Meeting the Challenges of Cost in Today’s Relocation Landscape
Posted by: Rob Abbott, Vice President Client Services – EMEA
Controlling costs is always at the forefront of a mobility professional’s mind and—perhaps unsurprisingly—was the top challenge cited by 68% of respondents in our 2018 Biggest Challenges survey. Many of the organisations that we work with have been able to overcome this hurdle by adopting a number of initiatives, including policy design, data analytics and effective communication.
So what can you do today to begin your journey to achieve a truly cost effective relocation programme? Here, we share a number of best practice recommendations that have worked for many organisations:
Exceptions and Approvals
A high level of exception requests and approvals is a key indicator that your current policy is not only failing to meet the needs of your assignees, but your organisation. To manage your exceptions better, conduct regular reviews of your entire assignee population to determine who needs more money up front. Set up a robust exceptions process, including approval authority guidelines to speed things up. If exception requests become commonplace, then look at the root cause. Perhaps there’s a basic policy change that can be made?
Consider surveying past and present assignees to identify specific policy elements that may be missing the mark. Whilst the senior leaders who implemented them may deem certain benefits vital, user feedback could suggest otherwise. Also, look at the framework of your policies. Cost efficiencies may be achieved by increasing the level of flexibility in your programme. Possible approaches include a tiered or core/flex policy approach that will help to target benefits and maximise spend. For more on core/flex approaches, read our blog, Decoding Employee Flexibility in Global Mobility.
Target Specific Areas
Determine areas that represent the highest spend and streamline where possible, e.g., negotiated travel, hotel and shuttle buses for large groups and setting limitations on home leave and travel. While many of the drivers are external, some are internal, including a lack of firm budget approval limits during the authorisation process and failure to establish which business unit (in the home or host country) is responsible for assignment costs.
The Power of Data
Make the most of all available reports to get as accurate a picture as possible of all aspects of your current mobility programme, including: assignee demographics, exception requests, employee performance whilst on assignment and employee retention upon repatriation. A predictive analytics application like MovePro VisionSM can be instrumental in helping to deliver a successful relocation experience, whilst avoiding costly exceptions for your business.
To achieve any of these cost saving initiatives, communication remains key, not only internally amongst impacted business units, but between your organisation and relocation services provider. Regular coordination will help to identify areas of cost control earlier and implement them more efficiently and successfully.
If you would like more information on how to control your relocation costs or develop your global mobility programme, please contact your Cartus representative, or email our dedicated Consulting Solutions team at firstname.lastname@example.org.