Tim van Tartwijk has written an article for the April/May 2019 edition of the FIDI Focus where he explains how the moving industry can profit from embracing integrated technology. Read the article below for his inspiring vision.
"There are plenty of digital mover tools available, so there is no reason why industry professionals should not be adopting them" - Tim van Tarkwijk
As a co-owner of investment company Castle Capital Investments and owner of marketing agency Get Hooked, Tim’s day-to-day activities are all based around creating, supporting and introducing impactful digital innovations. With a strong personal interest in technological trends and gadgets, Tim is always looking for new ways to improve our everyday.
Take a moment and ask yourself when you have last touched your smartphone. The most likely answer would be somewhere in the last ten minutes, according to previous research by smartphone producer Apple. The fact that we pick up our smartphone six to seven times each hour and that over 90% of the population in the western world has access to one illustrates how used we have become to consuming digital information.
Digital information technology has changed our lives forever. Where only a few years ago I had to think of simple actions like getting to my next appointment in time myself, nowadays my phone reads my agenda, checks the expected traffic intensity from my current location to the next, tells me when to leave and even notifies the host of the appointment of my expected arrival time. Or, for that matter, already switches on the lights and heating at home before I arrive. Not only do we consume and exchange information digitally, people and systems are also getting increasingly connected.
As the co-owner of an investment company called Castle Capital Investments, I have always been fascinated by the opportunities modern technology offers to create or improve business. Having invested in both start- and scale-ups within a variety of industries, I have been especially interested in companies and products that transform traditionally analogue processes into more efficient and user-friendly digital versions. Hence the reason why the moving industry caught my eye a few years ago.
The moving industry I have grown familiar with over the past three years is close and solid yet characterized by a vast amount of workflows and processes that have remained unchanged for generations. And despite the fact that moving companies worldwide are continuously looking for ways to reduce operational costs, improve their competitiveness and at the end of the day their profit, digital technology has not yet permanently settled in the majority of their daily operations. During the many conversations I have had with industry representatives at international conferences and meetings I attended over the past years, I noticed that companies are open to technology but are struggling to implement the various stand-alone tools that are available on the market.
"There is no lack of availability of digital mover tools that causes this hesitance of industry professionals to fully adopt these tools".
The market offers some interesting tools for digitalizing and boosting different aspects of the moving process such as (self-)surveying, packing, insurance and claim-handling. It is however the combination and more specifically the integration of these tools, other solutions, processes and workflows that would really yield a big benefit for moving companies. I am talking of solutions that communicate and exchange data with each other, as we are already (be it unconsciously) using in our private lives. Data that is aggregated on one single cloud-based platform, available whenever you need it. Because whether the industry likes it or not, fact is that customers and corporates have already grown familiar with these technologies and will increasingly demand the same user experience for their moves as they have gotten used to for other aspects of their everyday.
In the introduction of this article, I described how integrated technology has already become embedded in my daily routine and how it helps me and others get the most out of our time. While an integrated digital workflow might still sound futuristic for the moving industry, it is closer than some might think. In fact, one platform that offers exactly that is launching soon. A platform that enables moving companies to optimize their daily workflows in essential parts of their organization through smart automation of core processes. Automation that allows your sales department to instantly generate quotations based on digital survey data from other industry solutions, that reduces the burden on your coordinators with automated task management and notifications and that centralizes communications between you, your partners and your customer.
This platform, called Reedge, has been designed around integrations and automation. Keep an eye out for it when it launches!
It might sound scary to introduce new ways of working, new technology into your daily processes. But bear in mind that often nothing happens until the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain of change. Are you going to wait?
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