SIRVA Worldwide: A global relocation solution that’s led by the client

As the world becomes smaller, and multinationals look to extend their global footprint, corporate relocation services are in higher demand than ever. Through a unique blend of global expertise, process management and control, integrated solutions and technology, SIRVA Worldwide can make the move easier while driving down costs, as Steve Marshall, head of European relocation operations, explains.

From shipping goods to arranging living quarters, the resettlement of employees and their families can be a complex and costly business. In order to facilitate the process, companies are seeking the services of corporate relocation specialists. SIRVA is one such leading provider of relocation and moving solutions, delivering more than 230,000 relocations a year to companies, government employees and individual consumers. SIRVA's offering is predicated on three central tenets: unique ownership of the relocation process; complete mobility solutions; and an unparalleled global network. This ownership of the process results in tighter operational control, higher quality services, reduced costs and the ability to provide local expertise in all locations. According to Steve Marshall, head of SIRVA's European relocation operations, today's finance directors are more attuned to the benefits of an efficient mobility process and its impact on the bottom line.

An impressive services portfolio
"Relocation really does concern finance directors," he says. "This means ensuring companies have the right people in the right place doing the right job. We not only help organisations with the logistics of the move, but also provide consultancy to make sure they have all the information they need."
Currently, SIRVA is present in over 150 countries and is able to draw upon a global network in excess of 100,000 people on the ground. This significant scale has allowed the group to establish an impressive portfolio of solutions.
"SIRVA is the largest globally integrated mobility company out there," states Marshall. "Our global network enables us to provide local resources wherever our clients are. From there, we can tackle and support a range of relocation assignments, from shipping to immigration, expense management and compensation services."
As testified by Marshall, the relocation industry is in a state of evolution; in addition to simply shipping and finding a place to live, clients are now in need of even more intricate services, such as compliance with local laws and regulations.
"These are further tasks organisations are willing to outsource so as to reduce costs internally," he says. "We can help take care of them, and other administrative processes, reducing the workload for head offices and minimising the risk of non-compliance." One trend that has gained traction in recent years is that of short-term expat assignments, commensurate with companies looking to pare costs - even more pertinent in economically strained times. In the light of this, how has SIRVA tailored its services?
"We are definitely seeing a change in the way in which organisations move their people," says Marshall. "For example, if you take a company that's acquiring or opening a business abroad, traditionally it would have required sending a person out for three to five years to instil company culture, conduct training and develop talent. Now, people only need to be away for six to 12 months. It might be expensive to get them out there initially, but it removes ongoing costs and is more effective in the long term."

High-end technology solutions
SIRVA is also an exponent of high-end technology solutions. Its global mobility platform allows clients and individual employees to manage their relocation experience their way end to end, with transparency across every stage.
"In the age of smartphones, we are also seeing an increase in demand for self-service products," notes Marshall. "In effect, this allows customers to manage the move any time and anywhere, making it a smoother and more satisfying experience.
"Furthermore, we are increasingly driving our technology towards data on experience, quality and return on investment. Through utilising the services of our business and data analysts, companies can direct more focus on what they can do better."
Naturally, every corporate and individual employee has disparate needs when it comes to relocation. It is SIRVA's holistic approach in being able to customise and diversify its offering across locations that Marshall believes will continue to differentiate it from its competitors.
"We pay particular attention to personalisation," he explains. "This entails getting to know the customer, finding out what is important to them, and then using our expertise and geographical spread to create the best solution. We allow our business to be led by our clients - it is this flexibility that has made us a market leader."

Steve Marshall, head of European relocation operations.