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So, before you even begin looking for a supplier, Human Resources or Mobility Teams need to define what they are looking for most in an RMC.
HR’s would be wise to make a list of your top needs and then your top wants (what are the current pain points, and do you have any ideas what causes those pain points). The key is to not to stray from this list during the selection process. It might be customer service, responsiveness, reporting, invoicing, or cost. Rank them.
Procurement will often want to illustrate to prospective RMC’s that your relocations are as high as they can be expressed. So, they may take previous years that might have had higher relocation activity. If you believe you will return to these levels, then that is fine, but at this time you should take an honest assessment as to how many relocations you will have per year going forward. RMCs range in size from thousands of employees across multiple continents or companies that have dozens of employees. Do you want to be a small fish in a big pond, or do you need to be a big fish in a smaller pond? Knowing the answer to this question is very important. Procurement tends to like bigger ponds, HR’s tend to want the Goldilocks-sized pond.
Really get to the heart of what your company values most in a supplier.
Want some help getting started? Here are 5 things to look for when selecting an RMC.
First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure the supplier you choose is as much a partner as a vendor. Long-term partnerships with an RMC will yield better and more consistent service, collaborative innovation, plus significant cost savings. The RMC you choose should uphold a commitment to long-term partnerships with incentives such as ongoing policy consulting and proactive recommendations for your relocation program. Partners will talk about the importance of implementation, no matter how few relocations you have. Will they partner with you based on your relocation volume? We recently brought on a client, whose relocation policy is unique, but the problem was that this unique policy wasn’t implemented by their previous provider and they wound up paying expenses that were not in the policy over and over. This is not partnership. This is transactional.
- Flexibility and Responsiveness to Change
Relocation, at its heart, is about individual relocations. Each company is individual in its needs. The key to responding to individuality is flexibility and responsiveness to change. You may have an invoicing requirement that is unique to you. Will your RMC adapt to it? Look for your own idiosyncrasies and make sure they are known by prospective suppliers.
Also, you will want to know about their reporting tools -will you get reports out of a can, or will they be customized for you? Issues like these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to flexibility. Low mobility corporations tend to have employees that throw more curve balls than those with higher levels of mobility. And, more importantly, HR is more willing to accept these curve balls. If the prospective supplier answers some questions about flexibility well, they are likely to handle your relocations flexibly? There is no such thing as cookie-cutter relocation. Every employee has unique needs and every company, its own, unique objectives. Will the relocation company adapt services, programs, tools, and technology to meet the mobility needs of both your company and your employees?
- Over-and-Above Customer Service
How does the RMC measure client satisfaction? Transferee satisfaction? What is the RMC’s strategy for pursuing and implementing continuous improvement in customer experience? This comes down to SLA’s, but how they run their company has a lot to do with their Over-and-Above customer service. Ask about their service delivery structure- – and really understand the differences between the different vendors – and how those differences might make a difference to the question of Over-and-Above service. Ask how they motivate their own employees (after all, happy relocation counselors mean happy transferees) to deliver top-notch relocation experiences, and how they keep customer service as a core offering—not a commodity.
4. Supply Chain Management
What is the RMC’s own supplier management process? RMCs manage their own network of suppliers, like Realtors, brokers, appraisers, movers, and international service providers such a s Destination Service Providers. What is the RMC’s selection and qualification process to ensure that those suppliers deliver consistent, excellent service, because in many cases, these service providers are going to be face-to-face with your employees?
Are RMCs affiliated with their suppliers in any way, limiting the options your employees must work with? There should be a clear mechanism in place to choose the best supplier for each employee and every service.
Is it there? Ask for a technology demo and ask about upcoming technology changes. The truth is that most companies have good relocation technologies and they do not necessarily differ too much from each other, but you have to ensure that it is there and that the relocation team is willing to ensure that it works for you. You should make a list about what you expect in a relocation technology platform: is it employee experience, is it your ability to check on a relocation, is it reporting? It probably is all of these by the way. My point is that if the relocation technology meets those needs, don’t get distracted by bells and whistles. Technology is only one out of 5 things to look for in a relocation company and you will want all five working for you.
So, there are more than just 5 things to consider, but in our opinion, these are your top 5. Good luck in your decision-making, and if you need All Points to help, we would be happy to be an honest broker.