Porcelain Dolls & Beaver Puke

Why volume discounts are making quality obsolete in the Moving industry.

If you are working at home right now look around your home. Take a close look at all your stuff. Is it strictly functional or do you have some sentimental feeling about certain items? If heaven forbid, there was a fire, what would you save or what would you miss?

Pending on what stage you are in your journey; you probably have some sentimental items or some valuable pieces and some stuff that you really do not give a dam about. The particleboard, assemble-yourself stuff, that we lovingly refer to in the moving business in Canada as “beaver puke”, has a disposable feel about it. As functional, attractive, and practical as it is, not many of us buy it to leave to our grandkids. There are other items however that if lost you would miss, possibly for the value but also for the memories they have. Those things that make you, you.

Its these sentimental personal pieces that mess with the algorithm. The stuff that does not lump you into a weight demographic. Your stuff is not just stuff, some of it is dear to you, some of it defines your personality, some of it reflects why you are unique. No matter how much stuff you have this formula runs true, there are some things that make you, you.

When you use a Mover, you are entrusting us with all your possessions, the good the bad and the ugly. Every home is different, and every move is unique. As an industry however we are trying to mass produce a customized service. A service around the safe and efficient movement of your stuff. The problem with our industry is the transferee is being lumped into a category resulting, not in a customized service but a commodity service, based on numbers not empathy.

The service is going to hell in a hand basket because everyone is looking at individual moves as a demographic. A new hire, a midlevel position, a senior manager, or VIP and between you me and the lamp post, the only one that gets a customized service is the VIP. The rest get what the system gives them. Mobility is agreed to be necessary, the strategic placement and search for talent is always a buzz in the boardroom. The problem is that relocation has been made very complicated by consultants trying to offer yet another loss leader solution for a “what if situation”. No one knows the cost of the service or what is involved. HR must use numbers to break it down for the brass. Now when the VP sees the numbers they ask why. Why can’t we do that cheaper? Setting the sled on the slippery slope.

The VP unable to understand the entire process, askes for a reduction in relocation costs and HR tells the RMC. The relocation management firm has already sold the business on a volume discount. The fact of the matter is there is no lower price. Capacity problems and volume do not mix, not to mention the RMC is tacking on a nice margin in the form of a referral fee. They will not however say that to HR, because one of their competitors will try to “buy” the business or make wild promises.

Moves are posted on bid boards and auctioned off like a commodity, not at all looking like a customized service. That process turns their valued employees’ stuff, into widgets, into just weight. Not something that is precious to them, not the special things that make them individuals but weight. Their stuff, beaver puke or grandma’s porcelain doll is the same in this demographic driven environment. If we break it, we pay for it, so be it. If the customers porcelain doll is broken, it is recorded the same as a particle board bookcase. A statistic on a report, a number because numbers, are all the counters of numbers, understand.

Quality is becoming obsolete because you cannot mass produce customization, as customization does not flourish in the cheapest bottom-line environment. People are not numbers, but no one really walks the talk. Once they have been recruited, once they have drunk the Kool-Aid, once they have agreed to uproot their entire life and relocate, they receive the cheapest possible service money can buy. The claims, the upset transferees, are a direct result of the so-called volume discounts. Empathy is simply not affordable, so sad for all the porcelain dolls in your organization. Rather than say there is no place to get reductions, they try to squeeze the suppliers by looking for what is referred to as efficiencies.

Customized Moving, on the other hand provides a wholesale price and basically cuts out the middleman reducing the cost not the service. This is a way to offer customized Service on every move contact us for details