Richard Thame, CEO of CouriersPlease in Australia, has been awarded top ranking in the Franchise Executives’ Top 30 Franchise Executives report.
Thame oversees a national network of more than 1,200 franchise and delivery partners, 400-plus freight handlers and 15 major depots across nearly 850 active territories. He is also a director of the Franchise Council of Australia. One of his major focuses in 2022 was to revitalize and futureproof the franchise model at CouriersPlease.
The Franchise of the Future program is a key part of CouriersPlease’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact and promoting sustainable practices. It includes electric delivery vehicles – currently being trialed – and a carbon calculator to measure emissions across the delivery journey. Thame has also led the opening of a 5-star green-rated Gold Coast depot and initiated a switch to franchisee uniforms made from recycled materials.
As well as his vision of how franchises should look in the future and implementing a strategy to deliver on that vision now, Thame was recognized by the award judges for driving an A$5m (US$3m) investment in a multi-year program called Digital Futures, which is intended to transform business communications and operations.
According to the company, Thame’s commitment to mental health and diversity has resulted in a more skilled and diverse network of Franchise Partners, comprising older and young Australians, migrants and women. The CouriersPlease leadership team is 59% women, including Janine Zammit, chief operations officer at CouriersPlease, and three out of five state managers. Thame was commended for directing improvements to the company’s People Assist program, which helps CouriersPlease staff, Franchise Partners, contractors and families access free mental health support.
Thame said, “I am proud to lead initiatives that promote sustainability, mental health and diversity within our business. Our Franchise Partners and employees are integral to our success, and it is crucial that we create a supportive and inclusive environment where everyone can thrive.”
Recognizing the role that CouriersPlease’s network of Franchise Partners plays in the overall success of the business, Thame created the role of head of franchising, to advocate for, and champion, Franchise Partner businesses. James Hucker, who recently stepped into this role, also made the top 30, coming in at number four. It’s the second year in succession that Hucker has made the list for his work at CouriersPlease.
Hucker has been with CouriersPlease for more than 22 years. It was his efforts in growing CouriersPlease’s Franchise Partner network during the Covid-19 pandemic and e-commerce boom, as well as his understanding of Franchise Partner needs and delivering upon those, that earned him recognition by the award judges. Additionally, Hucker’s work in boosting operational practices, particularly around managing driver fatigue, has been instrumental in improving franchisee safety under heavy workloads and helped secure his position as one of the leading lights in the franchise industry.
Hucker said, “In my role, success is defined by two critical components – one is achieving the overall business objectives, and the second is ensuring a reasonable work-life balance for myself and the Franchise Partner/employee teams that I manage.”
Read more key personnel updates from the parcel and postal technology industry, here.