Trends Reshaping Global Mobility: Points You Need to Consider

Published: Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Elaine Baker

Mobility programs are required to be agile and flexible in adapting to global relocation and moving market trends.  Some of the key trends that SIRVA sees in today’s market include: 

Policy changes to meet flexibility

Traditional tiered policies are evolving to provide flexible solutions, catered to specific relocation programs (e.g., developmental rotations) and employee preferences and priorities. RMCs are moving upstream to provide a more consultative approach to organizations looking to transform their mobility programs.

  • Most organizations are adopting some form of segmentation or core/flex.  
  • Lump sum programs continue to be utilized for some tiers of US domestic relocation programs; lump sums for global (international cross border) moves have not been implemented on a large scale, largely due to the complexity of the move types
  • Lump sums are being utilized more broadly across US domestic programs (beyond interns and new college graduates), transforming corporate employees into consumer buyers in the marketplace

Regional Trends

  • Americas: Core/Flex policies are common for domestic moves within the US, and the preferred model for early career employee 
  • Asia: Some policy tiers will include an element of a lump sum for intra country or domestic moves and Extended Business Travelers (EBTs) continue to be a focus area as a viable alternative to more traditional move types that are administratively burdensome and require a significant investment.  

Expanding outsourcing

Pre-decision counseling (guidance provided to the relocation initiator regarding candidate and package selection) has traditionally been provided by an internal corporate resource. SIRVA has seen a rise in the use of RMCs to provide this service as part of the vendor partnership scope of services, recognizing the ability of the RMC to act as an extension of the organization.

Global organizations are considering a centralized program structure, provided there are regional hubs or teams in place to support the business locally.  Responsibilities with the regional hubs vary by company, largely due to agreed capabilities and capacity of internal and external teams.

Suppliers in the Americas are feeling price pressure from Procurement teams to rationalize costs in all areas of the relocation lifecycle.

Europe and Asia continue to grow from mainly insourcing their relocation needs to outsourcing their mobility program to RMCs. These partnerships help take mobility programs to the next level - from operational to strategic - allowing for alignment of mobility programs with overall business objectives.

Technology investment is key for relocation programs, particularly in Europe due to the regulatory climate and intense need to protect data.

Shift towards a centralized program management model

Global mobility companies are moving towards centralized program models - streamlining the process and creating a more integrated experience for clients and their relocating employees.  Organizations recognize the value of a centralized model’s ability to provide a consistent experience, both for the relocating employee and the internal customer, that leverages global vendors for cost efficiencies and program scalability.

Technological advancements

Technology is advancing faster than we ever thought possible. With these advancements comes consumer demand for instant information and insights at the click of a button. RMCs must continue to innovate and provide tools and reference resources that drive progress and educate companies on innovative ways to mobilize their workforce.

Demand for transparency

It is important that companies meet expectations of full transparency into mobility program costs, predictive analytics and reporting from start to finish to ensure clients and their people are plugged into the relocation process at all times .

Cost-quality paradox

Organizations are demanding a focus on cost rationalization and minimization from all external partnerships while maintaining, and often increasing, expectations around service quality.  RMCs can achieve this balance through an integrated supply chain and a preferred vendor network, providing a single point of accountability that translates into higher service levels and higher cost savings. 

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