Our new logo! We’ve been providing independent advice to organizations big and small since 1996, and we are deeply grateful to everyone with whom we’ve worked and shared over the years.
The vision behind the founding of the firm was to offer relocation consulting and management services free of bias or influence. At the time, advice was predominantly dispensed by service suppliers such as relocation management companies, movers, and taxation specialists. Though usually well intentioned, a looming conflict of interest cloud was always present in the counsel.
So, in 1996, after overseeing a team of human resources and relocation professionals, as well as one of the largest group employee relocation initiatives in Canada at the time (CP Rail), Linda founded Ward O’Farrell Consultants Inc. In 2004, John O’Brien brought on board his vast transportation and moving industry experience. And, of course, the firm would not have been as successful without the support of a dedicated team of experienced professionals, helping at all levels of the business.
The employee relocation industry, now global mobility, has come a long way since the ‘90s. Major drivers of change include the outsourcing movement, globalization, breakneck speed technology advances, differing generational attitudes and needs, not to mention economic, climactic and health challenges worldwide. It is our hope that we have left an imprint on the industry by helping organizations anticipate, navigate, and adapt to the evolving mobility environment.
We have consistently strived to maintain our independence and objective approach, at times ruffling feathers along the way. We’ve challenged every aspect of the industry, from policy development and administrative models to pricing and invoicing practices. We are most proud of the following:
– Developed our own proprietary tools to benchmark and evaluate policies qualitatively and quantitatively, as well as for risk mitigation purposes.
– Pioneered the movement toward flexible policy designs, allowing organizations to offer more varied support to their transferees, contain costs and increase workforce engagement.
– Led the way to improving the cost management process by negotiating streamlined invoicing and simplified pricing structures and tariffs. This also included pointing out hidden costs, such as referral fees, and challenging their relevance.
– Generated significant savings to organizations through supplier audits, unearthing errors, omissions, and questionable practices.
– Designed customizable employee satisfaction surveys and reports free of the systemic bias present in those administered by service suppliers.
These are just some of the accomplishments that have kept us inspired. There have been many other formidable challenges for us (e.g., RFPs for multiple services and jurisdictions worldwide, benchmarking studies and policy reviews due to mergers or takeovers) for which we are immensely grateful, not only for the trust placed in our capabilities but also for the opportunity to continue to develop.
The new year is usually a time for reflection and introspection. Twenty-five years is a significant period of time in any context. We started our business with a good base of knowledge and experience, and it deepened with the help of all our clients. Thank you.
It’s been a great 25 years, and we’re not done yet!