Choosing a move management system: A guide for moving companies

 moving company driver - move management system

Moving companies are the backbone of the relocation industry in the United States. Their efficiency allows the industries that depend on their services to run smoothly. That’s why planning, organization, and communication are crucial to the overall operations of moving companies. Today, moving companies are trading in their Excel spreadsheets and notepads in personalized move management systems designed to take their business to the next level.

As client demand for faster and less stressful moves increases, moving companies will need to adapt to stay competitive. A move management system offers all moving companies (large and small) the technology that van lines nationwide have been using for decades. With the help of a move management system, moving companies of every size can be modern, efficient, and able to compete on a level playing field.

How to get started with a move management system

A move management system connects every department in a moving company to one another via comprehensive moving software. Here are just a few things that a move management system can do for your business:

  • Gives your sales team the power of an electronic survey on any mobile device, featuring an electronic signature and a customer relationship management (CRM) system for organizing leads.

  • Sends route and inventory updates to drivers on their phones and gets them paid faster with electronic reporting.

  • Provides your dispatch team with real-time tracking and route planning to assist drivers.

  • Redefines your customer experience by giving your customer service department the tools to instantly access client information.

  • Puts your client history to work finding you new business, tracking your growth, and deciding when and where to expand your business.

To begin the process of choosing a system, moving companies can use this guide to help choose the move management system that best fits their business. In this guide you’ll:

  • Discover exactly what a move management system can do for your business.

  • Determine which of your departments will benefit from a move management system and how it will streamline their operations and procedures.

  • Decide which features of a move management system are necessary to drive your business.

What exactly is a move management system?

A move management system helps every department of your moving company to work together seamlessly — from the first stage of the moving process to the last. From sales teams to customer service teams, from drivers to billing departments, a move management system allows all departments to work together on a single system, streamlining processes and freeing up valuable time to work on growing your business and providing the best customer experience possible.

Put simply, move management software has done for moving companies what Quickbooks did for accounting departments. It doesn’t change the nature of their work but allows them to control the information in the way that best serves their business. A moving company who employs a move management system will have departments who work faster, with less effort, and without needing to hire additional employees.

For moving companies, miscommunication is the enemy of great customer experience. Moving company software provides teams instant access to the same data and eliminates human errors caused by working on outdated spreadsheets and hard copies that get lost in the mail. A move management system allows you to bring efficiency to your moving company and helps your team work to their fullest potential.

Interest piqued? We thought so.

To help you better visualize what a move management system can do for your moving company, here’s a breakdown of what you can expect:

 what a move management system provides infographic - move management system

When should you adopt a move management system?

There is no magic number of trucks that a moving company needs to make move management software work for them. All moving companies should leverage the power of a comprehensive system. If you’re not doing this, you’re missing out on running your business more efficiently, while saving time and money.

Regardless of whether you’ve been in business for decades, or your moving company has yet to hit the road, a move management system is integral to any size fleet. Moving software won’t reinvent your moving process, but it will streamline the systems you already have in place. This helps owners spend less energy solving communication problems and more time focusing on the needs of their entire business.

Here are some stats for how different sized moving companies utilize move management software:

 moving companies using a move management system infographic - move management system

What are the tools your business needs?

Now that you know how a move management system will affect your business in a broad sense. Let’s take a look at what each department will gain with the adoption of moving software.

Sales team

  • Lead capture that automatically organizes SMS and email leads from in-house or third-party sources

  • CRM system for converting leads more efficiently

  • Qualify leads with either an online virtual survey or by an electronic survey: featuring an electronic signature available on any iPad, tablet, or phone

  • Provide faster quotes for immediate use by your team and customers

Drivers

  • Access moving software on any iPad, tablet, or phone with a browser, or work offline and upload later

  • Receive and file moving paperwork electronically: no more scanning, faxing, or mailing

  • Send, receive, and file invoices digitally to pay drivers and receive client payment faster

  • Connect drivers with dispatch for real-time job status, route planning, and instructions for upcoming jobs

  • Give drivers more control over a job by creating client inventory lists to ensure complete delivery

  • Share inventory lists between your warehouse and drivers so nothing gets left behind

Dispatch team

  • An automated and accountable system to assign orders and send messages directly to a driver’s phone

  • Manage arrival times for multiple job sites

  • Track long-distance truck routes with set pickup locations and check-ins

  • Set strategic routes for maximum efficiency on long trips with multiple pickups

Warehouses

  • Bill storage invoices to individual customers automatically, send multiple invoices, and provide a detailed summary of inventory with photos

  • Track and assign inventory in warehouses with barcode assignment

  • Send drivers a complete inventory on their phone or tablet

  • Track damage at the driver and warehouse levels for increased accountability

Customer service

  • Create a sharable system so any team member can help a client with their move at any stage of their move

  • Provide oversight for management to check in on an account’s progress

  • Create an organized workflow to streamline moving processes for customers

  • Eliminate the need for data re-entry on client accounts

Billing department

  • Manage accounts with third-party accounting software like Quickbooks

  • Receive paperwork and send payment to drivers instantly

  • Automatically send invoices to customers

  • Receive customer payments faster to recognize revenue in real time

Credit and collections team

  • Organize upcoming or overdue payments to assist with collection calls

  • Track historical data on missed payments

Claims team

  • Recognize damage from transport or warehouse storage more quickly so claims are resolved faster and with increased accountability

  • Send fast and thorough reports to clients to solve issues immediately

Why move management systems are the future of moving technology

Many moving companies face growing pains from expanding their business without a system designed to pick up the slack on the back end. Or worse, they stay stagnant in a competitive market. Paper and spreadsheet methods continue to be a burden on growing businesses in the moving industry because these systems can’t scale as fast as the businesses they are serving. A move management system is an evolution of the moving industry because it transforms back-end organization from a manual liability into an automated competitive advantage.

Customers expect a fast and technology-driven move. Instead of spending time organizing an unruly amount of customer information, moving company software gives your team time to focus on customer needs, provide a better experience, and compete in new markets. Move management systems are the future of moving technology because they give your departments technology-driven solutions for challenges they face every day.

Features to look for in a move management system

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork for what a move management system is and how it benefits your business, let’s take a look at the features you should expect from a system. Not all moving company software is created equally. After assessing how a move management system will assist your core teams, it’s time to decide which features will be key to the overall success of your business. It’s vital to ensure the system you choose will meet the needs of your moving company.

Adopt a move management system that's designed with a moving company’s business in mind and not a general management system that’s been tweaked to accommodate moving companies. A move management software should fit your business model and not disrupt your core operations. Here are the key features to expect while exploring move management systems for your business:

 key features of a move management system infographic - move management system

Third-party integrations to look for:

Most moving companies use some form of third-party integration to support their business. The right move management system will accommodate the integrations your company uses or will work with your team to help facilitate a switch. Here are some integrations that a move management system should be able to accommodate:

  • Third-party leads - Automatically sync and organize SMS and email leads in one convenient place.
  • Accounting software - Integrate programs like Quickbooks directly into your accounting process. Look for a move management system that services at least one accounting software.

  • Third party services integration - Integrate services like crating or disconnecting appliances directly into your quoting process.

  • DPS (Defense Personal Property System) - If your moving company services military moves, get paid faster with direct integration for paper-heavy and government-regulated moves.

The benefit of web-based (versus on-site) systems

When it comes time for a moving company to adopt move management software, the decision might come down to a choice between a web-based and an on-site system. Think of an on-site system as storing your move management software on your own server. You’re responsible for investing in the hardware, updating the software, and maintaining the servers.

A web-based system will allow your moving company to access its data on any device with a browser — without the cost of hosting your information. The data lives in one location that your drivers or sales team can find using any mobile device with internet access. They can even access the information offline and sync the data when they have service.

When push comes to shove, a web-based system has many advantages over its on-site counterpart. The most important being, the ability to access your data anywhere on any device.  It’s as easy as using a website on your phone. Simply put, a web-based system is easier to use and maintain.

 web-based-vs-on-site infographic - move management system

What to expect from pricing

Your options in terms of pricing for a move management system are just as important as the system itself. It’s best to have the ability to add features to your system as your company grows, instead of having to buy features upfront that your company doesn’t need.

Smaller companies who have smaller divisions or divisions with changing needs may want to purchase modules à la carte and then invest in new modules as needed. On the other hand, larger companies might prefer a one-size-fits-all solution.

Ultimately, your pricing preference will depend on your individual business — so look for flexibility. A move management system’s pricing should be a benefit to your business and should accommodate your growth. Pricing should be transparent and easy to understand. A move management company should be able to help your moving company decide what features it needs now and what features it can wait on.

What to look for from onboarding

When adopting a move management system you should expect an onboarding process that helps your team utilize their new tools to its fullest potential. Look for a move management system with a strategic onboarding process that offers support for the duration of your time using the system.
In many cases, a moving company will be assigned a personal support representative to help with the system’s initial setup. They help train a member of your moving company to become a “super user” so they can go on to help the rest of the team learn the ropes.

Then, each department will receive a team training session to get each team member up to speed on their moving software. Finally, once the system is in place, the personal support representative will help transfer the moving company to general support service to handle additional questions going forward.

The onboarding process typically takes about four weeks to complete. Most move management companies offer additional support six to seven days a week with business hours to cover both the East and West Coast.

What to expect when switching systems

Switching move management systems can be a little more involved than simply adopting a new one — but it’s certainly a manageable process. If you’re concerned with the opportunity for growth in your current system, it’s a good indication that it’s time to switch to a system that can grow with your business. If you’re seriously considering switching systems, here is how you can prepare your business and your team for the transition:

  • Maintain and update your system - Ensure your data is clean and up-to-date. All trucks, personnel, equipment, and user data should be accurate and free of duplicates.  
  • Look for spreadsheet importing - To avoid the need to transfer data manually from your current system to your new one, look for move management companies that allow data transfers directly from spreadsheets.
  • Be prepared to stop using your current system - Some move management companies will advise you not to use two systems simultaneously during the transition — especially for larger moving companies. There may be a hard cut-off date with onboarding taking place during the last month of the old system’s use. However, the old system may remain active as a tool for historical data.

How a move management software will future-proof your business

An investment in the day-to-day operation of your business is only worthwhile if it serves your business long term. A move management system is a long-term investment. It both shields your business from competition and provides your business with the streamlined processes that it needs to grow. Thereby, preparing your moving company for future competition in the moving industry.

Moving companies have the expertise to execute successful moves for their customers. What a move management software helps them develop is the process to organize their customers efficiently and allow the opportunity for increased growth. Data-driven research and automation from a move management system provide the speed and the organization to ensure your moving company is not held back by everyday operations and that your company has resources to expand its reach.

Grow your business by putting data to work for you

A foundation built on customer referrals and repeat business is the reward a moving company earns when they’re successful in their industry. Data from these customers are most valuable to your business if it’s easily accessible to every team member when and where they need it. By providing your sales team with the historical records of past clients, your business can better coordinate the size and scale of future moves.

This data can also be used to analyze and predict moving trends for your personal market as well as accurately track your company’s growth. By recognizing your assets and recognizing your revenue sooner, move management software sets moving companies up to reach higher quotas and, in the process, improve customer service.

Protect your business by investing in smart automation

The productivity of a team can be measured by their ability to produce a reliable and repeatable service. A move management system increases a moving company’s productivity by providing employees the access to the data and documents they need in one central location in real-time. With a move management system, there is no more waiting for a driver to find a mailbox so they can send an invoice to the office. Moving company software allows large manual processes to be automated, gets your drivers paid on time, and increases your revenue.

From organization at the point of sale all the way through to your accounting system, smart automation helps your employees work better together and your business run more efficiently.

The value of move management software

For decades, van lines nationwide have trusted move management software to help them manage millions of moves a year. Now, the opportunity is here for moving companies of all sizes to capitalize on the efficiency of a move management system.

Move management software is an investment that proves its value for every client your moving company services. It helps moving companies provide the best customer and employee experience possible. Moving company software elevates the service of moving companies by building upon their processes instead of changing them. It’s a hard-working, all-encompassing system designed for a new breed of moving company.

A move management system takes the burden off of every team member operating with an outdated system and in demanding conditions. Unlock the potential of your team by giving them a system that helps them reach their goal of providing the best possible service for their clients. With this knowledge in hand, empower your moving company to choose the move management system designed to fuel your business.