Prior to the launch of Pall-Ex in 1996, it was difficult to transport small consignments of palletised freight quickly and cost-effectively across the UK. However, despite initially being unable to secure backing and having to sell her house and car to find the £112,000 needed to fund the operation, Devey implemented a business model that has now become the industry standard.
Today, Pall-Ex brings together dozens of independent regional hauliers within the Pall-Ex network. Its HQ and main hub located near Coalville in Leicestershire receives as many as 17,000 pallets of goods a day, filling up to 350 lorries which then transport the freight to regional depots throughout the country. From there, approximately 100 of Pall-Exs member hauliers share the delivery of goods to their final destination, including Asda supermarkets, making huge savings in duplication and transportation of pallets.
In 2011, to take advantage of its existing transportation experience, Pall-Ex launched a national courier and package delivery firm for the corporate market called Pronto Sameday Couriers. Pall-Ex is also currently expanding into Europe, with networks in Italy and the Iberian Peninsula already in place and launches planned for the Poland, Benelux, Germany and France over the next five years.
A great philanthropist Hilary was seen in her 2008 Secret Millionaire programme, visiting the Falinge estate in Rochdale and donating more than £100,000 to a local hospice and community centre.
Hilary has recently utilised her media presence to support a number of campaigns to develop entrepreneurialism in the UK. As a keen campaigner for entrepreneurship in all of its forms, she joined Dragons Den in 2011 and as a consequence of her involvement has made a number of successful investments. Since recording the 2012 series she has left the BBC and is now singed exclusively with C4.
Hilary has been the recipient of a number of leading industry awards, including the 2007 Ernst & Young UK Entrepreneur Award and the NatWest Everywoman award in 2008, as well as being voted the Vitalise Businesswoman of the Year twice (in 2004 and 2008). In 2009, Hilary made history as the first ever woman to be presented with the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transports most prestigious accolade, the Sir Robert Lawrence Award. In 2010, Hilary Devey was made an honorary Doctor of Laws at the University of Leicester.
Hilary is sought as an inspiring motivational speaker by major corporate firms and networking organisations, recently addressing conferences and events staged by Credit Suisse, T-Mobile, LAMAU, WTM 2011, BBC and The Entrepreneurs Forum.
Devey also campaigns tirelessly for her two favouite The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, for whom she became a patron in 2007 and The Stroke Association. She also launched the Penny-A-Pallet scheme, which sees a charitable contribution made for every Pall-Ex pallet processed and is also an ardent campaigner for the improvement of drug rehabilitation in the UK following her experiences with her son Mevlit, a recovering addict.
Hilary's autobiography Hilary Devey Bold As Brass: My Story was published by Macmillan in May 2012.
Hilarys principal residence is Rangemore Hall in Staffordshire, and she has properties in London, Marrakesh, USA and Spain.
Recognised for her contribution to business in Leicestershire Hilary received an honorary degree from the University of Leicester
IFW: Freight Personality of the Year
The CILT Awards for Excellence: Sir Robert Lawrence Award
The Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber
Enterprising Women Excellence Awards: Inspirational Woman of the Year Award
The East Midlands Development Agency Women of Worth Awards: Businesswoman of the Year 2009
Leicestershire Business Awards, Contribution to the Community Finalists
Leicestershire Business Awards, Investing in Leicestershire Category Finalists
International Freighting Weekly Awards, Road Freight Operator of the Year Finalists
International Freighting Weekly Awards, Supply Chain Award - Finalists
Times Online/Bank of Scotland, Entrepreneur Challenge Finalists
National Business Awards, Regional Winner, Entrepreneur of the Year Hilary Devey
Chamber Awards, Business of the Year Regional Winner
National Business Awards, Business of the Year - Highly Commended
Leicestershire Business Awards, Business of the Year Winner
Leicestershire Business Awards, Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist - Hilary Devey
International Freighting Weekly, Environmental Award Finalist
Prowess Awards, Inspirational Women Winner - Hilary Devey
Ernst & Young Award, Southern Regional and overall UK Entrepreneur of the Year Winner - Hilary Devey
First Woman Awards, Business Services Winner Hilary Devey
Veuve Clicquot, Business Woman of the Year Award Finalist Hilary Devey
UK Warehousing Association, Technology and Innovation Winner
The Chamber Awards, Entrepreneur of the Year Regional Winner East Midlands - Hilary Devey
International Freighting Weekly, Information Technology Highly Commended
National Business Awards, Innovation of the Year Award Finalist
National Business Awards, Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalist - Hilary Devey
Growing Business Awards, Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist - Hilary Devey
Growing Business Awards, Technology in Business Winner
Women of Achievement Awards, Business Woman of the Year Winner Hilary Devey
First Women Awards Finalist Hilary Devey
Leicestershire Business Awards, Business Personality of the Year Winner - Hilary Devey
Leicestershire Business Awards, Enterprise through Innovation Finalist
Leicestershire Business Awards, Business of the Year Finalist
Veuve Clicquot, Business Woman of the Year Award Finalist - Hilary Devey
Midlands Business Woman Award Winner - Hilary Devey
Institute of Logistics and Transport Annual Awards for Excellence, Information Management Award Finalist
Institute of Transport Management, European Distributor of the Year - Finalist
Institute of Transport Management, European Transport & Distribution Company Winner
Motor Transport, Supply Chain Award Winner
Motor Transport, Environmental Award Highly Commended
Motor Transport, Warehouse Innovation Award Winner
Institute of Transport Management, International Transport Services Company - Winner
Institute of Transport Management, Jubilee Roll of Honour Winner
Institute of Transport Management, Award of Excellence Winner
Institute of Transport Management, Award of Excellence Winner
Midlands Today Newspaper, Distribution Company of the Year Winner
Institute of Transport Management, Award of Excellence - Winner
"Hilary Devey recently spoke for us at a conference for 120 owner/managers of small and medium sized B2B supplies companies. The audience were enthralled by her presentation in which she highlighted her personal journey from childhood, through the trials and tribulations of starting and building a business, to her position today as a highly successful entrepreneur and TV personality. The audience felt Hilary was one of their own, and were inspired to believe that they too had the opportunity to achieve what she has. It was a tribute to her empathy and natural, witty approach."
VOW Conference - Isle of Man
"If you want a business speaker who can really move an audience, speak from experience and leave the conference delegates motivated and inspired, Hilary Devey is your speaker; she captivated our audience of 300 and had a standing ovation - a rare sight. Unreservedly recommended."
Jonathan Jay - Chairman - The Nationwide Alliance of Business Owners
I am writing to thank you so much for being the key note speaker at our 25th Big Birthday Message conference. The talk was simply inspirational and magnificent; you connected with every person in the room. I am so grateful to you for giving up your time for Llamau and please accept my sincere thanks for making our 25th Birthday Message the resounding success it was.
Chief Executive - Llamau