Engaging Commercial Movers

Most industrial moves are initially focused around contracting common trucking firms to relocate material, finished goods and/or storage components. There will be a smattering of vendor driven transfers (copier providers will almost always insist on transporting their own equipment), but if your business has a significant office component or any heavy equipment, chances are you will be engaging a commercial mover.

Regardless of how large or small the moves will be, you would be well advised to create a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) to protect yourself from what might become significant extra billings.

To fully appreciate the “why” of this recommendation, it is necessary to understand what usually transpires when a company seeks pricing from movers.

The vast majority of companies, only moving every 5-10 years, will simply invite a sampling of moving companies on site, give them a tour of the facilities, point out the areas/items that are moving, and ask for a quote from each of the participants.
This is risky from a couple of perspectives.

Firstly, commercial movers will often lowball a quote to gain the business, secure in the knowledge that there will be lots of opportunity to upcharge for unidentified extras. Usually these unfold in the middle of the move when you are in no position to seek alternatives, and overall can easily add 30-50% to your bill. Without documentation, you will have little recourse. Your lack of detail is their opportunity.

Secondly, the pricing will all be tendered in different formats, forcing you to decipher the submissions, and channeling you to pick the lowest price. In addition, the moving company may under-staff the job to keep costs low, resulting in a move that pushes way past your expected finish time.

In these cases, the lowest price may not be the best price.

It is to your advantage to spend time at the front end developing a comprehensive Scope of Work, complete with performance expectations (start and completion times for the moves), so that everyone is quoting on the same set of deliverables.

Add to this a standard format for response, so that you control how the responses are tendered and can clearly see how the pricing is structured, including how the vendors are allotting trucks and manpower to deliver on your move objectives.

Incorporate some terms (overages must be pre-approved, for example) to the document and you will end up with a solid RFP that will not only protect you from unexpected charges, but will also help ensure your commercial move team has allocated the proper resources to meet your relocation timelines.

A final note: in-transit insurance is a discussion topic all on its own, considering the standard coverage from most movers is seriously inadequate. Ask us about cost effective alternatives.

If you are planning a move and are interested in assessing your readiness, we offer a No-Charge Starter Session.  During this Session, we will help you complete a self-assessment, outline the project elements necessary to enjoy a disruption-free move and review common threats, risks and pitfalls associated with relocations.

Our next article will be posted in 2 weeks and will address “Vacation Planning”.

For more information about The Smooth Move Program™, contact us at info@supplychainsystems.com or call 905.454.8529.

Be Sociable, Share!