Movers today are more than a van that comes to your door to pick up your
stuff when you move. Many moving companies offer a full range of services.
These include packing, cost estimating and providing relocation information.
And movers don't just move furniture. Some companies specialize in moving
cars, motorcycles, boats and even entire buildings.
Leo Miller owns a moving company. Miller has traditional management duties
like hiring and firing and working with a secretary and crew. Plus, he says
he has to "be able to pack, drive trucks, load and unload."
MaryScott Tuck is the training coordinator for the American Moving and
Storage Association in Virginia. She says that computers continue to affect
the field. "This is an area where the industry is making advancements almost
daily, from GPS tracking of shipments and vehicles to computerized estimating
to tracking of shipments within a warehouse facility."
Paul Van Remortel is the chairman of the board of an association of movers.
He stresses the importance of computer skills for potential movers. "This
trend is growing rapidly, and it is crucial for managers [to] know how to
use these tools to provide professional customer service and control costs,"
A mover can manage their own company or work on salary for a larger company.
As in any management career, a mover has to work as many hours as it takes
to get the job done.
You may have to drive trucks, pack boxes and do other physical tasks. People
interested in this field should be strong and in fairly good shape.
Graham Acreman is the vice-president of a moving company. He says some
important skills are "perseverance, drive, general accounting skills, excellent
management skills, effective communication and motivation skills and the ability
to control costs."
Miller says there are tough decisions that have to be made in this job.
"Having to make a decision to either make the customer happy by showing up
on time or having the truck be put in the shop for a possible safety concern.
Also, firing someone you know is a good person and who made a mistake."
Moving companies that want to grow need to build a good reputation. That
means dealing effectively with consumer complaints. Some of the common ones
are late pickups, late deliveries and lost or damaged items.
According to Tuck, "Anyone considering this industry must enjoy working
with and meeting people during a stressful point in their lives [moving ranks
among the five most stressful things a person will do in their life]."
Miller says it's important to have "a cool head, good communication skills.
Do not let anyone see you stutter over any decision that you make, right or
wrong. Employees and customers pick this up very quickly."
Teamwork is very important. "At every level of a company, the smooth transitions
of a job from the salespersons, to the in-house coordinators, to the operations
personnel, to the packers, to the van operators and finally to the destination
have to be seamless and without important information being left out for a
good move to occur," says Tuck.