Swift Transport Plc

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Swift Transport Plc is a Plc; a medium sized business, which specialised in road haulage services within the U.K. since the early 1960’s. For many years it concentrated on road haulage within the United Kingdom until Gisele Marionnaud was appointed as the new director in charge of transport and extended the freight carriage into Europe. After the recession in the early 1990’s, Swift Transport Plc decided that they wanted to diversify. Jack Hunter, the marketing director, a very influential man, persuaded the board of directors that there would be excellent marketing opportunities associated with the Olympic Games to be held at Sydney in the year 2000. Following this, the board decided to look at possible companies to take over.

In 1996, Swift Transport Plc successfully took over Happy Hols Ltd. Happy Hols Ltd was a small chain of travel agents specialising in adventure and activity holidays in Europe, and recently had been experience some liquidity problems. The directors of Sift transport decided that the business should carry on trading under the same name. This was probably because Happy Hols Ltd had built up a brand loyalty, and an if the company changed, it would have to be built up again and survival would be a priority. The directors of Happy Hols Ltd continued to make decisions about the running of the company, Kate McGreggor, the personnel director of swift was in charge of the restructuring of Happy Hols Ltd, which was necessary after the take-over.

Swift Transport Plc was also interested in another company to take over, this was Keepsake Ltd. Keepsake Ltd was a small wholesale business which specialised in supplying merchandise for businesses such as theme parks, football clubs and for special events such as pop concerts. Early in 1999, Keepsake Ltd were considering an expansion of the firms activities Probably because of motives such as survival, increasing market share and being able to compete with rivals, and the director of Swift Transport Plc thought this was a good time to make a transport bid. John Hudson, the finance director was given the task of investigating the possibility and Jan Spencer, who would become the buying director if the take over went ahead.

For Swift to take-over another companies like Keepsake Ltd Finance would be the main function involved as it deals with the money of the business. The finance function has the responsibility of obtaining, recording, controlling and analysing the funds of the firm. Its efficient operation is vital to the firms survival such as making sure that there are sufficient funds available for the firm to pay its debts and so on. The finance department will now have the job of investigating the possibility of a take-over of Keepsake Ltd, and if it was to go through have the responsibility of funding it. So the finance department will need to know if they have enough capital available or if another source will need to be addressed such as an overdraft, loan etc. The finance dept would be able to see this through their own accounts including balance sheets, profit/loss accounts and cash flow forecasts.

The tasks I will have to carry out in order to complete this investigation:  Write an introduction of the unit of work including the business activity undertaken by Swift Transport Plc and the business functions involved in the tasks to be completed. This will help me get to know Swift Transport, what it is what it does and its problems. Also it will help me explain the functions of the Finance department at Sift Transport and how this departments fits into its organisation structure.

Describe the whole structure of Swift Transport Plc. Produce an organisation chart for Swift Transport Plc and explain the workings of the main department. This will tell me how swift is organised and how the company works. It will also show me how the finance department fits overall within the company. I will need this, as I will know how changes within one department will affect the rest of the company.

Write an account, which explains the goals and targets of Swift Transport Plc and what the company is going to do to achieve these goals. This will help me as I will need to know what Swift Transport Plc wants to achieve, so I will need to know their aims, their future achievements, how they propose to achieve their aims and how all this will affect the running of the company.  Identify the internal and external constraints that will affect swift transport. This will help me, as I will need to know what kind of problems Swift Transport Plc faces, and also how these are going to affect the decision-makers in the company.

Prepare a Cash flow forecast. I will have to explain the purpose of a cash flow forecast and why a company like Keepsake Ltd need it. This will help me, as I will be able to complete the cash flow forecast and then be able to relate it to other appropriate tasks. Investigate possible sources of finance. I will need this as I am going to have to advise Happy Hols Ltd on the appropriate source of finance to invest in the extension of camping holidays. I will need to know the main ones and be able to use the best ones in the circumstances.

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