In The Spotlight: Household Goods
Dan Mack, Vice President, oversees BGRS’s Global Transportation Services and is a leading thinker when it comes to managing a global supply chain. Through a collaborative effort with colleagues and BGRS suppliers, Dan helped launch the company’s new and unique-to-the-industry approach for managing international household goods suppliers.
What are a customer’s key concerns when relocating and how do we help assuage those concerns?
Dan: There are two main concerns that come to mind – they want to receive their goods in the same condition they were in prior to the move, and they want to know when the shipment is going to arrive. Our ability to select the best providers to perform the shipping services, and the diligence and governance we have in place, ensures the suppliers who handle the move do so with the utmost care and concern for the employee’s belongings. Everyone who partners with us has adequate labor and the necessary training to safely transport those goods from point A to point B. We also make certain customers are kept routinely up to date with their shipment’s status so they can effectively plan for the arrival of their goods. If the unforeseeable occurs, we have insurance partners who specialize in providing transit related coverage. We have the most robust insurance policy in the industry today, and in almost all cases, damaged goods will be replaced, restored or repaired to their original condition.
You recently led a change to BGRS’s international household goods model, what were the key changes to that model and how do you think they will help clients?
Dan: As a whole in the international household goods industry, you see continued consolidation of companies. Bigger firms are increasing scope and capacity, while some smaller firms are not sustainable and unable to compete. We recently went through a significant initiative, aligning with this change, to better leverage our volume and serve our clients with high quality service and performance.
After a rigorous worldwide bidding process that covered lanes to and from 267 cities in 59 countries, we narrowed down our supplier network from 50 global companies to just 14. As more and more clients are looking at cost containment and expect a differential, we recognized the opportunity to leverage our global volume more efficiently, and in turn assist our clients in achieving their business goals. Streamlining our preferred household supplier population by nearly 70% allowed us to dramatically increase our ability to leverage our volume and transit times and to bring cost savings to our clients. In addition, our pricing now represents “ceiling rates” with competitive bidding that happens on every move and drives additional savings for our clients. The new pricing includes door to door costs with a separate breakdown of component costs which allows for greater transparency and the ability to manage costs as effectively as possible.
As part of this process, we took a look at our service model and reduced the number of different individuals that have touch points with customers, simplifying the process and improving the overall experience. We recognize that each client has a unique approach to household goods, so we are working to drive a closer connection between our suppliers and our clients and we hope this will continue to yield better familiarity with client expectations and policies, all in the name of improving the overall employee experience.
What would you say differentiates BGRS’s Global Transportation Services from others’ in the industry?
Dan: I would say what sets us apart is our independence. Because BGRS doesn’t own household goods moving operations, we are able to go through a transparent RFP process to select supplier partners that will offer us the best pricing and service for our client companies. We can ensure that our pricing model is easily understood, transparent, and free of any incidental additional costs or other hidden charges. Additionally, we audit all of our suppliers’ invoices using an independent third-party to guarantee compliance on behalf of our clients.
Furthermore, our household goods suppliers are managed under the same strict governance model that we apply to the rest of our supply chain, which includes regular scorecard reviews of the suppliers’ performance and customer satisfaction.
How do we work with our suppliers to help people who are getting ready for a big move?
Dan: It all starts with setting the right expectations and making sure they know we are a resource they can rely on. For example, one of the themes we talk about in our initial call is how to be prepared. We talk to transferees about making sure they are available to guide the service team in their home, having all their personal valuables accounted for, and how important it is to have all the paperwork completed. We, obviously, don’t recommend they plan on running errands or having the good-bye party when the movers are scheduled to come to their home! In the end, it’s all about helping them understand that the little planning they do up-front will go a long way toward ensuring a successful move.
Learn more about BGRS’s Supply Chain Management solutions, here.