How Covid-19 has changed the moving industryApril 19, 2021
We cannot ignore it: the Covid-19 crisis will still hold us in its grip in 2021. Although many of...Read chevron_right
MovingTalks is our new Move4U Podcast with perspectives on the moving industry from all over the world.
For the first edition, Koen interviewed MY Moving Malaysia's owner Steve Lewis. In the conversation, which took place late last year, Steve looks back at 2020 and explains how the moving company coped with the global COVID-19 crisis, how to cooperate with his team, even at great distance, and he gives his view on the industry for 2021 and onwards!
Below the video you can find a brief transcription of the highlights of this podcast.
00:00 - Introduction Steve Lewis
02:40 - Managing MyMoving from a distance
04:00 - What makes MyMoving different from competitors?
06:20 - How moving companies can stand out in the market
07:50 - Clients are more self-empowered
10:45 - Using virtual survey
16:10 - Digitalization of a packing list with CrewPro
20:15 - Why are moving companies hesitant to adopt Moving Technology?
28:20 - Speeding up moving processes during COVID
28:50 - Giving customers access to self-service
30:04 - Standardization in the moving industry
30:50 - The ultimate wish in terms of moving technology
33:55 - Reducing your carbon footprint as a moving company
36:55 - Moving companies are communication companies
40:30 - Outro
Industry expert Steve Lewis has been living in Malaysia for quite some years now and he owns the Kuala Lumpur based company MY Moving Malaysia. When Koen asked him to tell more about his company, Steve said: "We are what I would call a boutique moving company. [...] MY Moving wants to be a pure moving and DSP company and specialty logistics as well. From the moving side we want to target a top range customer and provide a value-added service.
"I think the difference is the talent, the staff that we have. Perhaps myself with the relationships of many years. So, we've utilized our relationships and became a FIDI Fame company and joined a network pretty early on. [...] I believe it's just the people that work there and that's what makes us different. [...] You make a difference by the quality of service, quality of your stuff, the way you treat them."
"It was tough. Operationally we had to shut down in Malaysia, because the law dictated that. After a while, we managed to get a special logistics license to operate. But, without a doubt, our revenues dropped dramatically. At the same time that means we've got to look at our cost structure and we implemented some cost savings and we negotiated some reductions. So like any crisis, as the Chinese say: When in crisis, there's always opportunity. So we took the opportunities were we could".
"I think technology is something I've championed for many years and that allows us to punch above our weight, because we utilize all the technology available, which is so important. I[...] So what we tried to do is utilize technology to minimize our administration burdens and be more efficient, more effective. [...] I do believe we've managed to make our unique selling proposition by using technology and by being a little bit different.
Steve also talks about the way that certain technological developments may have sped up due to the Covid-19 crisis: "If we look at the basics of a move. What happens is: somebody contacts us because they want to move and so traditionally, we would schedule a pre-move survey and we would get in our card and we would drive an hour to the survey and go through that process. It's a very important part of the business. [...] Utilizing the virtual survey, which we've had now available for some time, became a no-brainer. We weren't allowed to be on the road, we weren't allowed to enter certain people's apartments, people didn't want anybody in their house because of the pandemic. So that made it a no-brainer to utilize that piece of technology which we've had available and we have been using, but not enough. I think the thought process was that the assignee prefers us to be there, but we never really asked the question. And now when I review the comments, the assignee much prefers us not to be there, because it's more timely for them, or more convenient. That quite ironic, right? That you think you provide them a service by being there, while actually you provide them a service by not being there.
"Most definitely. I said a year and a half ago that in five years time people, the young kids coming to the industry, will laugh at the historical lesson of that we used to drive two hours to see someone to do a survey and come all the way beack. Well, that five years changed into six months. [...] We're trending at 97% virtual survey, so I think we won't revert to the traditional survey. The virtual survey is here to stay."
"Yes! For the last three or four years I've been saying that everything to do with a move has to be communicated. We would like to be communicating through a smartphone, so we look at the pre-move survey that is being done virtually. We then utilize CrewPro, which is the digitalization of a packing list or an inventory list, which allows for many efficiencies. Meaning, we use a tablet. [...] All is now digitalized, you just touch a tablet screen which brings a lot of advantages. [...] The value of a client always having access to that because it's on their phone, makes life a lot easier. It can be translated into any language. So you know, as you go into your destination country there's a lot of normal regulations: that the packing list has to be translated into that language [...] When I worked in China, I had two fulltime employees just translating packing lists. So now that's an automated process.
Do you want to hear more about Steve Lewis and how his moving company utilizes technological improvements to optimize their business structure? Listen to our MovingTalks Podcast for more information!
Interested in more MovingTalks? Check this video with Mark Oakeshott about the Moving Industry trends in 2020.