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• If trade associations like the RHA are to flourish in the difficult political and commercial environment of the Seventies, they must provide scope for young men of vision and energy. Road transport needs forward thinking people. It follows that RHA members must be reminded from time to time that long-term interests will not be served by exclusive preoccupation with day-to-day problems.
Jeff Baylis. the Western area chairman, is stimulating company. An enthusiast for management education, with three Ashridge courses under his belt, he thinks the RTITB should have placed maximum stress on improving the breed of managers. Better labour relations and productivity, more effective co-operation between hauliers, and a much more imaginative approach to amenity and planning problems, will follow as management skills improve, he believes.
He thinks the RHA should look at environmental problems from a community, rather than a purely sectional standpoint. "We cannot be taken seriously on matters that concern us deeply if we are disinterested in the amenity aspects that excite civic societies and others,he says. His own farm, near Frenchay, was sliced into by a new motorway: he applauds the provision in the recent Highways Act for motorway marshalling areas, realizing that the days of large vehicles in towns are numbered.
As m.d. of the family firm of F. A. Baylis Ltd, running 25-30 vehicles, Jeff has seen the firm grow from four vehicles. Learned management techniques have "rubbed off" in the business to advantage. Growth has been fostered by a commonsense approach to operating margins. He has no time for hauliers who apply to customers for rate increases diffidently and apologetically. "I tell my customers that I cannot undertake to serve them in the future as well as I have served them in the past if the rates they pay do not yield a fair return on capital. I go in and come out 'walking tall'."
Jeff first served as chairman of the Bristol and Distrirtt Committee of the RI-IA. He is vice-chairman of the national public relations committee, is a member of the national executive council, and serves as Association representative on Bristol's Crime Prevention Panel. Few who know him doubt that he has the personality and persuasive charm to play a major role in the PHA development.
The haulage business, a small quarry and a farm leave little time for sport but Jeff plays golf -for fun" and a little tennis. He takes obvious pride in his family (two girls and a boy).
J.B.'s office maxim is a fitting tailpiece: "Successful modern business is no battle of wits. It's an offer of service with a pledge of good faith." J.D.