Advance Relocation System
Over the past few weeks, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread like wildfire across the United States and the world, infecting hundreds of thousands of people and taking thousands of lives in very short timeframes. Here in Baltimore, most businesses have been forced to close their doors unless they are deemed an ‘essential business’ like Advance Relocation Systems. As we try our best to continue to provide all our services at this time, here’s an update from our President, Dalton Conklin on some of the changes we’ve made and how our business has been impacted by the Coronavirus.
Decrease in moving household goods
Our company has seen about a 50 - 60% reduction in moves and the majority of this has come from the residential moving side of our business. Understandably, people don’t want strangers in their homes at this time and since moving can oftentimes be a hefty expense, people are trying their best to cut spending unless absolutely necessary. Also, since most social gatherings and events have been canceled/postponed, we’ve noticed a decline in trade show exhibit and museum moving which usually makes up a lot of our work this time of year.
With a decrease in revenue, how are we still supporting staff?
We are pursuing some of the options out there through the Small Business Association (SBA), and we have applied for the paycheck protection program. It is our goal to attempt to secure funding through the SBA and our other long term resources, such as our bank, to be able to weather this storm without losing our staff and being able to maintain our independent contractors. We currently have the majority of our clerical staff working from home and this will continue over the next few weeks even with a projection of increased cases.
We have managed to maintain about 80% of our staff and we have retained 100% of our independent contractors which are the drivers and helpers that perform the service at this point. Advance Relocation Systems has been in business over 80 years now and even when we’ve faced trials in the past (9/11 and the market crash in 2008, etc) we’ve never cut back on our staff and we fully intend to keep them on during this difficult time.
What safety measures are in place for drivers, packers and other staff?
The health and safety of our drivers and staff have been of paramount importance during this period. We are adhering to all imposed guidelines as it relates to the constant cleaning and sanitation of our trucks. We are also practicing physical distancing and we are issuing personal protection equipment (PPE) to all of our team members that are required to work in the field or in our warehouse. We are also avoiding hotspot areas such as New York City.
The last few weeks have been a very uncertain time for us all. According to projections, we could be in this situation for a few more months. Our goal throughout all of this is to continue operating as normal and service just about any request that our clients have. We are trying to maintain as much normalcy as we can. We are doing everything to protect our clients, drivers, helpers and all of our staff by following the CDC guidelines. We’re also constantly monitoring any changes in these guidelines.