believe three key components will be needed when we get through this period – communication (talking to people), kindness toward each other, and helping out whenever possible.
Further to this are the fundamental forces of digitisation and standardisation. Most FIDI Affiliates would likely say they have already moved and adapted to these two forces. However, I would posit that this has occurred at a minimal basic level and that our industry must brace for increased pressure to be digital in all aspects and ensure that the concept of having standards for sharing data and effectively communicating among each other and all those involved in global mobility, must use the most secure and efficient mechanisms possible.
FF: Why did you want to join the FIDI Board?
DC: I have seen significant changes occur. We have seen our industry evolve to incorporate extra transportation related services and personal mobility services.
Our industry has been under siege on multiple fronts; however, I have seen very few innovative solutions emerge using trucks, packaging materials, and labour. My objective for serving on the FIDI Board is to foster innovation, creativity and awareness so those performing the bulk of the service are able to prosper from the fruits of their own labour.
I think the technologies of today, coupled with the right marketing strategies, will allow well-managed and well-structured companies to take advantage of the market conditions by meeting the needs of individual consumers and those of institutional buyers through innovative services and systems and, above all, making it easier and more cost-effective to engage with an Affiliate.
FF: In your opinion, what is FIDI’s value to Affiliates?
DC: FIDI offers several tangible benefits across everything from training, networking, dispute resolution, securing payments, quality assurance and more.
However, I think that FIDI offers much more from the perspective of forward-thinking innovation for the industry. FIDI is dedicated not only to the survival of the industry, but to improving the health and security of the industry across a broad service range.
FIDI also allows any Affiliate to have the same staff training, quality standards and access to the latest trends and market assessments – so they might choose their own destiny in terms of growth opportunities or to remain a focused and dedicated specialist organisation.
FF: What do you expect from your time on the Board?
DC: I am expecting to learn much from FIDI Affiliates globally. There is a fabulous story in every Affiliate’s location, and I want to learn as many as I can.
I would like to be a true resource for our Affiliates and realise that my role on the Board is to help make decisions that drive value for FIDI and make it a valuable part of every Affiliate’s portfolio of resources. I look forward to getting to know key leaders in our industry a little better, working in a very multicultural and dynamic setting. I believe that one learns so much by interacting and working with leaders from around the world, and I hope that I can impart that same spirit to my colleagues as I interact with them in the FIDI Board.
There will be an interview with new Board member Aulina Mithal-Sood in the October/November 2020 issue of FIDI Focus.