Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Vote for Box Brothers Reader's Choice Award 2012

Welcome to the Los Angeles Daily News Reader's Choice Contest!

Some of the worlds best people, places and things are found right in our own community. That is why we are asking our readers to choose their favorites in a number of categories. Please take a moment to complete the survey below.
We like to thank you for participating in this year's Reader's Choice Awards. Please provide your e-mail address to register to vote. One ballot per valid e-mail address.

You may log out and come back to finish up at your convenience.
Voting ends Tuesday, JULY 3, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Snowflakes And Moving, No Two Are The Same !!!!

I have been in the transportation (Moving) business for about three decades and what always impressed
me about Professional Moving Services was that they were always based on matching the needs of the customer with the capability of the mover and his equipment.

For example, in moving interstate, all professional movers or the legitimate ones, all charge by actual
weight.   So if a mover comes to your home and does a survey of what is actually moving from the old
location to the new location, he or she can offer a price based on the weight of what is actually moving.
Not for more or less, but based on the items that are moving.   The mover is to get a "light weight" or a weight of his van before he loads your shipment, then after the shipment is loaded, the mover returns to the public scale site to get a "heavy" weight afterwards.   The difference between the two is the actual weight
of your shipment.

Likewise, when the moving firm arranges for the actual mover to show up to do your move to another state, the carrier matches the space in the van with the load that is being picked up, as usually, a mover van or trailer accommodates multiple loads going to the same general area.  So, in essence, if the estimate is correct and the mover has the right amount of space, the system not only works well, but the overall service the customer receives is generally, very, very good.

Why, cause the interstate mover, is his/her own businessman, who owns the truck, employs the help and the mover receives the highest portion of the moving cost, as he is the one doing the move.   If he has a claim, it comes out of his pocket and his earnings, dollar for dollar, up to a certain amount.  What better incentive
could there be for the customer?

The problem with less than adequate service, or a poor move,  is usually, ask me, that a lot of customers tend to confuse purchasing a product vs a service.   Or put another way, a low price may have to do more
with getting a bargain, that does not always materialize into a good deal--sometimes you get what you pay for.

This entire discussion then, leads to the question of why are so many moving customers desiring to move
in a 20 foot container like those being rented to customers by both container firms and movers alike?  For the life of me, I simply do not understand why any person would want to take their own liability for moving
when they do not have to.   When you do it yourself, who else can you blame when something goes wrong?

I know, I know, movers are not that smart and if they can do it, so can I.....goes the mantra.  But this is not
even a fair or intelligent fight.   To move with a container and do it yourself, simply costs as much as having a mover do the whole thing for you.  Yes, it does. 

Just like moving today with a rented truck and you are going over 1000 miles away.   Anyone see the price
of fuel and how many miles per gallon trucks get, especially those in a rental fleet?   I still cannot figure out this "new new math" as I am old enough to have learned the "new math" but I cannot figure out why anyone
would want to move themselves, take full liability on themselves and the risk of injury to themselves, NOT TO OBTAIN ANY SAVINGS.   Besides, there is no one I know that can do a move better than some of the interstate owner operators I have seen in my life.

The older I get, the less things in life make sense to me.  For example, today, there are firms that want you
to rent plastic bins to move with, instead of using cardboard boxes.   Their proponents argue that this is a
"more green approach" to moving......cause you return the bins after you use they are greener than
boxes made of 50% recycled cardboard and paper........and that you only need 20 bins, instead of 60 cardboard boxes.....(get this).....cause you can reuse the bins......lets just think this out.

Say you are moving 10 miles away to your new place and you have a economy car like a Chevy or a Ford
and you pack up 5 bins.   Then you have to carry those bins to your car, and load them into your car, drive
them over there (20 miles total) bring each bin up to the new place and then unpack them, and then load
them back into the car and do it again 5 or 6 times.   How long will this take to move this way and is this not harder on the customer to shlep these containers back and forth and do all the work, not to save any money?  

Please tell me so I can understand this logic as it makes no sense to me and I suggest that every person
who is moving should ask the right questions as none of these modern ways to move are less expensive
or are advantageous to the customer, ask me.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

How Box Brothers Networks with Property Managers

One of the original marketing methods we utilized in growing our business, was to reach out to property management firms and to resident apartment managers, to help us ascertain just how much moving activity
there is within their properties and developments.

While our pursuit was originally for the sale of moving related cartons for those who are moving, we soon found out that many property management firms and resident managers have rules for how a firm loads
and unloads on their property.   Further, elevator management in some complexes are limited, and management as well as fellow tenants, do not appreciate not having access to their elevators, when delivery
firms and movers monopolize their use.

We have made tremendous relationships just by making sure that when we deliver moving boxes, that we
do not block entrances, restrict use of the elevators, and we are courteous and we notify the customer to
expect us prior to making the delivery.

Many firms understand extra needs when delivering to, or servicing clients out of commercial buildings
due to requirements for proof of insurance, and dock access, as well as freight elevator access, but those
same firms, do not always show the same degree of due diligence in residential settings, but I believe that
is both a mistake and a tactical error on the sales side of the equation.

While this blog is not the place to take about other firms mistakes or errors, it is not a secret that a good
firm will always give the very best service, to its smallest customers and to its largest customers.  I have
never understood how someone regulates heart, concern and commitment to do it right and how respect
are things you can dish out like condiments.  

Successful firms are full of quality people who care about their customers and about the people they service
as they tend to understand that their customers are not numbers on a balance sheet, but the people who put
food on their families table.   This is a very hard lesson to learn for a lot of workers and heads of firms, but
today, in a difficult if not impossibly competitive economy, what is the point of doing it half way, as I have one question for those who think effort and the best possible service is something to only talk about in the
class room or board room......"how is that working out for bad service....?"

There are those in sales who say that I am of base to speak about property managers in this way as they are
not our customers.   Their tenants, who are the ones who are buying the boxes, are our customers, focus on
them, not the people who collect the rent.   Maybe they are correct, but we have received so many referrals
from property managers to their tenants over the years--for moving boxes, that I would have to disagree with this opinion, no matter how successful they are.

You just have to expand your definition of what a customer is, as anyone in sales will agree, that you take care of your referral sources and they will take care of you.   Like I said, it is just a question of definition.