It’s fascinating to track a typical journey of a customer inventory throughout an international move. The mechanics are the same around the world as the same scenarios play out over and over again. Here are the main steps:
A local crew does a pick up and brings the load to a local warehouse or loads a container at the residence.
For military and government moves liftvans are brought onsite to load the goods into.
Sometimes the same crew picks up multiple loads before arriving at the warehouse. In case of large moves a packout may take multiple days before the last day of the origin service when loading takes place. Sometimes the mover is forced to transfer the packed goods to a warehouse at the end of each day.
Once in a warehouse, the pieces packed onsite get palletized or loaded into storage vaults. Invariably oversized items like bikes, canoes, mattresses, etc, get stored separated in designated oversized items areas. Pallets and storage vaults locations get recorded in a warehouse system and a pallet/storage label is produced to identify the job.
Upon release the pieces are loose loaded into a container or into shipping liftvans or loaded onto pallets.
Upon arrival at the destination agent’s warehouse the pieces get palletized or loaded into storage vaults (if they came loose) or the shipping pallets and liftvans are received from a carrier or offloaded from a sea container.
Loose pieces or liftvans or pallets or a mix of both get loaded to a delivery truck, which may or may not belong to the destination agent’s company.
And finally the shipment is delivered loose at destination.
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 these 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 and shrinking move sizes.
In a nutshell 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’s tablets and smartphones - thats’ 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 mixups and insurance claims.
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 in a warehouse, be it onto pallets, liftvans, shipping containers or storage vaults or oversized items areas and Printing full size pallet and storage labels.
Scanning loose pieces or entire pallets and liftvans out of the warehouse into a container or to a trucking company.
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.