The Chairman's Corner
by P.J. Welch
Happy New Year! As 2014 begins, I find myself considering what opportunities exist and what will be the greatest challenges of the new year while reviewing where our company succeeded and which areas will need improvements. As CMSA Chairman, I am in a unique position to travel the state and meet with both Mover and Associate members and to get a firsthand look at how various organizations are preparing for the coming summer season. An improving economy combined with increased regulatory requirements has me wondering how our industry will react and provide quality relocation services as demand increases. As a mover in California, I find myself combining what I have recently learned with past experiences to form a New Year’s resolution to be prepared for expected capacity constraints.
Every year, I resolve to be better prepared than the year before. While reviewing what worked well and what needed improvements in 2013, I also consider what will be different in the coming year. Without a doubt, CARB will have major effects, both good and bad, on our industry. While it is easy to focus on the negative side of new regulations (Will driver shortages lead to peak season blackouts or can I afford to replace my entire fleet over the next 10 years?), as agents we need to be certain that we have enough containers on hand or that local crews have the ability to load shuttle trailers in order to take advantage of the increased demand for our services. As we plan for these changes, it is also necessary to communicate with our staff and contractors so that we reach the stated goals. While trying to convince a contractor that new equipment will lead to lower costs in addition to being CARB-compliant, it is not an easy task. At a minimum, the conversations must take place and examples of cost savings must be provided.
Resolutions are easy to make, but sometimes difficult to keep. Once plans have been made and communicated, a system will have to be developed to measure their success or make changes if things are not going well. After many difficult years, we cannot afford to not take advantage of every opportunity presented in 2014. As an agent, I know the markets that our company will be focused on, what types of equipment need to be purchased and what training will be necessary so that high levels of service will be provided to our customers. I also know that these plans are not set in stone and can be changed at any time in order to reach stated goals.
Finally, when making a New Year’s resolution, it is always good and fun to find out what someone else has committed himself or herself to. A quick check of the CMSA website shows that seven chapter meetings and seven chapter fundraising events are scheduled during the first four months of the year. If you only make one resolution this year, commit to becoming a more active CMSA member by attending more chapter events and planning to attend the 96th Annual CMSA Convention in Monterey.
- CMSA Communicator