All US DOD and department of state moves are handled according to a set of standard procedures. What makes it challenging is the frequency with which these types of transferees move – some of them once every 2 years. Regardless of the original quality of the furniture the stress it gets subjected to makes it challenging to make it arrive at destination in the same condition it left its left point of origin. The mechanics are the same around the world. Here are the main steps:
A local crew does a pickup and brings the load to a local warehouse or loads a container at the residence.
For international moves liftvans are brought onsite to load the packed inventory into.
Packed inventory is loaded into liftvans that get sealed and the customer signs off on the inventory, including the list of liftvans, before the crew can leave.
Liftvans may get loaded into a container right at the residence if the circumstances allow for it.
In case of large moves a packout may take multiple days and sometimes the mover is forced to transfer the packed goods to a warehouse at the end of each day and load the liftvans there.
When liftvans arrive at a warehouse they need to be weighed, banded and marked.
Upon release from a warehouse the liftvans are loaded into a shipping container.
Upon arrival at the next hub the liftvans are offloaded from a sea container into a warehouse.
The liftvans get loaded to a delivery truck or to a truck transferring the liftvans to the next hub, which may or may not belong to neither origin nor the destination agent’s company.
And finally the shipment liftvans are delivered to a destination residence.
With at least one export and one import customs authorities to deal with, along with different languages, custom regulations and third-party carriers and intermediaries, it’s hard to underestimate the importance of a tight packing inventory control process. At a minimum, there are 2 points of inventory transfer in a described process and traditionally very little computer power controlling the process. And that leads to all sorts of trouble - from the “missing pieces” to missing liftvans and fraudulent damage claims.
How do we know all this? Because some of the largest DOD movers have turned to Voxme to help set up a digital, barcode based inventory control system to help them be as efficient as possible given the increased volumes, raising insurance costs and US TRANSCOM mandate for electronic inventories.
What Voxme system does is blend the right doze of technology into the established process. In practical terms it means:
Printing labels for the crews going to pickups.
Dispatching inventory jobs to the crews’ tablets and smartphones – that’s right, smartphones. No need to buy any special equipment.
Allowing the pickup crews to label boxes and furniture and quickly create a packing list with the sufficient level of content details, preexisting damage descriptions and photos to avoid insurance claims.
Adding item details such as member progear, spouse member progear, high risk/high value items, firearms.
Allowing the crew to create a list of liftvans with all the details including seal number and photos.
Printing more labels in the warehouse when the crews come back from pickup.
Allowing multiple crews to add to the same inventory on successive days whilst allowing the transferee and the office to see the up-to-date inventory at any time.
Scanning pieces into liftvans and printing full size liftvan labels with all relevant shipping info.
Scanning liftvans into their warehouse locations.
Scanning liftvans out of the warehouse into a container or to a trucking company.
Scanning liftvans into the next hub.
Dispatching delivery jobs to the destination agent for electronic delivery bingo check-off.
Does it mean that you have to do all of the above? Absolutely not. You can start with simple digital inventory and go from there. Talk to us and we’ll help you add efficiency and control to your established paper based processes. That’s what we’ve been doing for the last 20 years and that’s what you need to satisfy US TRANSCOM electronic inventory mandate starting from May 15, 2023