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Conference Report: EUROMOVERS

Aug 13, 2013
On 22-26 May, 2013, in the timeless city of Istanbul, Thomas Juchum, Manager of the Head Office of EUROMOVERS International, welcomed delegates to the 9th EUROMOVERS conference in the classic Ottoman Legacy Hotel. It was a perfect venue for what is always a friendly and productive meeting of the EUROMOVERS family.


 

Thomas first introduced Dennis Zonneveld, the EUROMOVERS Chairman, who explained the theme of the conference - Quality, Integrity and Exclusivity – which mirrored the values of the organisation.  Dennis went on to thank the conference sponsors: Reason Global, the only dedicated Lloyds Broker for the moving industry; RoldoRent, suppliers of containers, boxes and roll cages; and Container Plus who provide containers to the moving and self storage industry.

 

 

The Mover magazine

Speakers for the first business session included Steve Jordan, Editor of The Mover, who explained a little about the magazine that, since its introduction in April 2011, has gained a worldwide following and, as it enters its third year of production is becoming increasingly international in its coverage and content.  Steve explained that The Mover was started because he felt that the whole of the moving industry was disenfranchised as all other publications were run by organisations.  “If you are not a member of one of the organisations you are starved of information and denied a voice.  Even if you are entitled to receive and contribute to a trade publication you only have the voice the publisher will allow you to have.  We started The Mover because we care about the moving industry and felt that it deserved a more inclusive and open communication.”

 

Quality Austria

Next up was Martin Nussbaumer, a lead auditor from Quality Austria. Martin is able to provide certification for both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 and is currently the appointed auditor for EUROMOVERS in Germany.  He explained in his presentation that Quality Austria is able to provide auditing services worldwide either though its own offices or as a member of the global IQ network.

 

He provided an overview of integrated management systems and demonstrated how using Standards in an integrated way can help ensure that they work for a business and are not just a drain on it.  “Are we successful because of our management system or despite it,” he said.  “We must constantly measure analyse and improve. It’s not just about getting a piece of paper on the wall.  A management system will keep you moving forward and stop you from rolling back.  It will help you to motivate employees, improve internal communication, create straightforward documentation and develop effective and efficient processes. Doing the right things right.”

 

Brian Limperopulos, from IAM completed the formal speeches (see article below) leaving the remainder of the conference dedicated to industry awards and networking.

Photos: Top to bottom - Thomas Jachum, Denis Zonneveld, Martin Nussbaumer, Brian Limperopulos


                                                                                                                                           


Brian Limperopulos Programs Manager, International Association of
Movers (IAM) addressed the EUROMOVERS members in Istanbul to explain a little of the history of the organisation and the benefits of membership.  In particular he looked closely at the organisation’s nascent Receivable Protection Plan (RPP) that saw impressive growth in 2012.

 

Brian explained that IAM is the largest international association in the moving industry worldwide with 2,300 members in 175 countries. IAM was originally formed in 1962 (then called Household Goods Forwarders Association of America (HGFAA)) to represent moving companies engaged in US military work.  Since then their overseas agents have joined too to create a global network.  Today the membership of IAM continues to grow.  “We are seeing the GDP growth of emerging countries reflected in our own growth in new members,” Brian explained.                                 

Membership protection

IAM has a multi-layered strategy designed to protect its members including a Code of Ethics to which all
members are expected to adhere. 


 

IAM requires new members to have been in business for at least one year, provide a copy of its business registration and disclose the names of all its principals and provide photographs. “This all helps us determine whether a company constitutes a threat to our existing membership,” he said. 

 

The organisation monitors the use of its trademark worldwide and responds quickly to any company using it fraudulently.  “The trademark provides legitimacy and credibility to the company,” said Brian.  “If people use it wrongly we immediately ask them to take it down as this reflects badly on the rest of the organisation.”

 

IAM also works hard to forge strong relationships with other industry organisations worldwide including AMSA, CAM, FEDEMAC, FIDI, EUROMOVERS, LACMA, PAIMA and other national organisations.  It has also focussed strongly on building closer contact with governmental agencies that regulate the industry to make sure that they are protecting the consumer while not over regulating the industry.

 

Receivable Protection Plan (RPP)

The keystone of the IAM proposition in recent years has been its emerging RPP designed to offer some protection to member organisations in the event of anther member going out of business.  Brian explained that RPP was a voluntary service that had, so far, been adopted by 145 members.  It had recently seen rapid growth in membership as the level of service within the scheme had increased to provide greater value: 108 of those members had joined in 2012 alone.   Currently the fund has a pay out limit of $4,000 however Brian said that this would increase as more members
joined.  “This is not a lot but this is a voluntary members’ programme.  We have to put in compensation caps initially to protect the viability of the fund so that it doesn’t get raided in a single year.

 

IAM also includes within RPP an Invoice Dispute Resolution service that has been running for some time but formalised in 2011. Members can request IAM intervention for debts with other IAM members that are over 90 days old.  If a debt of over $10,000 remains unpaid the creditor can request the expulsion of the debtor from IAM.   IAM will also name and shame transgressors in its monthly Alleged Debtors List provided to RPP members.  “This provides RPP members with advanced business knowledge to find out who is not paying their bills within the Association and  to make appropriate adjustments.”

 

Brian closed his presentation with a short commercial encouraging IAM members to join RPP.  He said that there is a one-time enrolment fee of $650 and a $100 annual fee thereafter.  More information can be found at www.iamovers.org/rpp.html or you can e-mail Brian at brianl@iamovers.org.

Photo:  Delegates enjoying the conference

 

  


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    


 



Party night at EUROMOVERS was held at the classically Turkish Kervansaray Restaurant & Night Club close to the famous (now slightly more famous) Taskim Square in the heart of Istanbul. Kervansaray has been the place to go and the place to be seen in Istanbul for over 60 years and is still very impressive today.

It was a fabulous night for all those who are fans of belly dancing, and many were.  The food and drink too was typically Turkish as expected.  A truly unforgettable evening and a great way to round off a fabulous conference.

 

 

 Photos: Bellydancing at the conference

 

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