Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2000
From: "Bernie Kirbach" <Relogistics@msn.com>
Subject: AMS-Forum Slow train comin
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"e-mail watchdog to keep an eye on the mover's watchdog".
Don Corleone said; keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer...There are forces out there that intend to get between you (the moving and storage industry) and your customers. We have only seen the beginning of such undertakings and it is my firm belief that larger, more sophisticated and better funded endeavors are just about ready to launch. Cendent, CDR, Prudential are all likely names you will see. This begs the essential question, is the industry prepared to fight the fight of its life to retain that relationship with the customer (Corp and COD) or are you better off becoming vendors to these Mega sites once they establish their presence? The executives at your respective van lines have not exactly established themselves as visionaries so I wouldn't count on much from them in the way tactical foresight. Whenever you see one of these new sites ask yourself this question...." who is their customer?" If it looks as if you are, this is a site that may be good for you. If it looks as if they are going after both movers and the moving public, be very careful as this is likely a Trojan horse. These sites will quickly relegate movers to a vendor role and ultimately make you pay for the privilege of serving a customer that is currently yours anyway. If the site is targeted only at the moving public, well at least they are honest about it and you should make your decisions accordingly. Unfortunately, the third parties have exposed the fact that you are willing to give up this precious relationship with a customer
I can only pray that this industry has learned something from that experience. Consider what will happen very shortly to; banks, mortgage companies, insurance agents etc. they did not have the benefit of an initial experience like we did and will not know what hit them.
My dear AMS colleagues, I say it again....you will be in for the fight of your lives. I beg you, fight like your lives depend on it.
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