Tuesday, January 21, 2020

New hire relocation benefits to attract workers and health care professionals

Reprint from Lincoln Journal Star

Manufacturers increase perks to get new hires to move

Manufacturers increase perks to get new hires to move

Columbus Hydraulics
Rodney Wilson, an assembly specialist at Columbus Hydraulics Company, works inside the facility in March. The Columbus-based company is starting to offer relocation assistance to hourly employees to help fill jobs in a tight labor market.
Manufacturers, including some in Nebraska, are paying relocation costs and bonuses to move new hires across the country at a time of record-low unemployment and intense competition for skilled workers.
Half a million U.S. factory jobs are unfilled, the most in nearly two decades, and the unemployment rate is hovering at a 50-year low, the Labor Department said earlier this month. At the same time, Americans are moving around the country at the lowest rate in at least 70 years.
To entice workers to move, manufacturers are raising wages, offering signing bonuses and covering relocation costs, including for some hourly positions. They are betting that spending on higher wages and moving incentives will help them find workers to fill their backlogs of orders.
Rather than just extending these benefits as part of job offers, factories are also advertising them in postings to encourage farther-away candidates to apply. On ZipRecruiter Inc.'s job-listing site, 1.6% of manufacturing positions include a pledge to pay moving costs, up from 1% in 2017.
"We've had to get very aggressive with talent acquisition," said Michael Winn, chief executive of Columbus Hydraulics Co., which makes parts for Doosan Bobcat Inc. and The Toro Co. "We are having to draw people in from distant places."
The company since 2018 has made extra cash payments to new hires to move near its factory in Columbus, Nebraska. Charlie Shoup received $2,000 to move from Salt Lake City to near Columbus, where he runs the company's technology systems.
"It pretty much gave me enough cash to pay for gas out here, get myself established with a solid place to live in a not-backwater part of Omaha, and then I got a couple of shirts with collars on them," he said.
Shoup, who has a degree in computer engineering, said that at Columbus he makes more than double the $13 an hour he made in Utah at an electric bicycle shop.
Manufacturers say they are particularly eager to add moving reimbursements and payments for specialists such as welders, engineers and machine programmers. More manufacturing jobs require such skills as production becomes more automated.
At Caterpillar Inc.'s engine plant in Lafayette, Indiana, the company said electricians and machine maintenance staff are eligible for $5,000 in moving expenses if they lived at least 75 miles from the plant before being hired.
Lockheed Martin Corp. has moved skilled workers such as engineers to plants in Texas and California and highlights jobs that offer relocation benefits on its website. Raytheon Co. is offering up to $5,000 in moving benefits for a $17 hourly position as a machine operator at a factory in Arizona.
The relocation payments and other perks some manufacturers have added recently coincide with a run of difficulties for the industry overall. The U.S. factory sector contracted for the fifth consecutive month in December, according to the Institute for Supply Management. The industry shed 12,000 jobs in December from the month before, the Labor Department said.
That weakness stems in part from lower global trade and domestic energy production as well as Boeing Co.'s decision to first slow, then halt, production of its 737 MAX. Other manufacturers say business is strong and that a shortage of skilled workers is impeding higher production.
New Way Trucks is offering a $1,000 payment to workers who move near its plant in Scranton, Iowa, as it adds dozens of positions to close its backlog and decrease turnaround times.
Companies are also raising wages. Wage growth at U.S. manufacturers reached its highest level since 2016 in December, rising 3% that month from a year earlier. The inflation rate in November was 2.1%.
G.H. Tool & Mold, an auto-industry supplier owned by Tooling Tech Group LLC, increased its starting wage to around $18 an hour last year from $15 a few years ago. The company also has paid moving expenses for workers relocating near its factory in Washington, Missouri. Julie Scannell, the company's head of human resources, posts notices on a Facebook group called "Leaving Illinois" to draw workers from that depopulating state.
"We are in an era right now that is unlike anything I've seen in 25 years as far as trying to recruit people," Scannell said. "We are having to really track them down a little bit and schmooze them more than we used to."
Lockmaker Allegion PLC flew the families of some skilled machine operators to its factory in Colorado Springs, to entice them to move to the area after it purchased some specialized equipment. The company also has started grooming employees at an Illinois plant to perform sophisticated jobs such as programming computerized machines.
"The war on talent: It's there. It's real," said Brad Kendall, a human-resources executive at Allegion.
Other companies have added smaller sweeteners for new workers, according to current online job postings. John Zink, a Koch Industries Inc. manufacturing company in Tulsa, gives out free steel-toed boots; a Globus Medical Inc. plant in Audubon, Pennsylvania, provides workers with YMCA memberships; Whirlpool Corp. is paying workers at a factory in Findlay, Ohio, a $250 six-month retention bonus.
"Employers are getting creative," said Julia Pollak, ZipRecruiter's labor economist.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

What Consumers Relocation does behind the scenes!

Customers that use our services certainly know what we do as we work with them throughout their move.  Visible are steps like organizing their move with them, ordering the moving estimates, comparing and reviewing the estimates.  And then all the follow up steps with each customer to be sure they are on track.  And.. post move follow ups. 

But probably one of the most critical behind the scenes steps is maintaining contact with the customer's chosen van line/mover to be sure they are all set as well!  After all, they are the ones that will be providing the onsite service to our customer.  Both the van line and local agent must be on the same page with loading instructions, dates, delivery instructions and the like. 

A follow up goes to every van line/mover prior to each move to obtain a registration number and a driver assignment.  A registration number indicates the move is in the van line's dispatch system, and the driver assignment insures there is a truck and driver assigned to the move.  We do this follow up until we are satisfied that both steps have been taken by the van line.  No answer on either one raises a huge RED FLAG.

Consumers Relocation conducts many behind the scenes activities to insure a move goes as smoothly as possible.  Looking at google maps to determine if a truck will likely have access to a home that seems to be in a remote area!  If you are moving to Vermont, so many little tiny dirt roads exist.  Sharp bends in the road could put a tractor trailer in a culvert!

Experienced Consultants at Consumers Relocation know the ropes, and can be critical in the moves planning, even the activities you would normally think would be all taken care of.

Call Consumers Relocation for your next Company moves or individual moves and let the experts guide you through the process.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Moving during this summer's heat waves!

Yikes!  Forecast is for 110 degrees in Washington DC this weekend!  Similar forecasts in a number of states in the country.

We hear about all the warnings for leaving children and pets in cars in any kind of heat.  Can you imagine what the inside of a moving van might be in summer heat over 100 degrees!  Or even 80 or 90 degrees.

When moving in this weather, everyone should be cautioned to think about what they might be moving in a moving van and the potential effects on certain items of heat.  The moving vans are crossing potentially very hot areas, and are exposed to the direct effects of the sun all day long.  Just a few items I can think of such as plants, and wine collections would definitely be effected by this heat.  Perhaps think of alternate ways of transporting anything you may be concerned about in a hot moving van.

Another important item!  Think about the moving crews that are providing the services to you.  They will be working very hard physically during the day; potentially in the sun, and humidity.  Have plenty of water and perhaps salt or bullion cubes available to these crews to prevent dehydration and salt loss!  They will be very grateful and you may be warding off any unfortunate effects of the heat and efficiency caused by the heat!

Be proactive give some thought in these extremely hot conditions and your move will go much smoother.

Call Consumers Relocation Services with any questions you might have on this and other topics for moving.  👍

Friday, June 21, 2019

CRS Celebrates 1st day of summer!

First day of summer after a really really long winter in Vermont!  Still, overcast and temperatures in the high 50's and low 60's; but summer!  Our first BBQ for lunch!  Brats

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Moving? Preparing for possible delays in the summer

Delays!  Seems like we see them often in our everyday life!  The vast majority of our experiences are on time ones!  But it is the few times we are delayed that we remember the most.  We need to be prepared for those few times we are delayed to make them more tolerable. 

Spring and summer are the busiest time of the year to move.  This year, with the driver shortage scheduling pack, load and delivery of your household goods presents a challenge for dispatchers and local agents around the country.  Everyone's objective is to schedule these important dates around the needs of our customers and meet every customers expectations in hitting those dates!  However, just like everything in life, we must have a back up plan in case delay's occur.

Delays can occur during busy times for a variety of reasons.  Weather, mechanical issues, sickness, customer delays, larger shipments than expected and the like can create a delay in a moving van.  I recently attended the loading of an automobile by a carrier. This truck was enormous!  I asked the driver if he had issues moving in the snow.  He said he had special chains for the truck, but in a bad storm he would prefer to hunker down somewhere and not travel.  "The last thing I want is to skid off the road and damage someones $50,000 car!"  Not only a safety issue but also customer satisfaction issue of doing everything possible to insure their goods are delivered the way they were picked up.

So, with all the variables, over 90% of the shipments we manage are delivered within the delivery spreads provided for in our customer's order for service.  But, everyone must take some small precautions to be sure their life is not totally disrupted if a delay should occur.  Yes the van lines we use all will compensate our customers for delays which is intended to cover their living expenses due to delay,  But, everyone needs to think about the necessities they need to carry out the things they intend to do when they arrive in their new location.

Be prepared to live without the items being shipped.  If you are working, pack seperately any work cloths needed to work for a short period of time; say several days.  If the delay is longer, you can always clean some of them  If you are moving to a warmer climate, take cloths you may need there for warmer weather.  And, if your computer is importand, plan to take it with you and not on the moving truck.  If you have important medication, carry it with you.  Empty house at destination?  Perhaps if you have a large family, blow up mattress' would be a fun adventure of camping out in your new house with the kids!

Being prepared for the unexpected with a plan is smart!  Even if you can not take all the items you may need if you encounter a delay in delivery, a plan on how to cope and obtain nececssary items can make  the situation much more tolerable.

Our Consultants work one on one with all of our customers to deliver valuable information throughout our customer's moves. Should unexpected things happen during our customer's move, one call to their Consultant will heip them through with alternatives. courses of action and information.  Call Consumers Relocation to manage your next move. 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Recruitment and talent acquisition move assistance

Every HR conference we went to this year was well attended by company recruiters and talent acquisition specialists.  Everyone of them spoke of the challenges they encountered in attracting new professionals to their organizations!  Everyone of them who spoke to us about our Move Management services expressed interest and said "boy could I use your services when I bring people in from out of state or over seas".

Many organizations large and small seem to be struggling with the notion of assisting  newly hired employees with their relocation to the new location.  Some organizations have a solid policy of reimbursement for new hires' moves while others have none.  Mostly none!

Our services are used a lot for newly hired employees whether the company is simply reimbursing the employee for costs, paying for move costs directly or a combination of both.  We are used also for companies that will not be participating in the cost of the move but wish to offer move assistance that will save the employee time and money when they move! 

Simply, at the least an employee moving from out of state is going to spend time and money moving their personal belongings, whether a complete household or one room of things.  In most cases they will be charged with the daunting task of figuring out the logistics of moving a full household or simply a small amount that will not fit into their car.  And, they are dealing with time constraints of getting to their new job on a schedule which accommodates their new employer. 

I was talking to one health care professional yesterday who was asking what our company does.  She explained she just moved from Florida, and all her Regional Health Care System did was give her a couple local real estate magazines with homes for sale and contacts!  That was it!  No prearranged services to ease her transition or guidance about suppliers which may assist. 

Consumers Relocation provides move coordination assistance and vehicle shipping from anywhere in the country or world eliminating the complicated task for the employer of finding reputable movers and auto shippers in out of state or country locations.  We provide the new hire guidance and one on one assistance with a professional Consultant in our office for the physical move portion of their relocation; allowing them to concentrate on their new job; not getting there.  We provide the employee or employer vetted proven movers with specific contract guidelines for pricing and service delivery anywhere in the country or world.  We provide the resources for small moves that need to be containerized to large full service moves.

We alleviate the "deer in the headlights" syndrome for an employee when they are faced with a long distance move and don't know where to start!   We provide the employer a valuable service to offer their employee to eliminate that shock!  Both the employee and employer win.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Small shipments this summer; wave of the future?

Van Lines are increasingly opting for containerizing smaller shipments as the demand for trucks, drivers and help exceed the supply.  The "driver shortage" this year is real, and van lines are taking measures to reduce the demand on interstate drivers and equipment. With the increase of smaller shipments, trend towards less "stuff", and personal possessions, demand for treatment of smaller shipments has risen sharply.  Ways to service these smaller shipments economically and efficiently has led to container shipments. 

Containerized shipping allows household goods to be shipped by alternate carriers and equipment.  Also, scheduling such shipments is much more predictable as most van lines using this method can specifically pin point load and delivery times.  

Small shipments in the past have taken lower priority in load and delivery times, and dispatched space on moving vans.  Small shipments are the ones, during peak periods, are loaded, taken back to the terminal and wait for a driver/truck that can load them and take them to destination; frequently with a lengthy delivery spread.  Household goods weights under 4000 lb are usually categorized as small shipments, and in the past have been subject to minimum weight charges; usually charges on 3000 lb. even if the shipment is only 1,000 to 2,000 lb. 

Most of the containers used (each van line has its own name), typically hold about 1200 lb, the equivalent about one room.   Dimensions vary but are in the area of 87"x45"x87".  
Lift Van

Pictured here is a Lift Van which in the past had been used for smaller international shipments which did not need a full container.  Many of the containers that are being used are of this size; varying in name and construction.  This container may be loaded at the home, while on the truck or loaded at the terminal if access to the home or apartment is difficult.  Van Lines are offering this services or requiring this service which included van line packing, loading and unloading as well as the shipment of the container.  With a Van line this would not normally be a customer self load and unload. 

Containers are "exclusive use" meaning only the customers items will be in the container.  Moving vans in a more traditional move method are loaded with several customers items, separated by bulkheads constructed between customer's loads.  

Consumers Relocation offers at least 3 van lines which provide this service.  Pricing for such shipments is about the same as a full service traditional move as the same services are being offered.  The amount of packing required by van line varies from partial pack to full pack.  Valuation or insurance coverage on for each container varies from about $7,500 to $10,000.  In some cases our contracts offer this coverage at no charge. 

Containerized shipping as described is not your low cost option.  You should expect the costs to be about the same as a traditional full service move in a moving van.  The advantage in cost is the customers final bill will be for only the containers they need and the services provided, not by a minimum weight restriction.  

Restrictions do apply to items that may be loaded into containers.  Such items as safes, large sofas, tempur-pedic mattress', plants, flammable items, grandfather clocks, and antiques may be restricted.

Storage options are normally available; some at a reduced cost for a period of time, others at normal storage charges for this size of shipment. The advantage here is that your items may be handled less since they may be loaded directly into a container, go into storage and then delivered with the container sealed the entire time.

Consumers Relocation has used a nationally recognized freight service for a number of years which has a household goods specialty group.  This option allows for the container to be dropped off, then self loaded by the customer, then shipped and dropped off at destination for customer unload.  Extra labor may be scheduled at additional charges for this service too.  This option is somewhat restrictive in metro areas where there is not available space for the container to sit while in the customers possession.   During the past several years we have seen a large increase in demand for this service, prior to the  van lines actually formalizing their programs. 

Estimates for cost and surveys are often completed using video survey techniques eliminating the need to have a van line representative to come to the home.  Video surveys have been perfected and prove to be very accurate, and work well since in most cases the cost of these moves is per container, not the actual weight of the shipment.  Very predictable cost.  Video surveys are normally done with smart phones, ipads and similar devices by the surveyor and customer.  

Containerized shipping is growing.  Van Lines that talked about it several years ago, now have a solid program in place and experience with this type of service.  The company we have used for a number of years with household goods freight shipping has perfected their moving services and completed hundreds of shipments for us using this method.