CapRelo Blog

Managing Relocation Suppliers

Posted by Jim Retzer on Tue, May 20, 2014

Supply chain management is critical in the relocation industry. Just one issue in the supplier network can disrupt one or even several employee relocations.

As a result, many corporations and government agencies utilize the services of a relocation management company to manage suppliers. This takes the challenging task of researching, qualifying and managing suppliers off of your shoulders. Whether you manage your own supply chain or use a relocation management company, following are some of the suppliers you need to select to provide complete relocation services to your employees.

Find out more about managing your relocation supplier network in our free article.

Considerations when Choosing Suppliers and Vendors

  • Moving Household Goods (HHG) – As one of the main concerns for transferees, a company needs a good record of moving goods on time and in good condition.
  • Managing the Move – This involves handling the often-tricky scheduling and assistance with physically moving the transferee and his or her family, thus enabling the employee to get back to the job at hand and minimizing disruptions in productivity.
  • Global Relocation Services - A relocation firm should be experienced in assisting transferees in adapting to new cultures, customs.
  • Real Estate and Mortgage Brokers – More often than not, the employee has a house that must be sold and needs help selecting and financing a home in the new location. The ability to provide real estate and temporary housing assistance both domestically and internationally is crucial for a relocation company.
  • Destination and Settling-in Services – From getting utilities connected, helping the transferee navigate health care and school options as well as assistance in becoming acclimated to his or her new location, settling-in services play a large role in returning the employee back to full productivity sooner.
  • Cultural and Language Training – Learning the new area’s language, laws and customs will boost your employee’s confidence and comfort with the new assignment.
  • Immigration Services – Expert knowledge is required for navigating the regulations governing visas, customs, and other immigration provisions for the destinations in question.
  • Travel Services – Experienced travel professionals can help remove the guesswork and frustration of making travel arrangements for the transferee and his or her family.

For those companies who still offer fixed lump-sum payouts for expenses, it is important to note that employees who have been given the names and contact information of qualified, trustworthy suppliers will have a reduction in moving-related stress, and an easier transition, resulting in better productivity.

Precautions

The quality of goods and services can vary widely among suppliers, especially among national franchises and international providers. Some may live up to their reputation but others may not. A qualified reputable third-party relocation company can help avoid potential relocation problems by verifying suppliers for financial stability, safety and insurance coverage and performing facility site visits, ensuring an optimum transfer experience for the employee and company alike.

How to Manage Your Relocation Supplier Network

Topics: Supply Chain Management, relocation management services, Relocation Services

Supply Chain Management: Supplier Certification

Posted by George Herriage on Mon, Dec 23, 2013

Relocation is typically a detailed and complex task. To ensure successful employee relocations you must be comfortable with the quality and quality control of all suppliers involved in the process.

The number of suppliers in your supply chain depends on the volume of different features in your relocation policy. Whether you have a basic, no frills program or a complete relocation package with many “bells and whistles,” you must ensure that all components are quality suppliers.

Find out more about managing your relocation supplier network in our free article.

You should certify and approve your suppliers carefully. After certification, you then need to manage your supply chain just as diligently as your operations department manages its supply chain for products and services.

How to Certify Vendors

There is no cast in stone supplier certification method. You can create your own benchmarks and standards. However, there are some proven suggestions for your certification features:

  • Performance track record, both current and historical.
  • Existence of reasonable contract provisions.
  • Suppliers evidencing outstanding customer service—you and your company are their real customer, not the transferee.
  • Examine evidence of supplier financial stability to avoid money-generated internal vendor problems that spill over to their relocation services—which then morph into your company’s problems.
  • Price of services.

Supply Chain Management

It is imperative that you manage your relocation supply chain to maintain high quality services, even after you have certified your suppliers. While many things are outside of your direct control, managing your supply chain should include the following items, at a minimum:

  • Create or employ metrics that allow you to measure your suppliers’ performance in easy-to-understand results.
  • Rate the availability, knowledge, and expertise of your (and your transferees’) contact people assigned to your company.
  • Evaluate the consistency and “continuity” of multiple relocations for all components in your supply chain.
  • Rate the ease of working with and professionalism of your preferred suppliers.
  • Employ quality control procedures that help ensure the acceptable performance of your relocation program suppliers.
  • Establish an internal audit checklist to measure supplier performance.

This is not a “one size fits all” requirement. You should develop your own metrics and evaluation system for each supplier, since they perform different services. Just consider the difference between carriers transporting household goods versus the services of real estate brokers who help transferees find new homes.

You’ll need a different checklist to certify and manage your supply chain vendors. However, there is no must-include measurement tool list. You can create your quality control, certification, and supply chain management benchmarks however you want.

The only requirements: your standards must be measurable, and they must make sense to you and your company.

However you choose to certify your suppliers and whatever measurement standard you create, the task is an important one. The complexity and time needed to find, evaluate, and certify suppliers for your relocation package may point to using a qualified relocation company to save you the time to certify the various components of your policy.

Proven, professional relocation companies perform certification and supply chain management procedures for you. This saves HR time—and employer money. Whether you choose to make this a DIY project or simply choose a relocation firm, you will ensure a smooth, stress-free, successful relocation program.

How to Manage Your Relocation Supplier Network 

Topics: Service Level Agreement, Supply Chain Management, employee relocation concerns

Supply Chain Management - Carrier Selection

Posted by George Herriage on Tue, Dec 03, 2013

When selecting van lines, or agents thereof, you should evaluate a number of top carriers to create a network of primary and secondary choices. Whether you self-administer or use a third-party relocation firm for your employee transfers and new hires, your company should be comfortable with the preferred group of moving van organizations.

Carrier Selection

Toy Truck FleetYour relocation policy no doubt provides for the moving and transportation of employees’ furniture and personal property. While it would be easier on you if all moving carriers were equal, they are not.

Use care when comparing and selecting carriers, as many are attached to national networks. Remember, selecting a carrier with a strong regional or national network means that you will work with their other affiliates at some point.

When analyzing carriers within these networks, you should also evaluate their network partners. Do they produce the same quality results as the carrier you prefer? If you question network partners’ quality control or any facet of their service menu, be sure you receive answers that sufficiently increase your comfort level.

Supply Chain Management of Carriers

Use a supply chain approach to evaluate carriers and relocation companies. You should be comfortable with the following factors, at a minimum.

  • The carriers’ financial stability.
    Be sure any recommended carriers are in strong financial condition, since a carrier in economic distress could pose serious problems to your relocation policy. Their D&B rating is a great place to start.

  • Check out the carriers’ safety record by visiting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
    Your transferees should not have to agonize over the safety of their household goods and personal property. This is more than just an expression of empathy. Their transport safety problems will become your problems.

  • Verify that carriers have acceptable insurance coverage.
    This evaluation step is critical. Many carriers carry only minimal insurance coverage, vastly insufficient to cover most normal volume of household goods, or any valuable personal property. Still other carriers have insurance coverage in amounts that even cover property damage disasters.

  • If transport timeliness is vital for your company, examine their on-time delivery record.
    When you expect your transferee to report for work at the new location, you expect close to immediate productivity. Delayed household goods deliveries generate concern, apprehension and uncertainty, which could impact your transferees’ short term performance.

  • Relocation company supply chain integrity.
    If you outsource this function, your relocation management company must have a high-quality, reliable, and robust selection of preferred carriers.  Using a top relocation management company saves your company money and you administrative work.

Relocating employees can be simple or complex. It is important that you take all steps to ensure that your supply chain or your relocation company’s supply chain includes reliable carriers to safely transport transferees’ household goods. Should they cause accidental property damage, despite their efforts involving care, you need to know you—and they—are protected with sufficient valuation coverage.

Once you ensure your carriers or your relocation company’s carriers meet these criteria, you and your transferees will be more confident about avoiding transport problems. It’s worth your extra effort to evaluate carriers and relocation companies with a supply chain approach.

Free eBook:  A Guide to Developing  Relocation Policies

 

Topics: Service Level Agreement, Supply Chain Management, employee relocation concerns

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