Sometimes in the world, you have a leader who despite the hard work you know they are doing, you never get to see their face (I’m looking at you Charlie from Charlie’s Angels. Thank you to Lauren Henderson for reminded me of Charlie’s absence from the screen). Here at E.E. Ward, we got the privilege of having the General Manager of our Parent Company North American Van Lines, Dan Robertson, come in and visit us on Wednesday. From the moment Dan entered, he was ready to meet everyone in the office with a smile on his face. Everyone was excited to meet him, especially Lisa, one of our great customer service representatives.
I had the chance to talk to Mr. Robertson and to get some answers from a man who has been in the moving business for 4 Decades!
Scott Eisen: Can you tell me about your background and how you became the President of North American Van Lines?
Dan Robertson: When I was going to college in Canada, I worked as a mover for North American Van Lines. From there, I went on to be a sales agent in Canada. Throughout my life, I have worked in this company in sales, operations, management, and logistics. I also worked in several places in the U.S. and worked my up to become the General Manager of North American Van Lines.
Scott: What is different about the industry from when you started?
Dan: How you acquire customers has changed dramatically. It used to be that you would use the yellow pages to find a mover, but now it’s all about the Internet and social media to get customers. Also, the demands of the customers have changed since I started 40 years ago, and also the amount of competition today is so much greater.
Scott: What do you think is the future of relocation services in the next 15 years?
Dan: There will be more emphasis on the customers’ needs and as their desires change, so will the operations of the company. Also, with the Internet now serving as a hub for business meeting, people will have to relocate less for jobs. Furthermore, the company as a whole will have to become more efficient to stay strong with the changing times.
Scott: What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
Dan: Driving down costs for agents while maintaining our excellent customer service.
Scott: What should people know they begin the process of relocation?
Dan: Do your homework so you know who you have to deal with, take your time to get rid of things you don’t need,
and make sure you have solid expectations of the process.
Scott: What would you say to someone entering the relocation business?
Dan: It’s a great business for one with an entrepreneurial mind, but it requires hard work. It is never boring.
Scott: Okay, last question. What would you do if you were not in this business?
Dan: I would probably be a doctor