The Chairman's Corner
by P.J. Welch
Prior to my final chapter visits, I was asked if being Chairman of the CMSA had been a difficult task. My automatic response to the question was: "No, absolutely not." I explained how I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of all members of our Association. So many movers have opened their offices and warehouses and proudly explained their markets and how their companies compete in those markets. I visited with our Associate members for the first time and had my eyes opened to the world of international shipping and new product distribution. After visiting so many members, I must say that if I were asked again if being Chairman is difficult, the answer would be both yes and no. Actually, being Chairman, traveling the state, meeting members and learning about the moving industry is easy. Taking what I have learned as Chairman and figuring out how to apply those lessons to my business is the hard part.
Walking into the Northern Region Chapter meeting, I heard a mover state, "We are so busy; it feels like summer!" All movers would love to be making this statement in the off-season, especially in February, and I am certain that all Associate members would love to be providing services at peak-season levels during this same period. As the economy improves and changing regulations make it more difficult to operate, are you taking the time to make sure that your organization is prepared for the summer season? Of the many issues I have discussed as Chairman, there are three that seem to affect movers in every market and in every part of the state. The first is personnel or the need for more qualified personnel. As off-season demand grows, our ability to keep employees busy all year improves. This season will be difficult, but investments made now to hire and train new employees will be offset by increased demand at this time next year. The second is CARB: There are no exemptions. All moving companies must be operating CARB-compliant equipment in California and yes, some members of the CMSA have been fined for operating vehicles that are not. The third is crating of domestic shipments. While capacity is always limited during the summer season, the combination of increasing demand and CARB will have a tremendous negative effect. If you are not prepared to load and deliver crated shipments, you may be missing out.
While it would be difficult to make a complete list of all the challenges involved with operating a moving company, I can say that being Chairman has opened my eyes and forced me to take a look at how my company is operated. When I began visiting chapters as Chairman, I was curious to know how well my company preformed compared to other companies. Now, I am more concerned by what we are not doing at all. Now is the time to take a step back and evaluate your business, to build on everything that you are doing right and to make improvements where necessary before the summer season, which seems to have already begun.
In closing, I would like to thank all of the Chapter Presidents and members who attended the chapter meetings I visited in February. I would especially like to thank Mark Macy for opening the doors of Macy Movers to the staff of the CPUC. As business improves, you will not want to miss this year’s annual Convention May 1 through 3 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey. There is no better opportunity to meet with fellow CMSA members and to discuss the challenges this peak season will bring. The real challenge, as I have discovered as Chairman, is to take what you learn from other members and applying that to your own daily operations.
- CMSA Communicator