How Can the Small Removal and Man and Van Businesses Compete With Large Removal Companies?

There are two main business orientations: the cost and/or quality orientation. The traditionalists argue that the companies can either become cost or quality efficient but not both. In modern times however, all businesses; removal services in particular, work to balance between the cost and quality of services they offer. The key to the competitive advantage in the domestic and commercial removal market is the management of cost and quality.

The small removal service firms or man and van businesses can compete with their larger equivalents on both; the service quality and price. This is due to the fact that the small removal firms involve small number of people engaged in the delivery of service. An average man and van business for example consists of a single tradesman. He or she does everything what the business needs starting from marketing through accounting to service delivery. As far as the small removal firm is concerned the operational workload is normally equally spread between all members of the team. A typical employee of a small removal company is multi-skilled and capable of doing wide variety of jobs in the organisation. The management of a small removal company is less concerned about strict operational policies typical to large companies. In a man and van type of organisation the employer expects from the employee to apply common sense at work rather then obeying a set of complicated policies.

Conversely, a typical large removal company involves large number of people. This kind of business organisation is normally managed from a single office where all employees are based. In the large removal firm the employees are less multi-skilled. They are expected to perform only relevant to their expertise repetitive tasks. The customer service co-workers deal only with customer enquiries, the sales person’s responsibility is to sell as many as possible removal and other related to it services; the accountant should run company’s books. All these make running a large removal business an expensive one. Larger removal firms find it hard to compete on price with small removal companies. This is because their running costs are significantly larger then the cost of running a small business.

The workers employed in a small removal or a man and van company lack specialisation. As a result man and van enterprises are going to find it hard to compete with large removal companies on service quality. The key players on the removal service and man and van market spend significant amount of their profits on staff training, policy development and brand management. It allows them to deliver high quality removal services in a consistent manner. Nevertheless, the high consistency of service delivery and service specialisation can only be delivered at the cost of inflexibility. The number of policies and procedures in large removal companies make them less responsive to spontaneous service requests. It is not unusual for the domestic removal service user to find that due to the health and safety or insurance schedule their order cannot be completed according to their expectations. In contrast, the smaller often family run removal service companies are more responsive at short notice and more flexible on the range of services possible to deliver.

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