PODS is a moving and storage solutions provider that has served over 200 million people from more than 20,000 locations across the US, Canada, and Australia. PODS offers flexible, safe, affordable, trustworthy service to get people’s belongings where they need to go.
The PODS franchise was established in 1998 to improve the ease and convenience of moving and storage. Both residential and commercial customers have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their belongings are being stored and transported safely. Customers benefit from the exceptional service standard and innovative container selection.
The company has elevated the standard in the moving and storage market and that is especially true of its Ottawa, Ontario location. PODS of Ottawa is locally owned and operated and gives the Ottawa area trusted service, dependability, and the advantage of its vast network of locations.
PODS of Ottawa was established in May, 2007, by Peter Hauderowicz and since that time, has experienced great success in the market. The Ottawa location has served over six thousand customers since opening and has established itself as a market player and community stakeholder in the Ottawa region.
Hauderowicz, an engineer, found himself laid off thanks to the dot.com bubble burst in 2001. He tried his hand at a number of careers such as home inspector and even worked for a start-up. During this period of uncertainty, Hauderowicz also completed his MBA to support the pursuit of business-related ventures.
“I started looking at franchises to buy and then did an MBA in between because I was looking to do more business-related stuff,” Hauderowicz explained. “I was out skiing with a friend of mine in Whistler and saw an ad for PODS.”
“I looked at PODS as a franchise and they didn’t have any locations in Canada, so I called them and asked them if they had any interest in opening in Canada and they were just about to open a franchise in Toronto. That was about the end of 2006, early 2007. So, I went down to Florida and met with the ownership group and got started from there,” he noted.
Hauderowicz partnered with his brother, who manages the operation of the business, while Hauderowicz manages the business end. The roles are complemented by the brothers’ strengths and repertoires.
“It was just scalable and there was enough of a marketing aspect to it,” Hauderowicz responded, when asked what attracted him to PODS. “I really like marketing things. It fit well with what we were looking for. It’s not hugely labour intensive, and we don’t have a lot of experience managing people, so it fit well with our experience.”
“My brother is much more technical than I am,” Hauderowicz acknowledged, “and he knows machinery. We’ve got trucks and lifts and forklifts and things like that that need to be maintained so he’s good with the drivers and managing them, and I’m good with the numbers.”
PODS was a sound investment, and it has exceeded all expectations. “When I looked at PODS, they had a guy do a market analysis for us, and he looked at every other franchise that was in business over five years in the United States and the average number of containers per population, so the average for a million people was about four hundred containers,” Hauderowicz described.
“So, we built our business model to have about 400 containers by year five. We had four hundred containers rented by year two and by now, at our peak in the summertime, we run about 950 containers in Ottawa, close to a thousand,” said Hauderowicz. Even at this scale, PODS of Ottawa only needs four trucks, four drivers and a management team to operate.
PODS’ unique storage and moving solutions has differentiated the company from its competition, providing it with a slight market edge that has also helped to drive growth. Not only does PODS of Ottawa store its containers indoors in a heated warehouse, its containers are designed and built specifically for households. The containers are ramp-free and are level with the ground which decreases the wear and tear on the body and wasted time.
PODS of Ottawa has become a trusted partner for customers who are moving, remodelling, or renovating as well as for companies that have overstock and require secure moving and storage services. Customers no longer have to spend hours vetting the market for reputable movers and storage facilities.
From container delivery to the transportation and delivery of the container to its final destination or storage, customers maintain control of the entire process. Customers arrange for container delivery and pick up when it is convenient for them, and the customer has the freedom to pack the container to the way they want.
PODS containers come in three different sizes and are ideal for times when quick, on-site storage is needed. PODS containers come in handy during home remodelling or to store excess belongings when a home is being staged for sale. PODS containers have also been used by businesses for seasonal storage and have played an important role during times of emergency.
Looking to increase its impact in the commercial market, PODS of Ottawa has been finding new occasions to work with businesses and companies who need to solve issues of overstock during holiday shopping seasons. It provides flexible seasonal storage options to improve storage capacity and free warehouse space.
PODS of Ottawa boasts a local, regional, provincial, and even national and international reach, providing cross country and even cross continental moving services and secure storage, when needed. PODS transports the container where it needs to go, when the client wants it moved.
“We can move a container to most major cities across Canada and North America, and it’s kind of a big disrupter to the standard city-to-city move because that tended to be the big van lines. We do that. It’s kind of a do-it-yourself because you pack your own container but you are doing it on our truck,” Hauderowicz explained.
“You wouldn’t want to drive a U-Haul to California,” said Hauderowicz. “So, as far as what we can offer, we have three SKUS. We have three sizes of containers.” Recently, PODS of Ottawa introduced its smallest container: the eight-foot container.
PODS of Ottawa has longstanding, trustworthy employees who put the needs of the customer first. Its drivers handle nearly 1,500 jobs a year, and to maintain service of the highest quality, Hauderowicz has been sure to create a work culture that reproduces success.
“We try to foster a small family feel within out market,” said Hauderowicz. “I know everyone says that, but we pay benefits that most employees don’t pay, and we want to keep our guys around for a long time, because we know that when they’re doing so many jobs, you just naturally get good at it.”
“We’re bigger than anybody else by a huge margin in Ottawa, so we do a lot more jobs, and we know how to do that. We know how to deliver a container without stuff falling over inside the container, without damaging people’s property and things like that.” This expertise has been invaluable to the company.
PODS of Ottawa also has a standout employee who came to it through a partnership with an organization called LiveWorkPlay. This charitable organization helps match people with intellectual disabilities to opportunities in the community that they would not have otherwise to live, work and play as an equal.
“We’ve got a guy that works for us in the warehouse. He comes in a couple of days a week. That kind of stuff is not necessary to our business but it is a feel-good thing to do, hiring someone that needs work that couldn’t work at say a normal job,” said Hauderowicz. Being able to help someone gain a sense of independence through work is a real source of pride for the company.
PODS of Ottawa is not only a recognizable name for its services, but it is also highly involved in the local community. In addition to partnerships with Army Run, Ottawa Race Weekend, Canadian Tulip Festival, Rideau Canal Festival, Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Ottawa Folk Festival, and Habitat for Humanity, the company is an official supplier for the Ottawa 2017 celebrations.
“The city realized that PODS is a big component of what goes on at community events, so they contacted me and asked if I would be interested in donating a container that they have outfitted. It’s pretty cool. You go inside the container, and they have projectors on the wall that are showcasing Canada. It’s an information kiosk that we go around place to place for them so people can get excited for the 2017 celebrations.”
PODS of Ottawa made the decision to give back to the community that has supported its growth and promises potential for the future. Hauderowicz attributes PODS of Ottawa’s community outreach as a major piece of its success in the market.
“As far as where we want to take this, there is still a big component to the moving and storage market. It’s a big market, and we’re not at the peak of where we think we can be in terms of how many containers we can have in our market. In the Ottawa market, there is still room for growth, and we keep growing. Our market keeps expanding, and Ottawa keeps expanding too,” Hauderowicz said. PODS of Ottawa grew ten percent last year alone.