By Jerri Stroud, BBB Editor
For the 30 years that David Sabada has owned A-Mrazek Moving Systems in Kirkwood, the company has been striving to be the best – and to take the stress out of moving, one of the life’s most stressful events.
It’s all about exceeding expectations, says Sabada. In his time with the 116-year-old company, that’s one of the constants and the key to repeat business. The company has contracts with several large companies that provide moving service to key employees, and keeping that business is vital.
A-Mrazek has developed a five-step process that’s fundamental to success in every move. Not surprisingly, the steps all involve communication.
Most moves begin with a phone call – or text, or email, said Angie Davenport, director of quality assurance. Regardless of how that initial contact is made, a lengthy telephone call to discuss timing, challenges and other details is often the start of every move. A-Mrazek personnel have a checklist to follow during the call to understand the client’s needs and expectations and – almost as important – to develop a relationship with a client before they send out a surveyor.
Other steps include calls before and during packing, calls before loading and when loading occurs, a delivery call and follow-up calls after the move is complete. All are designed to assure that the company is exceeding a client’s expectations.
“In order to exceed expectations, we have to be proactive to identify situations so we can provide solutions,” Sabada said. If the mover fails to communicate, he or she may miss something that a customer isn’t happy about. If that happens, something small can balloon into major dissatisfaction.
Crew members monitor customers’ reactions throughout the move as part of a “Strive for 5” incentive program. If the customer is pleased, a crew member gives them a business card that encourages them to give A-Mrazek a five on their survey – the highest rating for United Van Lines – and to call Davenport with feedback. Employees earn $1 lottery tickets when a customer gives them positive feedback. The employee that gets the most cards in a month gets an additional $25.
As a United Van Lines agent, A-Mrazek benefits from nationwide marketing as well as a network of firms that can provide services on moves to almost anywhere in the world, Sabada said. United surveys customers and provides feedback to agents like A-Mrazek.
A-Mrazek is using technology to reduce paperwork and make a move go more smoothly. One example is creation of a video for each move – a virtual survey that helps a driver understand what is going to be moved before moving day. Crews and drivers all carry iPads that reduce paperwork and give them access to forms or anything else they need at their fingertips.
“We’re trying to go paperless,” said Sabada. A-Mrazek offers pay increases to field personnel who adopt the new technology.
“We’re not a sophisticated business,” said Sabada. “But we are a complex business.”
Movers have to know how to pack and handle curved or high-definition televisions, computerized refrigerators and some newer mattresses that require special handling.
The company has semi-annual training programs designed to bring personnel up to date on procedures and monthly meetings to discuss successes as well as things learned from experience in the previous month.
Once a year, A-Mrazek shuts the company down to celebrate success and recognize outstanding employees. The event includes education, recognition and fun.
A-Mrazek’s charitable activities include supporting the Komen Race for a Cure, the Girl Scout Council’s April Showers drive to collect personal care items and the Derek Sabada Memorial Scholarship, which has raised more than $1 million for scholarships for needy students to attend private high schools. The scholarship is a tribute to Sabada’s late son.
A-Mrazek Moving Systems, 5454 Leffingwell Ave., Kirkwood, Mo. 63122
President: David Sabada
Mission Statement: A-Mrazek Moving Systems operates on the company’s 5 Core Values: The Customer, Quality, Safety, People, Benefits. We believe in exceeding customers’ expectations with every interaction that is made. We value honesty and integrity, practicing these with every customer touch. Our goal is to create positive, lasting impressions and memories with our customers. We move families, not just things. Our company is committed to providing quality service and unsurpassed customer experiences. We are committed to being involved within our community. We pride ourselves on that commitment and look for ways to enhance the community around us. As an employer, we promote equal opportunity and support our employees through skill development and training. We offer a stable working environment, which promotes a “family first” belief. The character of our company is established by our team of employees.
BBB prepares profiles of BBB Accredited Businesses and BBB Accredited Charities as part of its TORCH Awards process. A-Mrazek Moving Systems is a winner of the BBB St. Louis 2016 TORCH Awards.