Would you buy the cheapest parachute you could find? Then why use the cheapest Mover?

Chances are very good you would look for the very best parachute you could find not the cheapest. So why is it when some people are moving they look for the cheapest Mover they can find to intrust most of, if not all of their worldly possessions?

Every year the Moving Industry receives the same negative press, someone is scammed, their goods held for ransom or stolen by some seedy internet rogue mover.  Bad press for the industry and a great opportunity for third party relocation firms to emphasise why you should not work direct with movers and that you should use a third party relocation firm to vet out the scallywags.

Firstly on a corporate end, you should not be concerned with Movers that are actively participating in the corporate market. If you are offering an allowance or lump sum, Movers that are members of organizations like CERC or ERC are in my opinion all reputable and responsible. The reason being is that if we are participating in the corporate market, we have a reputation to maintain and are focused on providing service that generates repeat business, not one- off sales.  So by simply recommending corporate movers listed in the directory you and your employees are in very good hands.

On the COD level, there are no real barriers of entry into the local market anyone can become or rather call themselves a mover. Once a shyster starts making a few bucks locally they always try to branch out and tap the long distance market.  They create professional looking web sites and run 3 or 4 different looking websites from the same basement, all aimed at online shoppers. They rarely, if ever go to the home to do an in-home survey but rather conduct the entire transaction online leaving plenty of room for bait a switch pricing on move day.

Yes the Moving Industry has its share of fly by night operator, but are the buyers as aware as they should be? One has to wonder that if a consumer goes to market to shop for anything that is the  absolute cheapest product chances are very good … it is going to be cheap. Cheap, as in, poorly made, no guarantees, no returns, final sale, terrible service. If you buy a Rolex off a guy at the bus stop chances are it’s not a real Rolex. (As consumers we all know that)

When you get a price for half the cost of a reputable mover what are the chances the service is not going to be of a high standard? We are all consumers, we all buy stuff yet when it comes to moving all our spider scenes go numb. You always find a wide eyed victim indicating they could not understand why their stuff didn’t show up in their new home. “Golly gee we paid $500.00, (when every other estimate was $2500.00) gosh-dang those movers are all bad folk”.

Sorry for my sarcasm but being from the industry I always ask myself why someone would consider a ridiculously low price and think they are going to get any resemblance of service?   The unfortunate part for our industry is it is the scammer that gets the headlines, not the tens of thousands of folks that get great service every day.

You are entrusting everything you own to the cheapest person you can find the chute may open but chances are it won’t.

  • Always get at least 3 estimates from reputable movers
  • Online prices are almost always low- ball prices to get your attention
  • Get a free no obligation in-home estimate
  • Always get a price in writing
  • Always use Goggle map and view their facility if it’s a parking lot (stop and think about it)
  • Always ask for references
  • Always do your homework (you’re a smart consumer be diligent)
  • All movers have the same overhead and cost, anyone half the price of the others should be eliminated

When you make the big decision to Jump, make sure the chute opens when you pull the cord.

Busting Relocation Myths

As the Self-managed Lump Sum relocation, DIY or reimbursed programs gain more and more popularity with corporations; I am amused to see how some folks are dropping seeds of fear into the ears of HR. They are spun like urban myths, planted by folks in hope that they take on a life of their own. A one off or what if situation used to foster doubt and perhaps sway or save a client from moving to a self-managed or DIY relocation program.

As a practical old mover /myth buster I wanted to examine four of these myths and try to shed some common sense light on them.  I have heard all of these either in presentations or read them in articles. Like any myth there could be a grain of truth to them but I think the majority have evolved into good campfire stories rather than the norm.

The myths in no particular order are:

The Four Seasons myth: This is like the “Spotting Elvis” myth, the one that is commonly used but possibly featuring a different high end hotel.  You all heard it, it goes something like this. You hirer what you hope to be a valuable employee, give them a lump sum of money and explain to them that it has to be used to move. Rather than using the money to relocate however they rent a room at the Four Season, drain the mini bar and do the Carlton on the dance floor every night until every cent is spent. At which point, you realize that you have either hired a complete idiot, the future VP of sales, or both.

True some folks may have a little difficulty budgeting for a move but the lion’s share of reasonable individuals will realize that they have to use the money wisely and have a good idea about costs. After all we all are seasoned (no pun intended) consumers, we all buy stuff, we all shop and we all want to at least appear somewhat competent. Even if they don’t have a good idea of costs, a quick reminder in writing should take care of this myth.

The Stealing myth: This is a new one as crazy as it sounds. The myth refers to someone you have just hired, they take a new position but after receiving their lump sum, they don’t show up for work they “steal” the money. Think about the information you have to gather to hire someone. You have their contact information, their referrals, their history of employment, their bank account, etc. You have hired someone who went through all of the interview processes, background checks and in some cases criminal checks and now that they have your confidence they are going to steal the “lump sum” and run. Come-on-man, any good felon would ingrain themselves in the organization and steal for years.

The Babysitting myth: I have heard from several companies that today’s millennials need handholding, they want to talk to us and that they need constant babysitting.  As the very proud father of two millennials I can say with confidence, all they need is information; they do not want to talk to you. If the only option they have is to speak to a relocation manager then they will but if they had their druthers, they would much rather have the information logically and conveniently laid out and accessible. In twenty minutes of being offered an out of town position they will have more information on the new location than you can provide in an hour phone call. They are resourceful, bright, tech savvy and more than capable of organizing a move. Again if the information is centralized and laid out in order on a platform like www.themovingmall.com it is a no brainer for them.

The Frugality myth:  This one may have some substance particularly when you have a new hire with a mountain of student debt. They may just rent a truck and do it themselves. This could result in them falling off the truck, injuring their back, being laid up in hospital and not showing up for work. Or heaven forbid they use Airbnb or stay at a friend’s rather than a hotel, big deal. As long as they show up for work on Monday why would you care? If anything, today’s youth are very resourceful and again if given information they are probably the most educated consumers in the market. As long as they have options and information they can navigate most any situation. We used to call stuff like that an adventure when we were young; it was usually a lot of fun and gave us something to talk about.

A self- managed relocation is not rocket science, if given information, laid out in a logical manner anyone can move. I am wondering if the real myth is that you need a multi-national relocation firm to move a renter a few hundred miles?

If you remember this, best hire a mover, your trucking days are behind you,

Back in the day you and your buddies would think nothing of moving your lava lamp and all your worldly goods on a weekend. At that time you mirrored the Bob Segers’ song playing in the back ground, you “felt like a million, felt like number one, in the height of summer you never felt so strong, Like a Rock”.

Moving was done in an afternoon, in-between a few pints and a lot of laughs. Well time keeps trucking on and although in your mind you are still living in the glory days, the old rock may be getting a little weathered.

Being in the moving business in Peterborough and Kitchener Waterloo, Ontario for over 30 years I am still amazed at the number of folks my age or older, wanting to move on their own. When I hear that they are thinking of moving themselves I always feel it’s time for an intervention. The reality is, back then, you hadn’t yet amassed the stuff you have now and your back, knees and shoulders are not in the same condition they were 20 or 30 plus years ago.

Today when you can finally afford a mover it is just not worth doing it on your own.

  • Reality check #1, go over and grab the end of the sofa and give it a controlled slow lift, using your legs, keeping your back straight and oh ya almost forgot be sure to drop it before you hear a pop. Now take a look around your home. The average weight of household goods in a 3 bedroom home weighs in the area of 8,000 to 10,000 lbs. Yes 4 or 5 tons. Your stuff weighs about the same as an African bull elephant. If your reading this Jane, tell Tarzan there is more to this than he may remember.
  • Reality check # 2, still want to eat that elephant, let’s break it down into bite size pieces. That weekend move you are thinking about doing equates into 100 squats using 100lbs to load the truck then you have to offload, so take that to 200 reps. Think about it , 200 dead lift reps using 100 lbs. (give that a go at the gym next Saturday just to get limbered up a little, pre move)
  • Reality checks #3 add a little cardio. Add in a 20 yard carry taking the goods out to the truck (if you can get the truck to the door), now double that to offload ( let’s round it down) to around 5000 plus yard carry, so call it 2 miles or 3.22 kilometers. Not over yet add, an incline; yes there is a walk board at the end or beginning of every trip. So again, to put it in perspective strap on a 50 lb. weight take a 2 mile walk going uphill and downhill every 15 yards . How are the old knees these days?
  • Reality check #4 Can you drive the truck? If not, is a day with your brother in law or old buddy telling you how to lift things really worth it? (The guy driving the truck instantly graduates to resident expert). On top of him you will owe everyone that helps or that just shows up and drinks your beer and eats your pizza, big time and for a long time. Besides what impression do you make with your new neighbors when you roll up to your new digs looking like the Beverly Hillbillies?

There is a time in your life when moving yourself was just fine and then there is now. When selling your home and right sizing I would suggest you do a reality check, get some moving estimates in advance and budget that service into the selling or buying cost.

If looking for movers in the Kitchener Waterloo or Peterborough area, contact McWilliams today for an estimate.

Keep on trucking but get someone else to do the heavy lifting, it is well worth it.


A Quest for Common Sense

A refrigerated truck was hauling an extremely deadly virus strain mutated from the Filoviridae family of viruses. It was on route to a lab in California with a full police ground and air escort. The driver was detoured to an auxiliary route due to a traffic jam and the serious time restraints on the shipment.

Unbeknownst to the tracking team, construction had recently been started on an overpass. The truck slammed into the top off the structure , the driver was rendered unconscious and the truck was firmly wedged in the entrance of the overpass.

The refrigerated unit was damaged and the time to get the virus delivered was critical, as the refrigeration was keeping the virus stable and heat would release a potential epidemic. The truck was firmly wedged, a replacement driver could not budge the truck forward or back and towing was not an option; helicopters could not land due to the terrain. The consultants on the job where scrambling for trained laboratory crews, to hand- carry the goods out of the truck but the traffic pileup and embankment made access very difficult. Work crews had been sent to remove the overpass structure but that would take days or weeks. The situation was on high red alert and the world heath association was suggesting initiating evacuation orders for the entire city of Los Angeles.

When all seemed lost, a Mover who was stuck in traffic just down the road sauntered up to the accident. He looked it over and excused himself to the chief engineer. What do you want the engineer snapped, can’t you see we have a crisis on our hands; I have no time to talk to a Mover.

The old Mover stood back and thought for a few seconds. Seems very complicated the Mover explained but I was just wondering if you have tried letting the air out of the tires? Crises avoided with a common sense solution.

I have been in the Moving business for over 30 years and have seen it morph into one of the most complicated services imaginable. I have sat through learning session given by major consulting firms on relocation. Twisting and turning through a maze of possible scenarios supported by a plethora of graphs and bar charts. All very slick but always very complicated.

Although everyone has the best of intentions, consultants are paid by the hour and a consultative sales process encourages complicated scenarios, in order to provide a more valuable solution. I have heard this process referred to as a “consulting orbit”. Circling the same situation introducing more and more possible complications, all fueled by either billable hours or a solution based sale. Some managers see it coming and steer clear of it and others get caught up in the gravitational pull. They are unable to stand back and take an objective or common sense look at the situation.

With more and more companies moving back to a simple Lump Sum relocation program, a retro service that was the norm 30 years ago, the common sense question to ask yourself is do you need a multinational relocation management team, with dozens of handoffs and added administration costs, to move a renter 200 miles?

Common sense tells me all you need is a basic moving policy, a good mover and a simple direct move management process. I may be missing something but moving, (something cavemen did by the way), has turned into rocket science and that rocket is spinning around a “consulting orbit”.

If you want uncomplicated solution for your Lump Sum moves, A “real” solution to the capacity issues in the moving industry, clear communication with decision makers, all capped with the best value for both the company and the transferee, common sense would suggest working directly with a Mover.

Stand back and think about it for a moment.  

Making the Right Move

The moving industry can be confusing being an intangible service, many people assume that all movers are the same and that price is the deciding factor. What is using the right mover really worth?

What is it worth to have the truck show up at the exact hour promised?

The number one concern in the entire industry is trucks showing up late or sometimes not at all. When all of your travel plans and real-estate transactions hinge on the truck showing up on time, McWilliams has a to-the-hour policy. When we say we are going to be there we are there.

What is it worth to have your worldly belongings traveling on a safe truck?

When tires are flying off trucks on major highways safety is a major concern. McWilliams is the only moving company that has been awarded an excellent safety ranking CVOR by the ministry of transportation. With our own in-house safety and compliance officer and full service garage McWilliams equipment is some of the best on the road. McWilliams also introduced the “don’t text and drive” campaign, which has been recognized in several industry magazines and articles in both Canada and the US.

What is it worth to have your goods delivered promptly either on or ahead of schedule?

When you use McWilliams for long distance moves, we consistently deliver under the industries transit time guide, eliminating hotel and meal costs that add up to hundreds of dollars a day.

What is it worth to have your goods arrive safe and in the same condition as they left?

McWilliams has one of the lowest claims ratios in the industry ranked by Insurance companies as one of the safest household goods movers in North America

What is it worth to have a single point of contact and move management services?

We have one professional work with you through your entire move from our professional company drivers to our move managers; we manage every aspect of our service.

What is it worth to work with the most innovative mover in the industry?

From our simplified pricing, on time invoicing, Mobile smart phone App Move in hand, Do it yourself relocation market place www.themovingmall.com, right sizing home organizing service and our do- it- yourself, video survey service McWilliams is constantly improving and innovating our industry. You are getting the very best most innovative services in the entire industry.

What is it worth to start off the next chapter of your life with the positive affirmation that you made the Right Move? That question can only be answered by you.

Located in Peterborough & Kitchener Waterloo, McWilliams has provided exceptional moving services throughout Canada and around the world for more then 60 years.


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