Technology Helps Relo Services Go Global

November 10, 2003 ( - The current global economy is forcing corporate relocation providers to scramble to provide high-touch international service while they rely on technology to help them with its flexibility and more ready access to available information.

Those were some of the conclusions of a survey by Prudential Relocation, which involved two focus group sessions conducted via the Internet, according to a Prudential news release.

The study found that:

  • More than half (58%) of the respondents say companies and relocation service providers have been forced to increase business in the global market while maintaining a local touch and feel. Some firms with relo efforts are using innovative programs such as a relocation credit/debit card, while others are turning to new outsourcing and buying models to fundamentally change how relocation services are purchased and delivered. A third (29%) of companies are going with a sole source relocation provider.
  • Nearly nine of 10 (87%) believe that relocating employees and benefits managers get help from technology because it provides flexibility and more readily available information. Some 8% said technology makes it easier for relocating workers to research potential destinations while 5% said technology helped by cutting down on paperwork and data entry.
  • Some 74% of the respondents believe that the utilization of purchasing departments allows human resource departments to save time, money, to streamline processes and make performance measurement easier.

Respondents also pointed out that companies with relocating employees and relocation providers have to be conscious of controlling their risk to avoid costly litigation. Further, companies with relocating workers have to stay in close contact with their workforce to make sure they can deal with potential relocation roadblocks as they arise. For example, the elimination of choice may increase transferee reluctance to move and could, in fact, be a deciding factor to not take a relocation package. “While limiting choice may save companies money, it has the potential to backfire,” Prudential researchers wrote.

Most of those involved in the Prudential study (81%) identified a typical transferring employee as a male, with 2.5 kids, married who is in need of spouse career counseling and school information Another 14% said it was a college grad of either gender who is single but looking for a first home. Three percent said, for then, it was a bilingual expatriate with strong computer experience.

Participating in the focus groups were Prudential Relocation’s corporate clients, strategic alliance partners, suppliers, Prudential Real Estate Network brokers and several Prudential Relocation managers. You can request a copy of the Trend Inventory Report report by e-mailing .