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The independent voice of the global moving industry

Pass it on!

Apr 16, 2018

I had a press release in the other day from a company in Spain. It was talking about technology and how the use of video survey would reduce its costs for the benefit of its customers. Hmmm … thought I. What about taking some of the benefit yourself.

Now I suspect that this particular company was being politically correct, wanting to suggest that everything it did was for the benefit of its customers. But, come on. This is us you are talking to. We are all in this together. Sadly, I don’t think it was all PR. I think the company concerned, and most of the rest of the industry, will indeed use their investment in new technology to become more competitive and perpetuate the price race to the bottom that has been going on for as long as I, or anyone else, can remember. I do think it’s a shame.

I know the reasons of course. The cost of entry into the moving industry is relatively low and nobody needs a licence to move a sofa. There is always someone, somewhere, who will do the job cheaper. But, surely, the professional industry should be able to rise above this especially in the highly regulated, approved and licenced world in which we live today. Our millennial customers might be good at shopping around on the internet, but they recognise value when they see it and they will pay for excellence given the opportunity.

Most of our customers can afford to pay for a top-quality service. To put it into perspective, the cost of moving HHG abroad from the UK today about twice what it was 40 years ago. I suspect it’s the same elsewhere. Meanwhile house prices have gone up by around 25 times. Most people pay for their move with the proceeds of their house sale so don’t tell me they can’t afford it. They can. But the more we convince ourselves that we are expensive, the more we cut everything to the bone and pass on the benefits of our keen financial management, the more we make the cheap companies look reasonable.

I know there’s no easy answer. If there were we’d have solved it years ago. But it seems to me that if there is a solution it will start with a change of attitude and the belief that perhaps profit, after all, is not a swear word.

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