“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it” … William Arthor Ward
The Moving industry has been losing its mojo for decades, particularly in the corporate market. A victim of being outsold by the real-estate industry and simply loosing the will to compete with the relocation management companies. There was a time when the Mover was an integral part of the corporate relocation program. We had sold into traffic departments that spoke our language and were open to a three-martini lunch. When the management of the programs switched to HR, we did not distinguish the difference between freight and corporate culture. Through our own arrogance we made our pricing, our terminology, our old-boys club swagger, distasteful to the corporate HR market. Now we stand in the corner and wonder how we lost our seat at the proverbial table. In my opinion it was all an overabundance of hubris and a lack of sales and marketing. Our inability to develop a unique message, our inability to speak HR, our inability to ditch our rhetoric and become user friendly. Is it time to correct the past and reimagine this industry and take the customer back?
Pump the brakes and look at the new environment, the remote work, the cost consciousness of the corporations, the rise of lump sum service models, the transferee demanding choice not pigeonholes, and the increase in smaller moves. Everything is pointing to a direct- to- mover model. As Movers, for some reason, we think we can not go after the corporate market. Be clear on this, no one owns any market, they have a product period, just like you do. If you can demonstrate that you have a better, more direct, more economic service, it should get down to a business decision from a corporation. Free market is just that, but it is also important that the corporations are open to and out looking for options.
I have worked with several organizations on what is referred to as a flow through model, (flow the move piece of the relocation direct to a mover), with fantastic results on both customer satisfaction and cost savings. A direct to Mover model set up properly is by far a better solution in this new world hybrid order. Can you reimagine what our industry would look like if we went back to market in a strategic professional manner. Positioning ourselves as the only labour intense service that can not be replaced by technology.
The fact we should realize is that the most vital part of the relocation, is now hinging on equipment and manual labour, not on the management of the service but on the actual delivery of the service. As an example, technology drastically changed the travel industry, by reducing the need for travel agents but travel did not stop nor did the need for plains and crews. The Labour will outlast and, in my opinion, far outweigh the need for the bundling of commissionable providers, in the relocation space. We must stop thinking of ourselves as just the muscle and start strategically positioning ourselves as the answer to the new mobility model. Keeping our past in mind and fixing all the mistakes we made. Coming in transparent, safe, professional, and much more cost effective. Using professional sales to get back in front of the HR or in front of senior C-suite decision makers by speaking their language, providing both bottom line value and a direct to provider relationship.
No one knows what the new mobility model will look like because no one has the answer, but rest assured the current model is not the clear answer or necessarily even the right model. Perhaps it is time to reimagine how the Mover can reposition ourselves for this new reality. With all the scenario’s happening in the mobility space, Moving is something that is a perfect candidate for a term called sandboxing. Whereby corporations play with aspects of policy, to test new ideas and see if there is a better way in doing things. Moving services are the perfect sandbox model, perhaps starting with a few lump-sum moves or domestic relocations to test drive a direct to Mover program. If you want to reimagine what the mobility industry could look like contact us for more information on how to set up a safe program.