• The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Part 1


    As a tribute to the recent Academy Awards, we remember one of the biggest hit movies that failed to win an Oscar, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, with our own good, bad and ugly of 2015.

    Relocation Service Providers

    The Good

    *  With globalization we get more choices.  Canada has lost many large relocation management companies (RMC’s) through takeovers (Prudential) and exits (Remax), new players from outside Canada and smaller start ups are adding more choices than we have lost.  This ensures healthy competition for corporations and competitive pricing.

    *  As corporations seek to improve their relocation programs while fending off budget cuts, introducing flexibility in relocation policy design is finally being accepted as “best practice”.  Historically we saw some RMC’s balk at managing these programs, but we see an acceptance now that has resulted in RMC’s adopting methods, processes and employee training to support the unique needs of employees on flex spending policies.

    *  Smaller “boutique” RMC organizations are flourishing and becoming major players as they are able to adapt quicker to a corporations changing needs and demographics.

    The Bad

    *  RMC’s continually struggle with the peak season demands of relocation resulting in an inconsistent level of employee satisfaction when volume ramps up for the late spring/early summer period.

    *  While corporations look for better ways to manage their relocation programs the need for improved software packages from their RMC’s has been evolving steadily.  While benefits are being seen through better online information access, the implementation of these new programs ultimately impact the corporation both good and bad, but in our experience we see more bad than good in this area.

    The Ugly

    *  While referral fees provided a means for corporations to use suppliers to fund their relocation fees from RMC’s they also made the distribution of revenue not very transparent.  RMC’s who abused these referral fee programs created an imbalance of revenue distribution which ultimately impacts many key stakeholders.  Relocating employees suffered through poor service as supplier’s revenue streams were reduced resulting in a lack of resources, especially during peak seasons.

    *  Referral fees meant RMC’s could profit from ballooned and erroneous invoicing as they collect a percentage of the service providers fees.  This conflict of interest, along with a reluctance from RMC’s to air their dirty laundry if they catch a supplier intentionally overcharging for their services, results in higher costs for corporations.