Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Introducing new partnership for containerized shipping

We have reached agreement with CHRONOS to offer containerized shipping of household goods in most parts of the country. CHRONOS provides vaults which are sealed and locked which hold up to 1800 to 2000 pounds of household goods. These valuts may be loaded by the customer or by professional movers. CHRONOS is a service provided by the largest Bekins agent, Bekins A1. The price per vault includes use of the vault for 28 days with no added charge; providing an excellent solution for short term storage. Another benefit is that the vault is shipped direct to the destination providing much more precise load and delivery dates. Example- cross country distances of 1200+ miles can be achieved in 7 business days. Included in each move is $15,000 per vault of S&G Full Replacement Value insurance with a $350 deductible at no charge. Vaults are produced by SmartVault.

We have been working with Bekins A1 for a number of years on full service moves, and are pleased to provide this added service through them as well.

Monday, June 29, 2009

This is what we strive for in every move

I want to commend, in highest terms, your moving crew of .... for moving us from Northern Virginia to northern Maryland on .... After looking at many on-line reviews of moving companies and numerous horror stories of moves gone wrong, I entered this move with trepidation. This crew exceeded all my expectations in conducting the move. They were friendly, good natured, interactive, and worked their ..... off in getting the move done in a day – I have never seen folks work harder or more diligently. An entire 3-story house of furniture was loaded onto the truck from a freshly repainted house without a single ding in a wall or stairwell. We can’t find a single item broken or damaged. The move was into a brand new house, and once again not a single mark on a wall or doorframe. I am amazed and rarely have I felt that I got more for my money than in using this crew from .....for this move. Treat these folks well, as they do your company proud!

Move arranged by Consumers Relocation Services

Friday, June 26, 2009

If we are trying to come out of the housing slump why is it so hard to buy a house

In the last day, I have heard of two situations where very qualified buyers with substantial down payments and employment have been delayed, delayed, delayed for different reasons in buying a home. One family is being relocated and in need of a home at their new location asap, and the closing times are so long they may have to put their family into temporary housing, and their household goods in storage. This situation not only delays their settling in, but also increased the cost to the company of relocating this family.

Another family is trying to buy a home, and the process has been going on for almost 3 months and still no closing is in sight.

Does this make any sense when we are trying to come out of a recession! Trying to ease credit? Trying to help companies become healthier?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Consumers Relocation is a GREEN Company

We are doing our part to be as GREEN as possible. This initiative started a number of years ago when we started recycling at the demand of one of our employees. When we moved into our new offices 3 years ago, we went for it. What are we doing?

-If we have to print an internal document from a computer, we use both sides of the paper. When both sides are used, that paper goes to recycling.

-We converted all lights to energy efficient light bulbs and only turn on lights when necessary; no overhead lights.

-All appliances are on timers; when the office is closed, so are the appliances.

-We give out and use reusable shopping bags.

-We do everything down to the details- we do not use plastic forks or knives- all utensils, plates, glasses, coffee mugs, etc. are reusable and washable. No wasted paper or plastic stuff.

-We are constantly looking into other things we can do to improve our environment.

-Right now we even have all the doors open with no A/C on.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Our new "take one" brochure now available for Moving Assistance

We redesigned our brochure which describes our move management services and benefits. This brochure may be useed by companies for their transferees or new hires, by real estate agents for their customers or by associations for their members. These high quality brochures show that you really care about your associate by offering a truly high quality service when they are moving.
To recieve a sample or order these, please e mail contact us through our website or e mail us at info@consumersrelocation.com

Monday, June 15, 2009

Considerations when moving

One of the first considerations is deciding whether to move on your own using a truck rental or using a professional mover. Cost and logistical considerations are the determining factors when deciding to move on your own or use a professional mover. Additional costs are associated with both types of moves that the first time mover may not anticipate.

Watch out for hidden costs:
When selecting the self-move option, there may be added costs beyond the cost of renting a truck. The cost of fuel, which has increased dramatically, will be a significant factor. With low miles per gallon efficiency in trucks, this cost alone could be a determining factor. Also, the cost of accommodations must be considered if the move is a long distance one. For those moving without family or friends to assist, the cost of hiring labor at origin or destination should be considered. One hidden cost of moving one’s self, is that of breakage. You need to check with your homeowners insurance company to see if you are covered if any of your precious belongings are damaged.

Hiring a professional mover can reduce the hassles associated with moving, but it does not guarantee a stress free experience. Placing all of your possessions in the hands of a stranger is nerve racking to say the least. Many considerations must be made such as coordinating the loading of the truck with airline departures, places to stay at origin after loading, and before your household goods are delivered.
Consumers Relocation provides you a personal Move Consultant who will guide you through these issues as well as discounts up to 65% on interstate moves and replacement valuation coverage up $75,000 in value.

Visit our site!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Moving Employees Household Goods for Lump Sum Reimbursement Programs

Don’t let your transferees go it alone

In recent years many corporate transferees have been asked to take on a more active role in managing their own relocations. This trend developed with many new emerging companies that had not relocated people in the past and with larger more established companies whose relocation costs were steadily climbing; looking for ways to reduce this trend. At Consumers Relocation we see a tremendous number of people coming to us for assistance in their moves since their companies are asking them to manage many of the pieces of this process themselves.

Lump Sum Allowances Emerge
One of the largest trends has been the emergence of lump sum allowances for many of the typical relocation costs. Lump sum programs group a number of expense categories typical to relocation into on dollar allowance which the company will provide to the transferee. Househunting trips, temporary living expenses, miscellaneous expenses, final move expenses and shipment of household goods are the most typical expenses reimbursed under Lump sum programs. The most expensive of these categories is the actual shipment of household goods, and is probably the category where a transferee can save a considerable amount of money if done properly.

The attractiveness of lump sum programs to companies is the reduced administrative work in processing expense reports and audits. This reduced time allows human resource administrators more time to work with the relocating family in assisting them with school selection and other special needs. The HR administrator has more time to counsel transferees on current policy issues and to do other projects unrelated to relocation as well. Particularly for small and mid sized companies with understaffed HR departments, this program can provide that extra person that is needed.

Lump sum programs also provide more fiscal responsibility for relocation expenses on the part of the transferee. Transferees will take more time to spend their money wisely understanding that there is not an unlimited amount of dollars for their relocation. It allows them to spend more money on the activities that are the most important to them.

Lump sum programs reduce the costs of relocation in many cases; placing an absolute ceiling on relocation dollars. Lump sums will eliminate or drastically reduce the number of exceptions since the transferee has the latitude to spend dollars in activities that they formerly would have asked for as an exception.

Streamlined budgeting is a product of lump sum allowances. Programs eliminate the need for administrators to budget for each activity involved in the relocation process and make judgments on the overall program and apply factors to overall costs of relocation.

Many companies report improved employee satisfaction when lump sum programs are implemented. When companies disclose the details of the lump sum calculation, employees are less likely to challenge the costs of relocation. Generally the small percentage of employees that are not satisfied are thought to have been dissatisfied with the relocation process in general anyway.

Portions of Lump Sum Programs Need Active Management

Just as the corporate travel department arranging for airfares and hotels for the house hunting trip saves the transferee money and potential headaches, the shipment of their household goods can create pitfalls that are preventable through active management by experts. The transportation business in general, whether it be travel or shipping of household goods has its mysteries and obstacles that only knowledgeable experts can effectively navigate through. Pricing, timing, seasonality, delays, and a host of other variables are controllable and manageable by companies that specialize in these areas and the transferee should be offered their assistance in order to save money, time and improved satisfaction. Volume pricing may also be taken advantage in these areas as well; freeing up lump sum dollars to be spent in other categories.

When dealing with the shipment of household goods for interstate (state to state) moves, a variety of factors must be controlled because of the makeup of the business. In general the household goods industry can be considered regulated to a certain extent, however subject to market conditions in pricing, and also subject to local organizations for pricing and performance.

The household goods shipping industry is made up of large van lines that are essentially banking and dispatch organizations. Within each van line, are local agents that are for the most part independently owned and operated, and adhere to the guidelines of the overall van line for interstate shipments only. They operate under their own name and guidelines for local and intrastate (within the state) moves.

For interstate shipments, the local agent and their employees are responsible for the estimating of the cost of the move as well as the origin services such as packing, crating and other services that might be provided at origin. If a transferee is managing the move themselves, they must be careful in choosing this local agent and the van lines involved since the performance of local agents within the same van line may vary dramatically both in pricing accuracy and local services provided.

Most van lines have a variety of pricing plans available to their local agents. The type of pricing plan whether it be actual weight and services, guaranteed to not exceed, or fixed guarantee have applications in differing circumstances related to the move. The choice of plan must be done with much forethought in order to avoid a pricing plan that is counterproductive to the individual transferee’s move.

Van lines have several types of valuation coverage available to transferees and its important for them to understand these fully if they are managing their own move. Replacement valuation coverage may be purchased by an individual transferee with a variety of deductibles and can be expensive, but is necessary. Other valuation plans are available that look more attractive due to price, such a depreciated value plans, but will not adequately cover the damage of household goods in many cases. The industry standard, of sixty cents a pound, is offered at no charge to an individual transferee moving, but again is not adequate to cover significant damage. Move management companies like Consumers Relocation will offer the premium coverage, replacement valuation with no deductible, at no charge to either the transferee, or the client corporation.

Individual transferees managing their own move may become confused in the event of problems in the move or in the claims process if damage is experienced or if the shipment is delayed. Often times the person they dealt with at origin, the sales person, is not the person they will work with in the event of problems or claims. This confusion can cost the transferee many dollars in productivity and lost opportunity to recoup their loss. Experienced Move Managers are dealing with high volumes of moves with the van lines and have set up their own protocol of contacts to take care of the problems. Often times “gray area” problems can arise that an individual moving will not be able to sway in their direction. Move Managers, due to their volume of business, can equitably resolve ”gray area’” issues.

Companies that only work with a handful of transfers a year, may not be entirely familiar with the tariffs and pricing used in moving. These tariffs change periodically and some van lines file their own versions; complicating audits even further. Move Managers offer audit assistance with it be directly for your transferees or for the company. Mistakes can be made and sometimes the translation of promises made by the origin agent are not clearly communicated to the van line billing department. A Move Manager, involved in both the origin pricing and the final billing will quickly clear these kinds of issues up.

Companies offering lump sum reimbursements should encourage their transferees to obtain two to three estimates for their moves. Physical estimates are a must and phone estimates should be discouraged. Physical estimates create more accountability regarding pricing and the physical location of the home. When a mover actually sees what is being moved they can make a more accurate judgment as far as the weight of the shipment, packing services needed, crating needed, as well as the ability of the moving van to park close to the home; negating the need for the extra charge for a shuttle truck. An “apples to apples” comparison of the estimates can then be performed. A Move Manager can effectively order three estimates from reliable movers, and provide the comparisons, and resolving any unusual variances in weight, or services. The end result is the transferee can make an educated selection of mover with all the facts. Three estimates will also enable the transferee to have a better choice of load and delivery dates during busy time periods. One mover may not be able to accommodate the transferee’s dates, where one out of three will most likely be able accommodate the transferee.

Clearly, in certain relocation activities it is better for the transferee and the company to offer some managed benefits for relocation. Shipping household goods, real estate related activities and travel are the ones where the company and transferee benefit from working with reliable experts in these fields. Managing these activities will avoid the many dollar and service pitfalls a transferee may fall into.

Consumers Relocation Services manages household goods shipments for thousands of families each year. Volume discounts, special valuation coverage and personalized expert counseling one on one with each transferee is standard in the program. Consumers Relocation can save the company and transferee time and money on every move. Companies, large associations and real estate companies have been relying on Consumers Relocation since 1993 to deliver household goods move management services through out the United States and internationally as well.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Moving Facts Booklet

Our proprietary 20 page "Moving Facts" booklet provides much useful information such as binding and non binding estimates, planning your move, what to tip movers, and pretty much everything you need to know during the moving process. The booklet is provided free to every customer using our services. Preview our Moving Tips Guide!

Monday, June 8, 2009

North Country Health Systems

One of Vermont's premier healthcare organizations began using our household goods move management services for all of its newly hired professionals. We are pleased to serve this important organization and assist in relocating their new hires moving from around the US into Vermont.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Timing Your Move During The Summer Busy Season

Timing your move to avoid the busiest periods can make for a less stressful experience. Even during the busy moving season, April through August, you can time your move to take place during weeks when the movers’ schedules are less hectic. Avoid the last week of each month, and holiday periods such as Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day. Its better to try to schedule your move pick up for some time during the middle of the month.

Always require movers to provide specific load and delivery date spreads which they will perform within. Do not leave the loading or delivery of your belongings open ended with no commitment to a spread of dates.

While movers are packing and loading your belongings onto a truck, pay attention and carefully review any paperwork prior to signing. After loading, the movers will ask you to sign an inventory listing which will indicate your agreement that all items have been loaded and in the condition noted on the listing. If future damage is incurred during your move this condition report will be used in assessing any reimbursement the movers may provide you.

Quoted from Les Velte, President, Consumers Relocation. This move management company coordinates the entire move process and provides a comprehensive booklet on interstate moving , Moving Facts, to customers that utilize their services. They may be reached at 800-839-6683 or through their site www.consumersrelocation.com.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New contract with University of Vermont

We are really excited about being selected as University of Vermont's move manager. Being a Vermont company, and serving our state university system and their transferring employees is truly a thrill for us. Go Catamounts!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Secrets to a Move With Ease!

Moving? Here are some helpful hints to help getting organized

  • When you know you are moving you will need to sort through your household goods to determine which items will not be making the trip with you. Eliminating unwanted articles can substantially reduce the final cost of your move. Completing this task prior to having your moving estimates can reduce the inconsistencies between the estimates
  • If possible, schedule your moving estimates about 8 weeks in advance of your intended move date. You don’t have to know the exact date of your move or even know your precise destination to have this step completed. However, knowing the city or county of the state is necessary. When the movers perform their surveys, make sure each receives the same information regarding what needs to be shipped, packed and any special services you may require. This will ensure that you are making a consistent comparison between the estimates.
  • Once you have reviewed the estimates, if possible, select a mover 4-5 weeks ahead of your move date. Summer time is the busiest season of the year for movers. The first and the last days of each month are busy as well. If you have flexibility, try not to move during the summer or at the end of the month. If it can’t be avoided, scheduling as far in advance as possible will assure the availability. Be advised that the movers will require a spread of several consecutive days to deliver your shipment and potentially, depending on the size of your shipment, to also load the shipment. These time frames are generally extended during the busy summer months.
  • These helpful hints as well as full assistance when moving can be obtained through Consumers Relocation Services, a Show Your Save partner of the Connecticut Motor Club. They will assign you to a move consultant who will guide you through the move process and coordinate all your moving estimates. Members will receive up to 64% discounts on interstate moves as well as full replacement valuation coverage up to $75,000 in value. During the busy summer season your consultant can often find a last minute mover for local or interstate shipments because of their extensive contacts in the moving business.
Just call 800-839-6683 and ask to speak with a Consultant.

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