As a relocation management company, choosing the right partner to help you complete your customers’ moves is critical. After all, you want each one of the individuals and the families that you move to enjoy a superior, seamless experience—one in which they might not even realize that you’ve partnered with another company to complete the job. As a relocation management company, you’re also in the unique position of serving two levels of customers—both 1) the individuals and families you’re actually relocating and 2) the companies or organizations who are sponsoring their moves—making it even more critical for keeping all the parties to this project happy.
Ultimately, you need a partner who can deliver the same top-notch service that you’ve built your reputation on. Plus, you’ll also want a partner who can make things simple for you, one who doesn’t create significant additional work or complications around your business operations.
After years of partnering with several different relocation companies, we’ve discovered a couple of factors that make that partnership easier, simpler and more effective. In this article, we’ll share them with you in order to help you form a partnership that practically guarantees a smooth relocation for your customers—and repeat business from the businesses and organizations that contract you for service.
1. Look for Simple Shipping Rates
From an operations perspective, any partner that you work with should help your business run more smoothly. A company that adds significant complexity to the way you do business will likely not be worth partnering with, in the long run.
There’s nowhere this is more evident than in rates. Ideally, look for a moving partner who can provide you a clear all-in rate, which makes it easy to calculate your own costs and pass a rate along to your clients. If a partner turns out complex invoices and opaque pricing, you may want to find another company to work with.
2. Seek an Expert in the Industry Who Sticks to the Highest Standards
When it comes to moving and logistics, every day offers a new challenge. That’s why you want to work with a partner who has significant experience in the industry, rather than a newcomer.
Experts with tens of thousands of moves under their belt have seen everything and done everything. They know the common types of challenges that arise, and they can make the necessary plans to avoid them. When unexpected problems arise, experienced moving companies know how to respond to them effectively. As a result, when you’re working with an experienced partner, you’ll reduce your own stress and worry—because you can be sure your partner knows how to handle just about every scenario they’ll encounter.
To help you uncover your potential partner’s level of expertise, you might want to ask questions like:
- How experienced are they with relocations? How many years have they been in business, and how many moves do they complete each year?
- What’s their on-time percentage for household moves?
- Who else have they previously partnered with for relocations?
- Do they belong to any professional organizations? What’s their BBB rating?
- Finally, what’s their philosophy about doing business? What kind of standards do they uphold? What are their company’s values—and do they line up with the philosophy, standards and values of your own company?
Understanding the answers to these questions will help you understand how your potential partner does business—and whether they’ll be a trusted partner who can support you as you grow your own business. It will also help you discover whether your partner will handle your customers with the same level of care and commitment that you do. If you don’t feel confident in these answers, you may want to interview a different partner.
3. Understand Why Destination Experience and International Expertise Matters
Especially when it comes to international or remote destinations—where things don’t always work the way they do in the continental United States—it’s important to find a partner who’s either 1) already experienced in that particular destination or 2) has significant expertise with international destinations. Here’s why that’s so important:
For some moves, you may want to prioritize working with a company who has a physical presence at your customer’s destination. For example, if you’re moving a number of individuals to Hawaii, there are a few companies who have their own warehouses, trucking fleets and moving crews in the islands. When you choose one of those companies to partner with, you’ll know exactly who will complete these jobs, which can give you an added layer of peace of mind, especially if you already trust in the way they work.
In other circumstances, your partner may have to find someone else to complete the final delivery. This can especially be true if you’re relocating a customer to a remote international location. In that case, look for a company with previous experience partnering with local companies internationally. The most experienced partners vet these local partners personally—and may, in fact, already have a network of local partners they can lean on to ensure that the relocation is completed with the same level of care that it started with.
The key here lies in asking the right questions so you understand exactly who will handle all the pieces of the relocation—and making sure you’re comfortable with their responses. Finally, there’s one more factor that can make it significantly simpler for you.
4. Find a Partner Who Will Handle Everything
Ideally, look for a partner who can be a one-stop solution for you. Instead of trying to juggle five or six different carriers, multiple modes of transportation and handling all the myriad details that come along with a long-distance relocation, the best partners will help you manage all the pieces. For example, look for a company who can:
- Book over-the-road transit so they can handle warehouse-to-door and door-to-door moves for you.
- Handle all of the aspects of any ocean transit—drayage, port services, quotes, etc.
- Complete final delivery, including performing any assembly necessary and removing debris at the end of the job.
- Keep you updated with accurate tracking and tracing capability.
Working with a partner already adds a layer of complexity to any job you’re completing. However, by choosing one single partner who can handle a move from start to finish, you’ll simplify your operations significantly.
Choosing the Right Partner for the Long Term
At the end of the day, the right partner can be a huge stepping stone to growing your business, especially when you choose one whose expertise complements your own. This type of relationship allows you to expand services you offer, making you an even more valuable resource for your customers. Additionally, when you select the right partner, one who offers seamless service that simplifies your relationship, you can set yourself up for a powerful relationship with benefits to all parties involved.
Looking for a partner to help you with your relocations? We’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the industry—including Aires, Suddath and Hilldrup—to help them move their customers simply, easily and affordably. We’d love to talk with you about how we can do the same. Just reach out to us to start a conversation.