COVID-19 Client Update
March 18, 2020
To RMR’s Valued Clients:
I wanted to update our trusted clients and relocation partners on the state of moving and RMR’s efforts and focus towards adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am sure that you are all equally consumed and concerned with this rapidly changing and unprecedented phenomenon that is impacting our lives and businesses. The closing of schools, enforced business lock downs, and transit and other disruptions to our normal lives are causing many of us to work from home and cope with these sudden changes. Moving is stressful during the best of times and RMR’s ability to communicate rapidly, remotely and accurately is paramount to your being supported in this time of confusion and disruption.
Rather than repeat the multitude of warnings, procedures and updates on COVID-19, which are available on the web sites of the Center for Disease Control and prevention ( www.cdc.gov ), the World Health Organization ( www.who.int ) and many other Internet portals, I wanted to discuss what RMR knows; what we are doing about it; and what we recommend at this time:
What We Know:
The federal government and many individual states are implementing measures to “flatten the curve” of the pandemic’s growth. These measures have curtailed activities, closed businesses and limited our mobility. These edicts are changing and evolving rapidly to meet the threat, with further controls likely to be put in place as the number of infections increase exponentially.
International travel has been severely limited by border closings and domestic travel is being threatened. Food and other critical supplies are in short supply at various times and places. In some major metropolitan areas and other communities mandated “lock-downs” are in place with the likelihood of more to come. The government is doing their best to harness these threats, minimize their impact and avoid panic – which wafts in the air.
Please be aware that there is the possibility of continued greater and stronger responses by the government to totally curtail movement of its citizens for their own protection – which would impact the country’s logistical supply chain, including moving. Moving and real estate transactions would obviously be severely affected beyond the current constraints and uncertainties we face today.
RMR is focused on staying ahead of the curve and delivering the most controlled relocation management services as possible under the circumstances – protecting our clients and their employees is our sole focus.
What is RMR doing to help me manage and protect my Corporate and Lump Sum employees who are moving?
First and foremost, if cell phones and the Internet remain operational, so does RMR. As you may be aware, RMR offers its corporate, university and hospital relocation managers online access to move management. This includes data reporting, online initiation and status updating. Click to request access.
RMR had previously closed its physical Servers and switched to remote management of its databases through the Microsoft Azure Cloud Network. Our Customer Service/Operations managers are poised to manage your moves remotely from home just as effectively as they can from our offices. To expedite service and minimize your transferees’ physical contact in their homes, RMR is adding an increased utilization of remote phone and video surveys to determine service needs and estimated costs.
Like all of us, RMR’s moving suppliers have many important issues they are confronting:
- How to provide customers with the best possible care under difficult circumstances.
- How to protect the lives of their employees, contractors and their families during an incredibly uncertain time.
- Safely and competently fulfilling their obligations to pack, load and deliver shipments during this crisis.
- Since they cannot trust that what exists today as a rule of operation will not change tomorrow, they must maintain flexibility to the changing scene as it develops.
- Trying to forecast the direction and impact of the shut-down stages that are being mandated, including the remote but dire possibility of a supply chain collapse that could impact moving, transit, medical/food supplies, as well as public safety.
- The moving industry, the government and RMR are trying to interpret these threats to ensure the protection of all employees, while working toward controlled success for your moves.
We are in frequent dialogue with our suppliers, monitoring news and government broadcasts, and having regular strategy meetings to try to better understand and prepare for the short- and long-term impact of these events as they unfold.
What RMR recommends:
Our primary concern is to protect our customers, movers, partners and our employees. With that in mind, here are some pertinent thoughts to consider:
- Depending on circumstance, you may want to consider curtailing moving and real estate transactions for some of your corporate-based and controlled moves until the crisis is under control – especially if your employees are in “Quarantine” (either self-directed or medically imposed), travelled to any of the countries that the CDC/WHO list on their web sites, or been in contact with those that have the potential for “community transference.”
- The same would be true for any “affinity” or “lump sum” moves that are traditionally more self- directed by the employee and less under our collective control.
RMR’s managers and moving suppliers are actively supporting all moves
without a lapse in service, however many different factors could impact
service immediately and drastically:
- Real Estate “closing failures” because of transit or business restrictions.
- The closing of Truck-Stops and other fueling stations around the country.
- A general shutdown/curfew of business operations by government mandate.
- A worsening of the spread of the Corona Virus with the potential for civil disruption where drivers become concerned for their families and head home.
- A spreading of the Corona Virus where a driver’s own health is impacted; they cannot continue and are sidelined for their own health reasons.
- To better protect your employees and RMR’s suppliers, your transferring corporate/university controlled or “lump sum” employees need to consider whether they should postpone their move.
- As much as you would not want a mover to come to your employee’s home after being in contact with someone potentially infected from a past move, RMR’s moving suppliers do not want their employees to be exposed themselves. A candid discussion about transference is necessary for everyone’s sake.
- We suggest that you emphasize to your employees that this is not the time to take any unnecessary risks with their health or the health of others that they come in contact with – as moving is a very “close contact” activity.
RMR’s Service Providers are doing their best to rapidly assimilate to this situation. We will continue to monitor and manage these events. Your help in communicating the situation with your transferees is implicit in the success of these efforts.
In closing, please be aware that RMR is prepared and completely focused on protecting your employees, representing your company/university/hospital in providing the objective and expert orchestration, management, and audit of your moves. We remain flexible to customize our approach to any concerns that you may have. Please do not hesitate to contact RMR’s Customer Service Managers or me directly at any time with your general or specific questions during this trying time.