What is “IOMI®” and why is it important?
IOMI Founder Ed Katz and SWS SVP Bob Papuga
It is often said that life’s best lessons are learned the hard way. No one would agree more than office moving pioneer and industry veteran Ed Katz. Desiring more professional accreditation in the commercial office moving sector, Katz founded the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI) in 1987 to offer vital training programs in office moving and project management methods, techniques and business best practices. Dubbed the “world’s only university of office moving,” IOMI is an independent, unbiased training organization dedicated to raising the moving industry’s image by educating both professionals and consumers…Read the rest of the article
Reaping the benefits
Catherine Ahaus, project manager with Midwest Moving & Storage, receives her diploma as an IOMI® Certified Office Mover® from GM Tom Pera, center, and congratulatory hand shake from IOMI® Instructor Ed Katz during company-wide training at its Elk Grove Village, IL headquarters.
Off to the races
More than a hundred Interstate Worldwide employees are set into motion after completing training to become IOMI® Certified Office Movers® at the Springfield, VA corporate headquarters.
What’s the competitive edge?
NOV 19, 2013 — In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s harder than ever for moving companies to differentiate themselves from the competition. Business owners who are planning a move frequently wait until the last minute to select a moving company, and they often make their decision based on cost,
last-minute availability, or information they have found online. It can be difficult for commercial moving reps to get in ahead of the RFP. That’s where Engagement Marketing comes in; this new way of approaching prospects can help you get in early, help write the RFP, and close more deals.
The Power of Engagement Marketing
Engagement Marketing is the act of building trust with your prospect and starting a conversation by first giving them the gift of free information. It’s not hard to understand why this works – instead of selling to your prospect, you are giving them something of value for free, like an informative article or an office move checklist. Many office moving companies are doing this already, perhaps without realizing it. Still, there is always room for improvement when it comes to your Engagement Marketing efforts. For example, studies show that being endorsed by a third party has three times the impact of promoting yourself. So while you can host free content on your website or blog, directing your prospects to a press release or informational article published by a newspaper or trusted site are typically a better way to engage and build trust.
Engagement Marketing platforms like Movemybiz.com allow you to reach a community of companies that are relocating and need your products and services. You can showcase your expertise by publishing articles and providing prospects with free planning tools, like an office relocation checklist. Your prospect won’t just appreciate the gesture; they’ll also remember you when the time comes to meet with office moving companies. In fact, because you got in early, you may be able to consult the prospect in the earlier stages of their move, help them write the RFP, and get the deal without having to enter a bidding war and compromise your bottom line.
Today’s prospects are busier than ever. Planning a move is a busy time in the life of a company, and getting someone on the phone during this time can be a challenge. Today’s sales reps find themselves making anywhere from 5 to 12 attempts simply to get the average prospect on the phone to set an appointment, and decision-makers often object to being pursued so aggressively. One of the benefits of Engagement Marketing is that it’s not invasive. Your first attempt at contact with the prospect is to give the gift of information – after all, no one objects to receiving something for free. This often gets the conversation started, and your prospect forms a positive opinion of you and your organization. It’s important to remember that nobody likes to be sold; Engagement Marketing provides an opportunity to put yourself on your prospect’s radar in a way that feels organic and friendly, helping you to build trust and close more deals.
New device moves heavy files,
reduces Workers’ Comp cost
APRIL 20, 2012 — The cry for relief from Workers’ Comp claims has been heard and the answer is>>>click here for full story
Why become an IOMI® Homeland Security-trained office mover? Chicago’s Midwest Moving & Storage General Manager Tom Pera explains. Click here to learn how you can earn referrals by becoming a trust member of the building manager’s team.
Vic’s wins Angie’s List Super Service – again!
FEBRUARY 20, 2012 – Vic’s Moving and Storage has accomplished the almost impossible feat of winning Angie’s List Super Service Award for the second time in three years. Vic’s, which earned the honor for 2011, also won the prestigous award for 2009.
Less than three percent of companies nationwide are eligible for Angie’s List Super Service Award, which is based on the number of reports and the grade that each person gives the service.
Vic’s Moving & Storage serves the Kansas City market and became an IOMI® Certified Office Mover® in 2003. Angie’s List tracks customer reviews for a wide variety of services.
Sunny Singh, right, owner of Ace Moving & Storage serving the Washington DC area, gets a VIP tour by Chief Craig Millsap of the Bartow Country Georgia Emergency Command Center during training held at Georgia Highlands State College. Singh and Ace are the latest to earn the right to call themselves IOMI® Certified Office Movers® Chief Millsap, an expert in emergency management, teaches Homeland Security for Office Moves, online training exclusively from the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI®).
Partnering with building managers
Midwest Moving & Storage trains as a group to become IOMI®-certified in Homeland Security for Office Moves. The online training taught by Chief Craig Millsap, an emergency management expert, equips moving companies with the know-how to protect the office buildings they work in by recognizing signs of criminal and terrorist activities.
Meeting of the minds
Ed Katz, left, head of the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI®), and Suddath Vice President Bob Papuga amidst race cars worth millions at Barrett Moving & Storage’s Milwaukee warehouse. After Suddath acquired Barrett’s three midwest offices, IOMI®’s Certified Office Mover® training unites the two in sales and operational performance.
Midwest on the go
Chicago’s Midwest Moving & Storage is meeting growing demand with new, customized local office moving vans. The company’s third IOMI® training session since 2006 resulted in all key employees earning recertification as Certified Office Movers®.
Powered by IOMI®
Instructor Ed Katz, left, empowers nearly 150 employees of JK Moving Services with IOMI® best-practice methods during training at the company’s Sterling, VA commercial division facilities, where all earned certification as IOMI® Certified Office Movers®.
Lance Grooms, right, myBekins senior VP, Sales & Marketing, makes a surprise visit to the Sarasato, FL branch to personally thank IOMI® Instructor Ed Katz, left. Sarasota was the last stop in a year-long, cross-country odyssey in which Katz trained all key myBekins employees as IOMI® Certified Office Movers®.
Search only as far as the parking lot at BMG to see just how good business is at the UK’s largest office mover. Managing Director Rachel Houghton sports a new Porsche convertible, while her boss, Chairman Simon Darvall drives the four-door Porsche Panamera. Little wonder, since revenues grew more than 20 percent in the past 12 months and the company will invest approximately $2 million US dollars over the next 12 months for more trucks, moving equipments and ongoing employee training. Nearly 20 new employees hired to meet demand just completed IOMI® Certified Office Mover® training.
While working in England recently, Ed Katz, left, head of the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI®), visited with long-time friend, Colin Quarrington, editor of FIDI Focus Magazine, UK-based voice of the international moving industry. The publication provides updates on the industry, profiles of key industry people and companies as well as light reading of interest to the industry public and periphery. At Quarrington’s invitation, Katz spoke before the British Association of Removers at their annual convention in Cambridge, England in 1999.
Still Moving on Peachtree
International Office Moving Institute (IOMI®) Instructor Ed Katz, left, founder and former owner of Peachtree Movers, presents current owner of the Atlanta moving company, Jim McKinney, Sr., with his IOMI® Certified Office Mover® diploma. All key company employees recently took part in recertification training.
Walking The Talk
Bekins A-1 Corporate Director Phyllis Kennelly, safety and compliance, and Kristen Slama, VP of human resources and administration, enjoy lunch on the boss during IOMI® training at the company’s Warrenville, IL headquarters. Commited to service quality training for all employees, corporate leads by example when all key Bekins A-1 corporate managers earned Certified Office Mover® diplomas.
Carolyn Hamrick, director of facilities for Georgia Highlands College in Cartersville, GA, gives Bekins A-1 a big thumbs up for protecting elevator lobby entrances with Mat-A-Doors® during a move. This set of patented doorway protectors with its “myBekins Cares” decal belongs to Bekins A-1 Atlanta, the first Bekins A-1 branch to become IOMI® Certified Office Movers® and now the first to take Bekins A-1 service quality to the next level by offering Mat-A-Door® protection to commercial customers.
Selling value over price
Gene Salaz, business development, and corporate Senior VP Lance Grooms during myBekins IOMI® training. All key employees at the company’s Georgia, Southern California, and Arizona locations have completed Certified Office Mover® training by the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI®). Training for more company locations is planned.
Getting away to think… (outside the box)
All key employees at Stevens Worldwide company-owned branches get away for offsite IOMI® Certified Office Mover® training, including (L-R) Joe Biskner, president and COO, Mike Sturm, Supervisor, and VP Al Wenzel.
Three generations of Higdons run California Moving Systems in Sacramento, CA, where all key employees at the 43 year-old company became IOMI® Certified Office Movers®. With training complete, the troops are eager to put what they’ve learned into practice. (L-R) Jack Higdon, chairman of the board, Dave Higdon, vice president and his son, Justin Higdon, dispatcher, and Chris Higdon, president & CEO.
On the same page
(L-R) Ed Katz, IOMI® instructor and GRAEBEL Seattle branch employees, Contractor Omar Abraham, Dave Shanko, commercial coordinator, and Nick Blanchet, warehouse and facility manager, during GRAEBEL’s latest round of IOMI® Certified Office Mover® training. New hires and other key personnel from around the country joined the growing ranks of GRAEBEL employees trained in IOMI® best-practice methods, which puts customer service, sales, and operations on the same page.
Angie’s List rewards Vic’s Super Service
FEBRUARY 9, 2010 – Vic’s Moving and Storage, an IOMI® Certified Office Move® serving the Kansas City area, has been awarded the prestigious 2009 Angie’s List Super Service Award. The Super Service Award is granted to companies achieving and maintaining a superior service rating on Angie’s List throughout the year.
Fewer than five percent of companies on Angie’s List meet the eligibility requirements to be considered for the award. Vic’s has been a IOMI® Certified Office Mover® since 2003.
“Vic’s has maintained an “A” average on Angie’s List for the last six years, but this is our first Super Service Award,” said Richard Bitterman, CEO of Vic’s. “Clearly, we emphasize the importance of referrals and repeat customers. Everybody within our organization values this achievement and we are striving to win it again this year.”
Angie’s List began recognizing companies that provide super service 11 years ago.
Vic’s has also won three Page Of Happiness awards given directly by customers at the Angie’s List website.
“I am particularly happy about Angie’s List’s new policy on trade license status for moving companies in the Kansas City area,” said Bitterman.
“With the economy in a recession, moving companies are fighting for fewer and fewer moves. Customers who base their decision to hire a mover solely on the cheapest price fall prey to rogue movers, who are not licensed, practice bait and switch pricing, and work strictly on a cash basis. Angie’s List penalizes non-licensed movers by not allowing good ratings.”
Currently, 750,000 consumers across the US rely on Angie’s List to find the right company or contractor in more than 425 different categories.
Holding the winning hand
Proudly displaying individual IOMI® Certified Office Mover® certificates are (L-R) Metro Washington DC GM Kregg Boreani, ACE CEO and President Larry Lammers, and John Burton, senior VP, Commercial Services Division. All key ACE employees at their metro DC and Orlando branches plus others from the Chicago branch and San Diego headquarters completed the three intense days of training. ACE Relocation Systems, Inc. has eight offices nationwide.
A bird in the hand
John Ramos, operations manager, Suddath Commercial Solutions in Los Angeles, takes time out during IOMI® audit to rescue first a bird then a puppy.
July 31, 2009 KANSAS CITY, MO – Vic’s Moving & Storage, an IOMI® Certified Office Mover®, was voted top local Kansas City moving company in 2008 by the public and joins KMBC-TV’s Best of Kansas City’s A-List .
The residential and commercial mover beat out all other Kansas City moving companies when almost 13,000 ballots were cast. Voting was handled by City Voter, a national rating website where consumers have their say about local services. Click here for City Voter’s page on Vic’s. Vic’s Moving & Storage, which gets most of its business from office moves, is also in the running for Kansas City’s best mover of 2009.
Vic’s earned its Certified Office Mover® designation from the International Office Moving Insitute (IOMI®) in 2003 and offers the total Boxless Move® featuring no-packing-no-unpacking of office desks and lateral file cabinets.
Mark Duke, right, awaits the outcome of the IOMI® Certified Mover® service and procedures audit conducted by Ed Katz, head of the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI®). Duke, owner of Apex & Robert E. Lee Moving & Storage Co., Inc., recently invited Katz back to his Nashville, TN facilities for more IOMI® training.
Mark Gray reports from MoverRecruiter.com this year’s hiring demands have taken “a distinct shift of emphasis away from the traditional first proviso/HHG towards a growing demand for O&I/Commercial talent.”
“Now don’t you wish you had listened to…Ed Katz,” Gray asks. He goes on. “Ed’s been telling you for years to establish and train an O&I division within your company…”
In his report Gray describes Katz, head of the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI®) and founder and former owner of Peachtree Movers in Atlanta, as the country’s foremost expert on the O&I segment of the moving industry.
Gray reports that “while office moving is not guaranteed to be recession proof, it is a fact that during slow economic times that most companies can still benefit from the services of an office mover.”
“One guy has preached to your industry for years about the need to diversify and establish a professional, trained and certified office moving division….Ed Katz,” said Gray. “Now, more than ever is the time to contact ED and avail yourself of his expertise to help you branch out into the O&I field…and do it the right way.”
Mark Gray has recruited exclusively for the moving industry for more than 15 years.
A Certified Smile/span>
Learning to operate a brand new Spider Crane® puts a smile on this employee of Wald Relocation Services, Inc. in Houston, TX, which recently completed IOMI® Certified Office Mover® training. Along with the Spider Crane®, which lifts fully loaded lateral file cabinets, Wald also invested in Space Gobblers™ and Mat-A-Doors® to offer customers earth-friendly Boxless Moves® and to protect office building elevator entrances and doors.
Time to expand office moving services?
Dan Hall, left, general manager at Move It Now corporate headquarters in Cleveland, OH, receives his IOMI® Certified Office Mover® certificate from Instructor Ed Katz. All key corporate personnel were certified during recent training. The company is thinking about offering IOMI® training to franchisees.
Craig Broback, president of GRAEBEL’s Continental Moving Services Group, congratulates attendees during IOMI® training held at the company’s corporate headquarters in Denver. Most trainees were new hires from GRAEBEL’s branches all across the US.
Suddath Commercial Solutions adds two more offices in its drive to IOMI®-Certify every key employee at every branch nationwide.
Steve Suddath, left, chairman of the board of The Suddath Companies, sent a strong message of commitment to International Office Moving Institute (IOMI®) methods by attending a three-day training seminar in which key employees at corporate and two of Suddath’s 16 branches earned Certified Office Mover® status. Here he shares a light moment with IOMI® instructor Ed Katz at Suddath’s Jacksonville, FL headquarters.
Another JK First
JUNE 12, 2008 — Instead of following the followers, JK Moving & Storage has once again blazed a new trail. This time the Sterling, VA mover passed up an opportunity to deliver an infomercial at CBRE’s Washington, D.C.-area monthly property managers’ meeting. Instead, they invited experts in building surface protection and homeland security to speak to nearly 100 CBRE property managers. Rocco Balsamo, left, and Steve Kuhn with JK Moving & Storage show Lynn Neal, senior real estate manager, CBRE Asset Services, a set of JK’s Mat-A-Doors®, which protect elevator frames and lobby-side walls from damage during office moves. Here The Mat-A-Doors® have been set up at an elevator entrance of The Concourse Building, Vienna, VA, where the event took place.
Want to sell your moving company? Hear some street-wise advice from a guy who’s done it. Forty-five minute audio file plays automatically.
Two Men And A Truck’s Annual Meeting
MARCH 16, 2008 — (L-R) Mara Crofoot, Jeffrey Crofoot from northern Michigan, and Steve Black from Minneapolis, MN hear Ed Katz, head of the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI®), explain the benefits of becoming an office mover during Two Men And A Truck’s Annual Meeting held in Birmingham, AL.
Homeland Security hits home
Chief Craig Millsap of the Bartow County Georgia Fire Department trains a delegation of key JK Moving & Storage personnel in the eye-opening role office movers play in Homeland Security during the company’s recertification by the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI®) as Certified Office Movers®. Homeland Security is the newest certification program offered by IOMI®.
FMWA Annual Conference
Ed Katz, left, head of the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI®) drops by to see Mark Gray at his Movers Search Group booth at this year’s Florida Movers & Warehousemen’s Association Annual Conference held in Orlando. Katz captured the attention of trade association members with his presentation on the profit potential of diversifying in office moving.
The Right Answer
Sales Consultant Chad Hopkins thinks he’s arrived at the right answer with IOMI’s proprietary formula for figuring accurate job estimates. Hopkins and other key employees with South Hills Movers of Bethel Park, PA, became the first in 2008 to complete Certified Office Mover® training by the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI).
Graebel Atlanta’s Moses Hurt, Jr. (left), senior project manager, and Darrin Felton, senior supervisor, stretchwrap furniture under the watchful eye of IOMI Instructor Ed Katz during a surprise performance audit.
BMG sets standard in the UK
BMG Branch Manager Dave Stacey, left, oversees an office move in downtown Reading, England. Using Mat-A-Doors® emblazoned with the company logo, BMG safeguards against damage to office doors and jambs. Since all key employees serving the company’s seven UK markets recently completed IOMI® Certified Office Mover® training for the fifth year in row, the company offers consistent office moving standards throughout the UK.
Graebel has become the first moving company to earn certification coast to coast from the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI®). A corporate commitment to deliver the same level of uniform service in all major U.S. markets prompted the Aurora, CO-based mover to provide IOMI training to every key employee at each of its 52 branches nationwide.
When residential customers began asking Able Moving & Storage to move their offices, too, Jim and Joe Singleton knew launching a commercial division takes resources, people, and training.
The competitive edge that generates referrals
Pennsylvania Moving & Storage Associates (PMSA) learn O & I marketing and are challenged to “fan the flicker of ethics” at the group’s Annual Conference and Trade Show held in Harrisburg Oct 18 & 19, 2006.
Loading the lifter
Richard Bitterman, left, owner of Vic’s Moving & Storage in Kansas City, MO, and helpers load the company’s Spider Crane® before moving Chicago Title’s Olathe, KS office. The Spider Crane® lifts fully loaded lateral files, relieving customers of the drudgery and downtime associated with packing up the contents.
Good weather in beautiful Mt. Arlington, NJ near GRAEBEL’s Northeastern branch offices forces Ed Katz, left of center, with the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI®) to move the classroom outdoors. Nearly 30 GRAEBEL Northeastern branch and corporate employees earned their Certified Office Mover® diploma.
And the winner is…
Kris Smurda (left) presents Gustavo Perez, project manager, with an award for being the best instructor during IOMI® recertification training as Steve Kuhn, executive vice president of JK Moving & Storage looks on. Nearly 100 of JK’s movers formed teams to compete in a simulated but full-fledged office move at the company’s Sterling, VA facility. Smurda, JK’s commercial operations manager, devised the contest and coordinated with IOMI® to earn JK’s recertification as Certified Office Movers® for the seventh year in a row.
Chris Bortnichak, corporate training coordinator for Two Men And A Truck, straps down furniture blankets on a full-size mock-up of a moving van at the company’s new training center in Lansing, MI. The center also includes a two story house complete with appliances, a piano, clothes in the closets, and dishes and other breakables in the cabinets. To meet corporate’s high standards, trainee-packed dish barrels are tossed off the back of the moving van. They pass if nothing breaks. Training took center stage at the company’s 11th Annual CSR/Mover/Manager Meeting April 11 and 12.
MARCH 22 – 27, 2006 – Luis Toledo, president of Midwest Moving & Storage in Elk Grove Village, IL believes quality depends on hands-on management as he leads his army of movers from the trenches.
John Parker (left), location manager, and Robin Banker, general manager, for Two Men And A Truck® in Kennesaw, GA. Nation’s largest franchised local moving company focuses on training.
JAN 19, 2006 – President George W. Bush honors JK Moving & Storage by holding a Town Hall Meeting at their facility in Sterling, VA. The president selected JK for the invitation-only event for their small business success story.
Ed Katz, left, of the International Office Moving Institute uses state-of-the-art presentation tools to enhance the learning experience for Olivier Crisostomo during Certified Office Mover® training at Atlanta’s Bulldog Movers.
The Power of Protection
Brian Chapin and Efren Barreras of Graebel Van Lines’ San Jose, CA branch discover the claims-reducing power of The Mat-A-Door® to protect building surfaces during commercial moves, Graebel’s new focus.
The Mat-A-Doors provide a unique marketing advantage, because they scream “We Care” about the building and the furniture we are moving, and the really great thing is it prevents costly claims. When you get a one-two punch like this it makes you realize how much it pays to build the better mouse trap! Kudos, Ed Katz, you have done it again.
Admiral Movers / American Red Ball
Thumbs-up for Vic’s
President of Vic’s Moving & Storage, Richard Bitterman, gets a thumbs-up from security at the TransAmerica building for using The Mat-A-Door® to protect Kansas City’s largest office building lobby-side elevator entrances from damage. As part of their extensive building protection program, Vic’s also uses The Mat-A-Door® to protect interior and exterior glass entrance doors and wooden office doors.
“After completing a high profile office move into the Transamerica Building, the largest office building in Kansas City, the building’s property manager called and thanked me for the superb job we did in his building. According to him, his security and cleaning personnel as well as one of his tenants called him Monday morning to praise the way Vic’s prevented his building from being damaged. I’m convinced that it’s our use of The Mat-A-Doors® that continues to get us this favorable attention. Building managers love them, love us for using them, and then recommend us to their tenants when they have a move,” said Bitterman
Corrigan Moving Systems also uses their Mat-A-Doors® to advertise. In this application, a single Mat-A-Door® panel is Velcro-strapped to a glass entry door.
Does your company have a favorite building protection application or experience using the Mat-A-Door®? Share it by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
•New device moves heavy files, reduces Workers’ Comp cost
APRIL 20, 2012 — The cry for relief from Workers’ Comp claims has been heard and the answer is>>>click here for the full story
International Office Moving Institute IOMI®
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Keep Me Informed
•Midwest Moving & Storage GM on parnering with building managers
•Kansas City’s Vic’s Moving & Storage earns 2011 Angie’s List Super Service Award
•Ace Moving & Storage serving Washington DC becomes an IOMI® Certified Office Mover
•Street-wise advice on selling your moving company [Audio MP3 file plays automatically]
•Midwest Moving & Storage: Recertified, rejuvenated.
• IOMI® recertifies Pittsburgh’s South Hills Movers
• AMSA Direction Magazine, December 2007: Holding up revenues in the wake of the HHG slowdown
• Graebel hit with surprise audit