Posted on August 10, 2010
With US Surface Transportation Board’s elimination of the 400 N Tariff in May 2007, we have seen the household goods industry become even more complicated and challenging for corporate clients to understand. Moving companies and relocation management companies have customized the base 400 N Tariff to their specific situation. While we know that the vast majority of moving companies are reputable and their published rates are fair and competitive, there is the persistent belief that rates and tariffs offered are the equivalent of costs incurred. This simply is not the case. Discounts do not equate to dollars. In reality, most corporate clients do not have the internal expertise to audit invoices submitted by their preferred carriers or from the relocation companies’ carriers. Documentation can be missing, reported inaccurately, misinterpreted, billed for services not authorized, etc. The bottom line is it is very difficult to understand how costs are tabulated and if they are accurate. When suppliers say they audit their invoices, this is like the fox guarding the henhouse. RELO Direct® believes that the best practice today, given the complexity of the household industry, is to seek the audit and counseling expertise of an independent audit company. RELO Direct® believes this practice makes sense and we partner with Infinity Management for this service. If you are confused and seeking a new approach to understand your true moving cost, contact RELO Direct® or Infinity Management.
Posted by: Roger Atchinson
Posted on August 10, 2010
As the end of summer vacation nears for my children, I begin to think about the mindset of many transferees with school aged children. We often hear our client contacts tell us, “He/She wants to be in the new location by the time school starts.” This is a common occurrence in the relocation industry and it is why most relocation companies and the suppliers they partner with experience their busiest times during summer months.
I have had conversations with several different people on the subject and it has become evident that there are two schools (no pun intended) of thought. The first, as I mentioned, is to make the move to a new location during the summer and allow children to start the school year fresh in a new school. Obviously this allows them to get acclimated to the school and ease their way into a new environment. One thing some parents may not consider is this, what if you moved in the middle of the summer and your kids really don’t have any friends. They would spend the best part of the year, summer vacation, without the luxury of having those friends to play with. While there are certainly ways to make friends during the summer, it is not always as easy for some children. By the time school rolls around, these children may begin to feel like a bit of an outsider, which could affect their attitude towards their new surroundings making parent’s lives even more stressful. With that said, there are still plenty of children that would prefer to ease into a new situation where the summer move is ideal.
The other perspective on this comes from people that say, “It doesn’t matter when we move, the kids will adapt quicker when they jump into a new school and environment right from the start.” When a move happens suddenly and change is made quickly, there are some kids that would not have time to think about what they are leaving behind because they are immediately involved in school and activities in a whole new place. This could allow some kids to make friends quicker and feel like they belong because they’ll spend a good portion of each day in school in the new location.
I read a recent article about a woman in Florida that had moved a lot as a child as her father, ‘climbed the corporate ladder’. She discusses her thoughts on how she and her siblings coped and the effect relocation had on them. While there will be advantages and disadvantages for children when relocating regardless of when you decide to make a move, it is important to talk to your kids during the decision making process and let them have some input. I’ve heard many transferees mention how impressed they were by how their children are handling a move. The timing of your relocation should be a family decision because in the end, it should be a positive experience for all involved.
Posted by: Tom Loncar