“Bankers tell me our business is a leading barometer for the economic condition of our local community as well as the nation”, states Pam Turner, co-owner Turner Moving & Storage, a division of Turner Logistics Corp. Why is that? Logistics are involved in almost every industry and moving/storage hinges heavily on residential real estate and the sentiment of captains of industry. We feel the economic pinch last and are on the road to recovery first, usually before any other industry. The opinion seems to be confirmed by the latest industry news: there will be more tonnage this summer (household goods) than all of the commercial carriers combined will be able to accomodate.
Are we really pulling out of the recession? Pam Turner says she is no economist but she is hopefully optimistic based on the traffic she is seeing both in phone calls and in actual bookings. “Each moring our office staff walks in to no less than four phone messages requesting estimates and Mondays are even better!” And she reports Turner Moving and Storage booking percentages are increasing exponentially. The long-time small, local company is trying to get the word out to all would-be home sellers to call their mover the second there’s an inkling of an offer on your home. Home buyers should contact their mover as soon as they make an offer just to get thier name in the pipeline. Their 60+ years of success makes them a leader among moving companies who she is advising for the first time in years to maintain a waiting list for your potential customers if you want to remain in the public’s good graces! “There are going to be a lot of unpleasantly surprised customers this summer because last minute planning will inevitably result in more expense.” She has her staff contacting Realtors via phone and email every chance they get to spread the word. Title Companies, according to Turner, are the folks who can really make a difference to our mutual customers. When service conflicts arise Turner asks the customer to put their title company representative in touch with them so they can work to find an amicable solution for everyone concerned.
Not only is the moving and storage business picking up, but the records management and document storage is experiencing increased volume as well. Turner Records Management has offered limited services to a select few businesses in the Napa Valley for years but utilized the slow economy to improve the records related infrastructure in hopes of capturing more business. They’ve created a complex software system and matching operational procedures to accomodate expected traffic and it is looking like the hard work is paying off. Because of their existing facility they are able to offer these services, including confidential and certified shredding, for less than anyone else in town. The project is a completely separate entity from Turner Moving and Storage but it is operated and managed by the same staff the Napa Valley has trusted for years.
The family owned business always tries to look out for the good of the community as a whole. As storage is abandoned or reusable items donated to the charitable arm of the business known as Napa Youth, the staff looks for opportunities to help out a neighboring small business or a non-profit foundation in need of supplies. “We recently came into a large amount of office discard in the course of moving a local branch of a national corporation” says Randy Turner. “They asked if we could take the ‘stuff’ (equivalent to three truckloads of inventory) to the dump.” Aware of how his small business has struggled during the recession, he presumed there must be others so asked the regional manager if they would like to donate the discard instead. Given the tax write-off the response was affirmative. Turner Logistics staff made calls and we were able to provide an entire remodel for the front office of a school in the Napa district. In addition, paper, binders, pens, file cabines and file folders went to schools, small businesses and other Napa non-profits. Everything found a new home and the local landfill was spared a whole lot of intake.
We’ve relearned a lot of things we’ve always known during this recession, muses the Turners. There are an awful lot of good people in the world who will go the extra mile to help their neighbor. The old adage our parents used – waste not want not – is as relevant now as it was in the great depression. If you owe someone money call them on a regular basis – without fail. And perhaps my personal favorite [Pam], in the larger scheme of things, family is the most important asset one can have.