Baymeadows Movers keeping workers busy | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record
Mike and Linda McCreary founded Baymeadows Movers in 1996 with three men, a truck, and a 10 x 20 self storage unit.
In two years they grew to 10 men and four trucks.
In 2002, the McCrearys built their first office warehouse on 6419 Philips Highway and added a second warehouse in 2006 for a total of 36,000 square feet of storage space.
Then came the great recession of 2008. Baymeadows Movers had grown to 50 employees before retreating to around 30 after the economic downturn.
Now comes COVID-19, and McCrearys’ sons, Michael, 40 and Chris, 38, are paving the way for Baymeadows Moving and Storage Inc., a 30-employee company.
“Instead of laying off employees, we encourage them to do volunteer work and maintenance around the buildings, cleaning, painting, fixing things and doing whatever we can to keep our boys’ hours going,” said Michael McCreary.
“Great people don’t go through that door every day, so you don’t want them to find another job. Once the pandemic is over and summer comes, we expect a sharp increase in the workforce and want to make sure the workforce is there, ”said Chris McCreary.
They covered the employees’ hours by paying them to volunteer with the Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry serving low-income residents in the Beaches communities of Jacksonville and the Feeding Northeast Florida Food Bank.
Chris McCreary said these organizations would have to take leave of many of their senior volunteers during the pandemic.
Before COVID-19, moving business was fully booked in March and slowed down in April. Acting as the vendor for the polling officer helped us “give money to get us through April,” he said.
According to McCreary, Baymeadows Movers is 80% full in its 700 vaults to store customer goods in the warehouse. It runs about 30-40% of its typical movements, from eight to ten per day to three or four.
“May will be a big indicator of what business will be like. Usually May is a big month in which to start business, ”he said.
Brothers Chris and Michael McCreary in their company’s warehouse. (Photo by Jason Pratt)
McCreary said some customers canceled and others postponed moves.
“Then other customers want to make it possible,” he said.
The company is taking precautionary measures by disinfecting devices and creating social distance. It provides its employees with gloves, masks and foot coverings.
Baymeadows Movers is a full service company with packaging as part of the service. “People didn’t say they didn’t want us to pack,” said Chris McCreary.
The staff also have an option when it comes to personal safety.
“We turned down a job for a client who passed away from COVID-19 in an old age community. We asked our employees if anyone would volunteer to move and they declined, ”said Michael McCreary.
Baymeadows Moving and Storage handles shipping, receiving, storage and delivery for companies like Comcast and UF Health. (Photo by Jason Pratt)
Baymeadows Movers, like other moving companies, has adapted to the pandemic by running virtual content polls to rate jobs. The company plans to continue virtual offerings, especially for remote jobs.
Baymeadows Movers employees “usually enjoy watching the content we need to get moving and maintain a personal relationship with customers,” said Chris McCreary.
The pandemic has resulted in them “putting a lot of money into advertising,” said Michael McCreary. “The same thing happened in 2008 when the market collapsed. We use our money in advertising to promote our business. “
The company is affiliated with Van Lines from North America and can move items anywhere in the world. National companies work together with local service providers.
Baymeadows Movers’ plans may include expanding shipping and receiving operations, but not the number of employees on trucks other than long haul.
“When it comes to employment, it is difficult to maintain quality control with a large workforce, so we want to keep our business at a quality level rather than trying to increase our numbers,” said Chris McCreary.
Baymeadows Movers has “become as much a logistics company as it is a moving company,” he said. It handles shipping, receiving, storage, and delivery for companies like Comcast and UF Health.
The sons grew up in the company and are now taking over. Her parents spend one to two weeks a month doing business.
“The hard part will be replacing our mother, she’s the money person, the brain behind the operation,” said Chris McCreary.
“We will be looking for an office manager with a CPA background that we can trust.”