HRO Today July/August 2014 - 41

Relocation
the challenge of finding exactly the right house, some
employees literally dwell beyond the deadline.
This created an employee relations dilemma as much as
an expense issue for the organization. " You don't want
to tell a transferee they have a week left before you need
to kick them out, " Reid explains.
The company's outsourcing partner advised an incentivebased
solution. Transferees are now given three options
to choose from: Reside in temporary housing for 30 days
and receive a certain amount of money; skip temporary
housing altogether and receive a larger sum of money;
or reside in the temporary housing for the full 90 days.
According to Reid, more than 90 percent of transferees
pick option number two.
Other success stories will be familiar to anyone who
has ever moved " lock, stock and barrel " to a distant
geographic location. Mobility services providers are deft
when it comes to knowing the true costs of a move, such
as the actual expense of crating up big screen TVs or the
actual market value of a home. At their disposal is all that
historical data, drawn from thousands of customers over
many years of service.
" There is a danger in trying to put everybody in one box;
rather, it makes more sense to show a prospective client
how you helped an extant client do this or that, " says
West.
Sorrentino agrees: " The buzzword in the industry is ROI,
but ROI as it relates to each individual move. "
Unfortunately this does not solve the difficulty in
comparing the services of one provider versus another.
What to Look For
Return-on-investment metrics for relocation continue to be difficult to quantify. Industry experts suggest a few
ways to navigate the value of mobility programs:
* Consider the savings allotted by the IRS through reimbursements with a buyer value option program.
* Providers often have the ability to anticipate relocation costs based on historical data.
* Leverage third-party assistance in order to earn cost savings from the supply chain.
* Pre-decision services can encourage an easy transfer and a happy, retained employee.
JULY/AUGUST 2014
| www.hrotoday.com
[41]
There are no industry benchmarks, although mobility
specialists expect these will be forthcoming as they
collect and analyze customer data in the cloud. One
possible solution is to ask providers if they have taken
surveys on client transferee satisfaction rates. There is a
downside to this scenario: The reliability of survey data
culled from any organization trying to sell its wares is
dubious, rendering provider comparisons questionable.
A better test of potential partners is cultural fit and
breadth of services.
What remains unquestioned is the value of outsourcing
mobility services versus doing it in-house. To do it right-
to ensure top-notch transferee experiences at the lowest
costs-requires significant resources that might be put to
better use elsewhere.
Such is the value of outsourcing that the global mobility
manager at Avery Dennison presides over the materials
packaging company's domestic relocation program
from The Netherlands. " I'm the only one managing the
program so I needed a provider that would support me
in the U.S., " says Jackie Blais, who was relocated herself
three years ago to Leiden, Holland.
" Our mobility solutions provider (Graebel) is my third
arm and an extension of the company, " she adds. " I don't
nearly have enough resources to do it all myself. I'd need
a half dozen people to do what they do, and they would
still do it better. We put an enormous amount of trust in
them. "
There's no better metric than that.
Russ Banham can be reached at www.russbanham.com.
http://www.russbanham.com http://www.hrotoday.com

HRO Today July/August 2014

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