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

Supplier Certification - how we pick the right suppliers | CapRelo

Posted by George Herriage on Mon, Dec 23, 2013

Business owner working on supplier certificationSupplier certification is an essential component of establishing and maintaining the overall quality of your relocation policy. It is a vital element when your company is trying to track your supplier partners’ performance, develop reasonable contract provisions, and, most importantly, protect itself and your employees against any issues that may arise in the relocation process.

After certification, you need to manage your supply chain just as diligently as your operations department manages its supply chain for products and services.

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

We’ve laid out the most important aspects of supplier certification below. Following these important steps has enabled CapRelo to find quality suppliers we can trust, and should do the same for you.

1. Evaluate your needs internally & develop a comprehensive relocation policy

Before you even begin the hunt for your suppliers, your company’s leadership, in partnership with HR, needs to conduct an internal needs analysis. These are beneficial because they allow your leadership to look at your current relocation process from beginning to end to locate gaps.

At this stage, you should determine your current usage and spend during each part of the relocation process and find areas where you excel and places where you can streamline. Get a full sense of what your present and future operations will look like so you can proceed with the most knowledge.

Once you have addressed your internal needs, start developing a comprehensive sourcing strategy. While this is not a complete list of questions you need to consider, these basic questions can kickstart your strategic planning:

  • How does your company want to handle relocations?
  • What will your ideal relocation processes look like?
  • Are you going to opt for a single provider or have multiple suppliers?
  • How high or low is your ideal risk tolerance?

Answer these questions head-on and weigh every option that’s available to you. Then, use those answers to develop a strategy that will not only fit into your current operations but will also scale as you expand.

2. develop a selection and supplier certification process

Once your relocation policy is in place, turn your attention to the supplier companies that can provide relocation services. Whether your company has chosen to employ multiple suppliers or just one, you will need to create criteria you can use to vet and select them.

To do this effectively, review each of the key components of the relocation process, from selling a home to visa acquirement, and develop a set of baseline metrics necessary for successful employee relocation for each supplier. These metrics should cover measurable factors such as historical quality, performance, and financial stability of your suppliers.

One important aspect we never overlook is the competitiveness of different markets. It’s important to ask what position your potential supplier occupies in their respective market. Are they excelling, or just keeping their head above water? Will they remain competitive for only the short term, or do they have staying power? These are not always easy questions to answer, but we feel they help make the strongest, most informed decisions..

Once it’s time to start your selection process, compare the suppliers against your established baseline metrics to discover who could work within your policy. Your selection criteria should not be one-size-fits-all. Because they perform different tasks, develop a metrics system for each supplier that evaluates them fairly.

For instance, consider the difference between carriers transporting household goods vs. the services of real estate brokers who help transferees find new homes. They do entirely different things, so those differences should be reflected in your performance metrics.

RFQs and RFPs are prime opportunities to develop clear points of evaluation for both you and your suppliers. At CapRelo, we make them thorough and detailed so that both parties are clear about expectations at the outset. Here’s just a sample of what we include:

  • Detailed expectations about the opportunity
  • Product/service specifications
  • Delivery/service expectations
  • Evaluation criteria
  • Pricing structure
  • Financial terms

Ultimately, there is no must-have measurement tool list. In fact, there is no cast in stone supplier certification method at all. You can create your quality control, certification, and supply chain management benchmarks however you want. What matters most is that your measurement standards are fair, easy-to-understand, and scalable.

2. DEVELOP A SELECTION AND SUPPLIER CERTIFICATION PROCESS

It is imperative that you conduct frequent performance management assessments to measure and maintain high-quality supplier services, even after you have certified your suppliers. The easiest way to do that is to evaluate the consistency of multiple relocations for all components in your supply chain. Your suppliers should be giving you and your employee quality service. If they aren’t, they’re failing to fulfill their basic requirements as a certified relocation partner.

To make sure they are hitting the brief, create or employ metrics that allow you to measure your suppliers’ performance and display your findings in easy-to-understand results. Additionally, establish an internal audit checklist to measure supplier performance. There, again, isn’t a set list of standards that you can access. You have to look at your unique policy and create assessments for each supplier. The only requirements are that your standards must be measurable, and they must make sense for your company’s agreement with its partners.

CapRelo Can Help Relocate Your Employees 

Relocating an employee is, at best, complicated. If you opt to create and execute your travel policy, you’ll have to become an expert in every field of relocation, which can be challenging.

You do have another option – rely on a professional relocation company to handle logistics. Professional relocation companies perform the essential steps, like supplier certification and supply chain management procedures, for you. Going this route saves HR time and employer money.

At CapRelo, we follow a strict set of procedures that ensures that we use the best suppliers at every stage of the relocation process. Through every step of the process, from supplier certification to KPI evaluation, we place the utmost importance on finding the right suppliers and ensuring relocation is as smooth as possible.

Whether you choose to make this a DIY project or opt to put your trust in a relocation firm, you should have a smooth, stress-free, successful relocation program. With CapRelo, you’re guaranteed one.

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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