OLD BETHPAGE, NY -- How do you take a moving business that many view as a commodity and turn it into a high-profile, branded enterprise that offers its clients low cost assurance and an unsurpassed bundle of the highest-quality integrated services? Just ask T. James (Jim) Molloy, CEO of The Advance Group, an innovative moving solutions organization that includes commercial moving, office furniture installation, distribution, storage, document management and employee relocation services. The Advance Group is the largest moving solutions organization in the tri-state area.
“I’ve been in the moving business for over 40 years,” Jim Molloy says, “and for most of those years, I’ve had a dream of building an organization that competes at the highest level of service excellence. This means more than just delivering quality service. It includes having a full range of services that makes any client’s move less stressful and completes it on time and on budget. My dream was realized this past June when we reorganized our five business units into a single corporate brand — The Advance Group — and began an aggressive marketing campaign.
Molloy continues, “Ironically, now that The Advance Group’s reorganization is up and running, we — my entire management team — have identified improvements in new areas such as customer relationship management; real-time response capabilities, with our 24/7 move commitment; and the latest communication and technology software. All of these advantages enable us to relate to and even better serve our customer base. We also continue to add to and improve our specialty services like laboratory, office technology, law office and artwork moves. So, you can say that the dream continues.”
What separates The Advance Group from its competition? As CEO, Molloy has always had a keen and critical management eye for detail and knows how every part of his organization is performing. He has instituted industry-leading disciplines that are practiced without exception. These include mandatory background checks, the insistence of having professionally attired and uniformed employees, and the fact that the company directly employs all labor. He is also diligent about training his staff in superior customer service, a personal standard to which he attributes his early success. So, it is easy for him to believe that he can compete with anyone. To be certain, however, he had a team of marketing consultants contact clients and personally ask them what they thought.
The results were gratifying. Not only did clients praise the work they had received, they added testimonials that are now being used in sales materials and presentations. There were many to choose from, like, “…there is never a problem or challenge, just a forward-moving solution,” and these came from demanding marquee clients. Molloy was particularly proud of the fact that he and his team “delivered what they promised.”
The moving industry is extremely competitive, and not even The Advance Group can afford to live on reputation and past performance alone. That’s why Molloy’s team created a Visible Advantages program that, as part of the Best Final Cost System, provides a compelling and highly competitive reason why companies will want to do business with them.
Visible Advantages are 10 features and benefits that clients can actually see at work for them. These include the largest and most experienced executive and project management staff in the tri-state area, a 24/7 commitment to a successful project, financial strength, labor harmony, and a commitment to supporting environmentally responsible policies and practices.
The Best Final Cost System is The Advance Group’s way to provide attractive, competitive rates and to deliver high-value, on-time and on-budget performance. It features competitive hourly rates and realistic labor budgeting, and it bypasses a dubious competitive practice of underestimating jobs to create misleading initial estimates.
The Advance Group has come a long way since Molloy’s efforts as a warehouse packer during high school and college for Molloy Bros. Moving and Storage, a family business. He became vice president of operations there in 1972, and after the company sold the business to non-family members, he struck out on his own and excelled at national corporate sales for North American Van Lines.
Molloy´s pursuit of his dream continued in 1979 when he started Advance Relocation and Storage. In 1995 he changed the company name to Advance Commercial Movers and began to capitalize on the growing commercial market. In 1999 his company joined Mayflower Transit, which has the power of the world’s largest moving organization, the Uni-Group, behind it. In 2003 Molloy formed a joint venture partnership that brought FITCO, a leading Queens-based furniture installation and warehousing company, into his growing repertoire of services.
What does the future hold for Jim Molloy and The Advance Group? “That’s a very interesting question,” says Molloy, reflecting on his decision to restructure his five established business units into The Advance Group. “The economy is making it difficult for everyone in the industry, so it’s fair to ask why we’ve made such a large investment in reorganization, operating systems enhancements and marketing at this time. First, I am an optimist and an opportunist. When the economy turns around, I want to be on the top of everyone’s call list, and to do this I need to create awareness of a superior organization. And, speaking of optimism, we are in a hiring mode while our competition for the most part is downsizing. Second, my industry has done business the same way for years. We saw an opportunity to shake it up and become the leader. Our mission, ‘Moving You into the Future,’ is an expression of our idea of leadership. And third, this is all part of my DNA.”
Supporting charity is another important part of Molloy’s DNA. He and his staff regularly support local not-for-profit organizations. The company has directly assisted Island Harvest and the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program. In 2005, the CIBS (Commercial Industrial Brokers Society) honored him for his support of their charitable endeavors. In 2008, Molloy was honored by the Mental Health Association of Nassau County at its Miracle Makers Ball with the Corporate Citizen of the Year award.
Today, after more than 40 years, Jim Molloy’s vision has been defined. The Advance Group captures the essence of his vision to become the favored solutions provider for the most challenging projects from the most desirable corporate clients. This vision was forged from hard work, tempered by the challenges to build and grow a successful business, and polished with a team of successful, driven professionals.