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Pacific Coast Business Times: A Moving Experience

January 18, 2007

A moving experience
SLO’s Meathead opens branch in Camarillo

Pacific Coast Business Times
By Nora R. Mendoza
January 12-18, 2007

At Meathead Movers, employees are paid to work out as they fulfill clients moving needs.

Meathead Movers, a full time service premium-moving provider, opened a 5,700 square foot branch in Camarillo on Jan 1. This year also marks the company’s 10th anniversary.

The company is owned and operated by brothers Aaron and Evan Steed who began their moving enterprise in 1997.

Since that time, they have expanded their business to include 85 employees, 22 trucks, and an 11,000 square foot custom designed facility that serves as their corporate headquarters in San Luis Obispo. Their service area now includes north Los Angeles County to the border of San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties.

The move to Camarillo has been planned for some time, but was on hold until the company’s new automated system was in place. The brothers invested in the creation of a proprietary software application that has been in progress for the past three years.

“We have created a proprietary software application which would rival any moving company’s technical operating capability in the world. I am totally confident about this,” Aaron Steed said in an interview.

The new system has automated administrative processes. It also allows estimators and movers on the field to connect to the call center at headquarters using PC tablet computers that are integrated with the software in the office. Online booking capability will also be available within the next several months.

The Steed brothers have developed a unique business philosophy that adheres to working hard to maintain superior customer satisfaction, and also places great importance on employee training and community philanthropy. They work on the premise of a new economy model that “under promises and over delivers.”  With 85 percent of the company’s business coming from repeat clients and word of mouth, it is evident that their approach works.

New employee training is based on this approach. New hires must memorize the company’s mission statement, follow a strict dress and conduct code, and embrace the business philosophy. They must first observe a move before being given an assignment. This training helps ingrain the importance of being acutely aware of customers needs. New hires will also see their colleague’s job when not carrying items.
“Clients are surprised and impressed when they see out movers jog,” Steed said. “Since they are charged on an hourly basis, our jogging policy saves them money”

It is not atypical for the moving industry to subcontract day laborers to complete moving jobs and although this saves money for the major van lines, it puts customers at risk.

“It certainly saves the van lines a lot of money for worker’s compensation insurance, a training program and payroll taxes but unfortunately if something goes awry, subcontractors typically point the finger at the customer-that’s a major liability,” Steed said.

He said that this is the main difference between Meathead Movers and can lines. Meathead will not compromise their values or philosophy. Meathead employees are licensed and fully insured.

“This is one of the reasons why we feel we will compete strongly here because we are a high quality moving provider who get the job done well,” Steed said.
”We are a company that has integrity and we will support local students.”

The company also has an impressive injury-free record. “We are very proud that as of [Jan. 5], our business has gone 423 consecutive days without an employee sustaining an injury. For one of the largest moving companies, this is a huge, huge feat,” Steed said. Meathead offers its employees incentive programs to remain injury-free, and to keep clients’ belongings damage-free.

Meathead has received numerous awards during the past six years, one of which was bestowed by the Small Business Administration Young Entrepreneurs of the Year for Central California. Receiving awards is a fine achievement but Aaron Steed shares that community philanthropy is also extremely important.

The company forms alliances with woman’s shelters for domestic abuse victims. Meathead donates boxes and moves the victim’s belongings free of charge.

“Whenever a woman is in that situation we will provide this service,” Steed said. He has already spoken to Rebecca Robertson, head of Domestic Violence Solutions at the Santa Barbara Woman’s Shelter, to establish this alliance. “It feels great to be able to offer something that is of tremendous value, and hopefully it adds purpose for our employees. Its like I found what I was put out here to do,” he said.

Meathead seems to be redefining how a moving company does business.

Student- athletes interested in “getting paid to work out” are encouraged to visit www.meatheadmovers.com.

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