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Blog

Best Practices, Challenges and Solutions for Conducting a Mobility RFP

by Amanda Jones, VP Sales and Marketing, ASME

Conducting a request for proposal (RFP) can be both time-consuming and overwhelming for mobility teams. The basic steps seem straightforward: develop questions, send the RFP to vendors, compare the results, and narrow down to your top candidates – but how can you be sure you’re asking the right questions? What are the benchmarks to measure candidates against? How much time will be needed to evaluate the responses and how will the evaluators balance this task with their other daily responsibilities?  

Finding the answers to these questions is key to creating and implementing an RFP that truly gathers the information your company needs. Finding a relocation management company (RMC) that offers the right services at a competitive price is crucial. Ending up with a mismatched partner or low-value services can end up being far more expensive in the long run. 

Ultimately, there are a few things decision makers should always do to ensure constructive RFP process. These practices are discussed below, along with a few challenges to keep in mind, and a description of PriceRight, a valuable tool that makes the RFP process easier than ever before.

Best Practices when Conducting a Mobility RFP


There are three action steps decision makers should take to create and implement an effective RFP:

1.       Engage Internal Stakeholders:

Mobility programs serve and impact your overall company in ways that delve much deeper than individual relocations, so it’s important to engage stakeholders across the organization to determine what questions need to be asked in your RFP. Criteria that recruiters will be looking for will differ from that of your IT department, for example, which may want to quantify the ability of bidders to both transmit data and maintain data security.

It's also important to identify critical decision makers before writing the RFP. Skipping this step can often result in the need for RFP rewrites, which leads to significant losses of valuable time for both the company those bidding on the project.  

Designers of the RFP need to be aware of any deal breakers, desired key performance indicators that a successful partner should exhibit, budget expectations, and much more. Multinational companies must also consider any mobility challenges that apply to specific regions or countries. All of these factors should be considered to create a comprehensive RFP that gets to the heart of what your company truly needs from an RMC. The best way to accomplish this is to include a number of colleagues with a variety of perspectives in both its design and evaluation. 

2.       Allow Plenty of Time for the RFP Process:

In addition to allowing your team with enough time to conduct a thorough vetting, it’s also important to provide vendors with enough time to respond to your request. While the time needed to implement an RFP can vary depending on geographic location, complexity and a company’s familiarity with the mobility industry, it’s important to remember that the more time a vendor has to respond to your request, the more thorough, innovative and customized the RFP can potentially be.  Establish clear timelines and set realistic deadlines, internally and externally, to be sure that the process runs smoothly.

Additionally, consider providing all vendors with a brief before issuing the RFP that clearly states your goals and objectives for your mobility plan, and allow them an opportunity to ask questions. As an alternative, a request for information (RFI) could also be used to state your company’s goals and request preliminary information that will help narrow down candidates before the RFP. 

3.       Consider More than Each Vendor’s Fees When Evaluating Responses:

While it’s understandable for stakeholders to want to preserve the company’s bottom line, evaluating bids solely on vendor fees can be a significant pitfall when conducting an RFP. Price points that seem too good to be true often are, and they often translate to lower quality service and performance. By engaging the right stakeholders to design an RFP, as outlined in step number one, it will have been formulated to reflect company-specific goals and priorities. Decision makers should also consider each bidder’s policies on customer service, its reach and footprint in applicable countries and regions, and reputation within the industry. We suggest educating decision makers on the company’s pre-determined priorities and objectives, so they can view the RFP responses through that lens. Ask for examples or case studies in which the RMC has provided similar services to past clients and check references to ensure that the RMC is truly capable of what they say they are prepared to offer.

A Global Challenge: Regional Needs

Companies across the globe share some common challenges when it comes to implementing RFPs. In many enterprises, HR employees are typically asked to manage talent mobility in addition to their general HR responsibilities. Some of these individuals may not have any prior experience with conducting a comprehensive RFP, let alone the time. Multinational companies often have a greater knowledge base, but stakeholders are still tasked with finding ways to streamline what can often be an all-consuming process.

Another challenge that companies face globally is pricing transparency. RFPs generally ask for fee schedules but, without including the various components that can factor into pricing adjustments, the document doesn’t truly lock the company in at a definable, contracted price. Company stakeholders are often surprised when the true cost of their chosen RMC’s services varies greatly from the fees that were listed in the RFP.

Regionally, however, there are challenges that vary from country to country. For instance, in Asia Pacific, where markets are rapidly expanding in a variety of industries and companies are just starting to globalize their workforces, stakeholders are especially new to the fundamentals of mobility.  As such, they may not be aware of the criteria to target in an RFP, whether general or specific to the region. Additionally, visa and immigration procedures are extremely complex in India, China and Australia, so RFPs for service in those areas should include detailed questions on how RMCs would address these issues. Every region has its own challenges, from education and housing to customs requirements or tax compliance; a strong RFP should ask direct questions on how RMCs are equipped to address them.  

Even the cost and method of moving household goods varies from country to country, a process that can be one of the most significant stressors for employees during a relocation and one of many components that companies underestimate when calculating the true cost of a move. To continue with Asia for an example, gaining access to apartments, particularly in cities, can be extremely challenging when delivering household goods. In many places narrow, busy streets prevent the ability of a large truck to park conveniently in front of a building’s front door. Instead, a smaller truck is often required to make more frequent trips, shuttling smaller loads of personal effects to an apartment from a container parked a good distance away. This necessary solution, often not anticipated, can increase the time and funding initially budgeted for the move. If the employee’s budget is negatively impacted, it can often happen at the expense or jeopardy of other services.

PriceRight: The Industry Solution to the Mobility RFP 

With so many complications to consider as companies rapidly globalize, the need for a faster, more flexible RFP process has become significant. To address this need, SIRVA developed PriceRight, the industry’s only tool for creating clear and detailed RFPs.



In addition to guaranteeing pricing transparency, PriceRight saves company stakeholders a significant amount of time by providing a tool that simplifies the data collection process and allows them to quickly compare costs – thousands of rates and scenarios – between multiple RMCs. The tool is customizable and, because criteria can easily be changed to test cost projections of other geographic or logistical scenarios, decision makers can make more informed decisions and accurately forecast future relocations. Please watch the video above or contact us at concierge@sirva.com for more information. PriceRight is free to any company wishing to use the platform and a consultation is provided to ensure that the product is tailored to fit your company’s needs.   

Managing Your RFP

Conducting an RFP is a complex process, but the rewards are significant when thoughtfully implemented. By engaging colleagues from key departments, defining any geographic factors that should be considered, and thoroughly researching each contender based on your company’s specific priorities, getting matched with the right RMC isn’t just possible – it’s also profitable.