How the Removals Industry can Embrace the Share Economy

For many established industries, the idea of the share economy is often seen as threatening to business revenue. In this article, we put forward our vision for how the removals industry can embrace elements of the share economy while improving their bottom line.

The sharing economy (or share economy), is an increasingly popular business concept that uses technology to provide the ability for individuals to rent or borrow goods and services rather than buy and own them. At it's core is a mentality of chasing cheaper prices by finding new ways to capitalise on under-utilised resources. But it's not just about price; it's about access, accountability and convenience, too.

Perhaps the most notable case of the share economy disrupting an established market is Uber and the taxi / personal transportation industry. While taxis dominated road-based short-trip transport for decades, the advent of smart phones and internet-based networking enabled Uber to deliver a review-driven, peer-to-peer-based service direct to consumers. Their slogan of "everyone's private driver" tapped in to the market's desire for more convenience and quality when it came to personal transport. Within a few short years, Uber had almost toppled the global taxi industry, whose complacency, failure to adopt to the rising change in technology and inferior service offering has left them with a significantly deminished bottom line.

No doubt you have come across a share economy business at some point in the past few years, whether it's AirBNB, Airtasker, Spacer or Uber. The business philosophy of the share economy is spreading rapidly to many industries as entrepreneurs seek to follow in the footsteps of pioneering share economy giants. Interestingly, however, the removals industry has, so far, remained competetive and "undistrupted" by the share economy model. From our view, there are two main factors that make an uber-to-taxi-style share economy distruption of the removals industry difficult:

  1. The barriers to entry regarding the capital outlay to purchase trucks, moving equipment, storage, etc. 
  2. The value placed by customers on quality care being taken of their belongings warrants spending money on qualified professionals

However, this doesn't mean that the removals industry is immune to share economy distruption. While the industry as a whole might be relatively insulated, our view is that parts of the removal industry are vulnerable to share economy disruption—like the smaller backload market.

This is where Muval comes in. Muval was co-founded by an owner-operator interstate removal company from Sydney. Our aim is to reduce wasted capacity within the industry and utilise tehnology to drive share-economy-style convenience to customers. Our approach is to work from within the removals industry, with established removals businesses, to offer the key benefits of the share economy to consumers: access, accountability and convenience.

Our technology helps removalists with the areas of business that they struggle with most: marketing / finding work opportunities, finding time to do administrative work and communicate with customers in a way that the instant-messaging lifestyle of the 21st century demands. So how does it work? We provide a platform for removal businesses to sell their available space at a price they choose in a consolidated marketplace that consumers can then browse, select and book instantly. Our Muval Driver App helps you communicate more effectively with customers and provide GPS tracking for your trucks. Finally, our removals business management software provides all the neccesary tools to schedule your trips, manage your fleet, quote on new opportunities, and do your paperwork.

Here are a few of Muval's key features:

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Schedule your trips

Scheduling and managing your trips has never been easier. Enter your trip information in to Muval to keep track of all of your customer information. Assign your trips to your drivers, keep track of available space and add multiple jobs to trips if your are backloading.

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Track your trucks

Muval makes it easy to keep track of where your trucks are and when. Our integrated mobile-apps give drivers up-to-date trip information, pick up and delivery information and track the truck's movement via GPS. Your dashboard shows where all of your drivers are.

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Real-time customer updates

Are your customers always calling to find out where their items are? No more. Muval gives customers a tracking number to see where their truck is at any point. Muval will also send automated SMS updates alerting them when their truck is nearby.

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Create job sheets

Since all of your job information is contained within Muval, creating job sheets to give to your drivers is done in a single click. All job information is also distributed in real-time via the drivers apps, giving your drivers all of the information they need on the road.

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Send condition reports

Keep an inventory of all items being transported and their condition at pick-up. Our driver apps have the ability to take photos of all of the items being moved which are then uploaded securely to the server for later reference if there is a dispute.

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Customer feedback

Get feedback from your customers directly after every job to help you know what you're doing right, and where you can improve. You can choose which testimonials you use to promote your business to future customers.

So, what does this mean for the removals industry? We believe the taxi industry could have been better prepared for Uber by embracing new technological change and maintaining a mindset of embracing innovation. We are putting Muval forward as our solution to how the removals industry can offer the elements of the share economy that consumers are looking for while developing profitable business with established removal companies. We hope you'll join us in our vision of a thriving removals industry for many decades to come.

If you'd like to talk further about how you can use Muval in your removals business, please call 1300 1 MUVAL or register your removals business here.

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