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FIDI Focus, published in the UK and the voice of the international moving industry, took note of our story below about JK’s latest Certified Office Mover recertification, and featured the event in their September issue [PDF].

FIDI is a global group of international movers that created a structure for handling goods being moved from one country to another. All of its affilitates have made a considerable investment in creating the world’s only alliance bound by a single certification process that measures their competence. The FIDI alliance has over 500 companies in 100 countries.


Movers give themselves a hand when winning teams are announced during recertification training. The commercial moving division of JK Moving & Storage in Sterling, VA virtually shut down when nearly 100 full-time movers took part in a contest of office moving skills.

Contest highlights JK’s IOMI recertification training

JUNE 12 – 16, 2006 STERLING,VA – JK Moving & Storage blazed new trails on their way to earning a seventh straight International Office Moving Institute (IOMI) recertification as Certified Office Movers.

The four-day advanced training program was the first ever to feature a contest of office moving skills, the brainchild of JK’s Kris Smurda, commercial operations manager. By all accounts, the competition was a big hit with participants. Members of the winning crews each received a $25 gift certificate.

Teams were judged on identical moves. Instructors purposely sabotaged each one and crews were graded on how well they could identify and overcome problems. For instance, no time limit was set for the move but the estimate given was unrealistically low for the amount of work involved.
“Part of the challenge was for the supervisor to realize that he couldn’t finish within the estimated time. The supervisor got 10 additional points if he contacted his Operations Manager, Kris Smurda, about the situation,” said Ed Katz, IOMI instructor.

The contest took two full days. The first day crews participated in hands-on training then showed off their freshly honed skills during the contest on day two.

Nearly 100 full-time movers were divided into teams of 10 and given simulated but full-fledged office moves.

Crews were evaluated and judged by IOMI staff, pretend customers and JK managers. Each crew earned points based upon their ability to deal with issues and perform tasks pertaining to the customer, moving sensitive computers, loading the moving van, handling the furniture and following the floor plan when placing the furniture.

While half of the employees participated in the contest, the other half were in class refreshing their skills on loading a truck, bubble wrapping computers, inflating Space Gobblers™ in desk drawers, dollying up fully loaded lateral file cabinets using the Spider Crane, and putting down and installing extensive building protection.
In order to benefit from all aspects of the training, JK’s commercial division virtually shut down for most of the training sessions. All of the company’s full-time employees, including sales personnel, project managers, customer service representatives, supervisors, drivers and movers participated in the training.

Training was held at JK’s new 85,000-square-foot commercial facility in Sterling, VA.

Aptly introduced as Ed Katz, Lord High Master Mover, the head of the International Office Moving Institute put JK’s commercial division through several hours of hands-on training with the Spider Crane, Space Gobblers™, the best practice methods for protecting and transporting computers, loading a moving van, and protecting glass desk tops from being damaged. Then he announced the contest in which the top two winning crews would receive a prize.

Once the closely guarded secret contest was revealed, the movers liked the idea.

Credit Kris Smurda (right), Commercial Operations Manager, with the contest idea. Here he kicks things off by reviewing the Scope of Services for the simulated moves.

Commercial division visionary leader and JK Executive Vice president, Steve Kuhn, enjoys his employees’ reaction to the contest announcement. All of JK’s project managers, supervisors, and foremen gave up their Sunday to learn the best practice techniques for managing the move process and supervising personnel.

Each JK employee was recertified in the best methods for using their Space Gobblers™. Inflated in desk drawers, Space Gobblers™ eliminate employee downtime to pack drawer contents into boxes by immobilizing them. Once the desk drawers were secured by Space Gobblers™, JK crews practiced the best practice method for dollying up a desk with the contents still inside.

All JK movers were tested to ensure that they knew how to operate the company’s several Spider Cranes. Together with Space Gobblers™, the Spider Crane® allows moving companies to offer a “boxless” move. JK is the only Certified Office Mover in their market that offers the “boxless” move.

Teams were evaluated on how well they protect each computer with two layers of anti-static bubble wrap (with the bubbles facing the bubbles). JK is the only Certified Office Mover in their market that wraps every computer component with two layers of anti-static bubble wrap. Once components are on the cart, it’s wrapped with tinted shrink wrap to seal out rain and protect the contents from the prying eyes of would-be theives.

While crews were graded on how well they installed the extensive building protection inside the brand new office space, Shirley Kuhn (left foreground) played the role of an impatient customer to test their reaction under pressure.

Crews that followed the JK labeling system and placed each piece of furniture in exactly the right place without the customer’s help received a high score.

JK went all out and hired a five-star caterer, who provided a healthy, gourmet lunch for participants each day during training. Ed Katz reports gaining five pounds in just four days.

Teams were graded on how well they protected furniture as it was loaded onto moving vans. Gustavo Perez, project manager, taught his crew the best-practice floating method for loading a moving van, by keeping the furniture on dollies while on the truck. Steve Kuhn, JK’s executive vice president, looks on as Operations Manager Kris Smurda presents Perez with an award for being the best JK instructor.

Operations Manager, Kris Smurda, announces the winners of the contest. Two teams were each awarded a grand prize.

IOMI Instructor Ed Katz also spent two days with the sales force to ensure that they produce accurate estimates so that moves consistently finish on time for the price quoted. Under Katz’ watchful eye, Laura Ware and Brad Van Kleeck survey an actual customer’s office furniture and contents.


DECEMBER 6-7, 2004 – IOMI’s Ed Katz role plays with movers at JK Moving & Storage. About 100 new and veteran employees participated in the second wave of recertification training at JK for 2004, the first sessions being held last June. JK, one of the country’s most successful office movers, relies on on-going training to reenforce the company’s precedures, systems, techniques, and operations.

<<< To minimize injuries and property damage, IOMI operations training emphasizes how to safely dolly-up and handle heavy office furniture such as vertical file cabinets.

Movers were divided into groups, which rotated through specialized equipment training stations each hour. Employees learned to operate the Spider Crane to move fully loaded lateral files, protect sensitive electronics with Comp-U-Wraps®, install and inflate Space Gobblers™ to relieve customers of packing and unpacking desk contents, and protect office doors and elevators entrances with The Mat-A-Door®.

Pictured: JK movers carefully stretchwrap a cart full of computer components protected with Comp-U-Wraps®.

Ed Katz of IOMI worked with Mark, Laura, Arnie, Rocco, and Joseph, the sales team at JK, to estimate moves accurately so jobs finished on time for the price quoted.


“Monthly, on-going training, unheard of in an industry notorious for OJT at the customer’s expense, has helped JK set moving-industry standards in metropolitan Washington, DC,” said Ed Katz, seminar leader and head of IOMI.

Sterling, VA/Mar 15-16, 2003 – At JK Moving & Storage, crewmembers learn safe-packing techniques from the International Office Moving Institute. At JK, computers always get a protective two-layers of bubble wrap before being moved.
For the fourth year in a row, JK Moving & Storage hosted two intense days of recertification training by the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI). JK’s goal? To minimize damage and downtime, complete jobs on-time for the price quoted, and become the best, most user-friendly mover in their markets. It seems to be working. Moving companies across the US and Canada have appealed to JK for the opportunity to franchise “the JK way.

Instructor Ed Katz, standing, of the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI) interacts with JK Moving & Storage employees during two-day recertification training. All JK managers, project managers, supervisors, foremen and movers participated in the latest round of IOMI training, which covered accurate estimating and “boxless” moving devices and techniques.