Mark Scullion, President of Workplace and Commercial Services, The Suddath Companies
With technology expanding faster than ever, almost every aspect of daily life is at our fingertips. You can preheat your oven before you get home or adjust the house thermostat from 3,000 miles away, so why can’t you instantly check the status of your company’s move? It’s an issue that has caused frustration and cost companies thousands of dollars: the slow and outdated methods still being used throughout most of the mobility industry.
North America’s largest commercial moving company, Suddath, looked across the industry and our own practices, and recognized the need to improve the process. In the past year, our efforts have been honored with two national technology awards for new systems that are revolutionizing the commercial moving industry. These innovative tools, Tracker and Estimator, are updating outdated traditional industry tactics by creating a reliable system to streamline the moving process and put the client in control with immediate results and tracking. Traditionally, the moving industry has provided zero transparency or control, a history that could fall by the wayside as these newer tools become part of the corporate relocation process.
Estimator, a digital move plan and estimating technology
It used to be that, like every other moving company, Suddath salespeople and project managers evaluating a move would walk office floors with their notepads, manually jotting down every item. They handed countless sheets of paper to a coordinator, who would then transcribe the information into the company’s order management system. This time-consuming manual process was all too prone to “lost in translation” errors and would ultimately deliver a poor and slow experience.
The way people conduct business is modernizing at a rapid rate, and the way commercial moving companies support these activities needs to evolve with these trends
With Suddath’s Estimator technology, the process is streamlined from beginning to end. Now the walkthrough is done with hand-held devices, resulting in instant electronic move plans and pricing proposals with direct integration into Suddath’s order management system. This eliminates manual data entry and avoids errors while allowing for more time spent on the customer. Eventually, Suddath aims to add image recognition into Estimator, further streamlining the inventory process and creating remote, virtual survey experiences for customers.
The benefits of this technological estimating approach are undeniable. The platform has enabled Suddath to benefit from a 70% reduction in sales administrative time per work order and a 75% reduction in customer service data entry. Administrative costs have been cut by 20% reduction, and client conversions have increased by 15%. The tech has saved more than 100,000 printed pages since its inception, furthering sustainability goals. Digital Edge 50 recognized how this process can convert a weeks-long process into an instant result, honoring the technology with one of its prestigious awards.
Tracker, a digital inventory and move monitoring application
Suddath recognized that, by and large, the commercial moving industry performed moves with virtually no control over inventory, no digital visibility around progress reporting and no contemporary quality control process. Tracker, which like Estimator is powered by proprietary Telescio® technology, is an industry first that solves those challenges.
Suddath developed the industry-first Tracker platform that utilizes a QR code tracking and a digital dashboard to monitor move progress and quality. Tracker allows for real-time updates across the entire moving process. Tracker features a dashboard that grants clients total control of information with instant access, inventory management, and customized customer compliance reporting. When millions of dollars’ worth of critical business assets are in transition, business executives need a system that provides full visibility into the move supply chain. Tracker, which received a CIO 100 award, also delivers significant competitive advantages and strong productivity savings – reducing move time and cost up to 30%.
These innovations are bringing the relocation industry into the modern world. But – as with all technology – the industry cannot stand still, satisfied that the job is done. The way people conduct business is modernizing at a rapid rate, and the way commercial moving companies support these activities needs to evolve with these trends. The innovative tools developed by Suddath support customers very differently than in the past. Either of these applications on a stand-alone basis would be game changing, but together they are charting a new, more customer-friendly direction for the moving industry.