Labour trumps technology

Oct 31 | 2022

The thoughts of Larry Kruger, from McWilliams Moving and Storage, Canada, about the importance of people vs technology.

Larry Kruger Unless you are living in a parallel universe, or locked in the orbit of an overly optimistic account representative, labour is by far the most important aspect of the relocation industry, as of right now.

For years the moving industry has been trying to explain to corporations and RMCs that we suffer from a serious labour shortage. This takes in drivers, admin, and especially the crews, the extremely hard-working labour, that schlepp the furniture to and from the truck. All our warnings fell on deaf ears until this same experience started to hit every industry. After attending the CERC conference, the single overarching challenge and topic for discussion was the shortage of people. From the corporation’s hunt for talent (and hunt is the right visual) to every single service provider.

Discussion all centered around people, not groovy dashboards. I have long said technology is great for tracking and reporting but does very little to address the labour problem. Case in point, Air Canada, pre-pandemic, was ranked as one of the best airlines in the world. It has some of the best technology in the industry.  This tech-savvy, multibillion-dollar transportation organisation took a nosedive because of the lack of baggage handlers and other ‘labour’. You could see your flight being cancelled on your smartphone, your tablet, your laptop, even on your smart watch. Real-time tracking of your flight flashed ‘CANCELLED’, in red, instantly on your device. So cool and colourful, the tech really worked great. Your luggage tags with their barcode scanned and electronically tracked all disappeared into mountains of lost and unclaimed baggage staging stations. Literally warehouses full of pissed-off customers’ luggage just piled up.  To be fair this was not exclusive to Air Canada but rather an industry-wide mess ...

Photo: Larry Kruger, McWilliams Moving and Storage.

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