Employee Mobility: Fending off the dragons of peak moving season
Anyone implicated in the moving business knows seasonal peaks are a fact of life, and, with a nod to Games of Thrones fans: “SUMMER IS COMING.” These peaks can be chaotic for everyone in mobility, increasing the risks for relocation nightmares!
Managing a seasonally volatile business is certainly a challenge, but a well-run company should know how to structure its operations to ensure quality service at all times. That said, it is a difficult balance and not all moving companies are able to do this successfully. Without careful planning, they can find themselves, along with others, scrambling for help and having to resort to untrained labour or less than stellar subcontractors.
While the moving industry has a lion’s share of the responsibility for managing their peak periods, relocation management companies and clients need to regularly communicate with their suppliers throughout the year to provide and discuss relocation plans and projections. The mover is then better able to line up and train existing and additional resources well in advance of anticipated peaks.
In selecting a moving company either as a single or a network supplier, the process must address their operational structure and strategy for high volume periods. This includes obtaining detailed information about when and how workers are sourced and trained.
The following are some “Best Practices” to consider as you navigate this upcoming busy season:
– Review your service level agreements (SLA) or, along with your assurance that maximum notification will be provided (especially for “Rush” shipments), introduce SLAs that have your moving supplier commit to servicing your relocations.
– Include penalties/incentives in your SLA’s to ensure you are top priority for all available crews and trucks. Financial incentives help if you tend to have many short-notice relocations.
– As mentioned above, plan ahead. Don’t assume suppliers are waiting for your call and that they have reserved resources for you because you traditionally book moves during the peak season. As soon as you have knowledge of a possible move, start planning with them. This is particularly important for remote locations.
– Partner with established and respected corporate suppliers who reserve crews and equipment for unexpected peak season moves. Non-corporate movers tend to work on a “first come first serve basis”, regardless of the season.
– Seek out suppliers that have the ability to arrange alternate transportation methods, such as container systems and intermodal shipping (where movers pack, load, unload and unpack containers just like international shipments) to gain additional capacity when needed.
The process of moving household goods and possession can be a huge source of frustration for families at the best of times and can only worsen when resources are tight and/or personnel is untrained. If all parties can work together to better plan for these peaks, the relocation experience may feel less like having to face the dragons while relocating within the Seven Kingdoms!