Date: November 30, 1998
From: "Mike Dammer" <email@example.com>
Subject: AMS-Forum 3rd Party Service Arrangers
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Here we go again. All this crybaby stuff about what THEY have done to US. If you want to see who brought Third Party's to our dance look no further than the person who's visage is reflected in the CRT in front of you. And don't all start with the "NOT ME" responses. WE did it as an industry.....just like discounts. If you are part of the industry than you are part of the problem.
Movers have a poor reputation for accuracy in paperwork. If you have been in this business one season you have made at least one mistake in filling out a bill of lading, an accesorial sheet, or an invoice. We have developed a rating and billing system so complex it would take a super computer to process the billing perfectly even for the smallest agent. Our customers perceive our mistakes as intentional. It's not fair and it's not correct but perception is reality. Third party services have a niche because they put themselves between the "dishonest mover" that they can "keep an eye on" because they are "industry experts" and take the responsibility for negotiation and invoice review away an already overtaxed HR or Accounting department.
We are the problem because, for reasons already discussed here (poor/low cost hiring, poor marketing, poor business practices, abandonment of control to van lines) we have been the cause of our own demise. We then expedited our own failure by rapidly latching on to these new "National Accounts" that offered the potential for large volume.
The cure, ladies and gentlemen, is obvious to us all. Quality and improved business practices. We must, however, accept the fact that a situation that was a hundred years in the making will not be cured overnight.
Confucius say "Journey of 10,000 miles begin with single footstep." We have taken that step by recognizing the problem and accepting responsibility for it. We have begun the long march to recovering our own industry. Now stop asking "Are we there yet?"
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