Balancing costs with assignee satisfaction

March 16, 2017

business man near train

The Client

A multinational manufacturing and engineering firm with nearly 350,000 employees worldwide.


The Challenge

The company was in the midst of a major corporate-wide cost-reduction effort. Given that it has a large, complex mobility programme, the company requested that Graebel identify significant opportunities for cost savings in that area.


Project Summary

Conduct an exhaustive review of the client’s mobility policies to uncover cost savings that would not diminish the company’s commitment to a positive transferee and assignee experience.


The Solution

We conducted a Programme Health Assessment, reviewing the company’s entire scope of U.S. domestic and global mobility policies to:

  • Identify cost savings in line with the company’s culture and experience
  • Uncover areas where the transferee or expatriate experience could be improved
  • Propose policy changes that would align with industry best practices and norms

We presented these findings to the company’s executive and management teams. As expected, some of the proposals were deemed not to align with the corporate culture even though they reflected mobility programme best practices; regardless, we felt it was important to bring these opportunities to their attention. (For example, the company opted not to switch from a policy of end-of-year true-ups for taxable benefits to the more widely-used practice of a one-time supplemental or marginal gross-up payment.)


Our team compiled specific recommendations directly linked to the project objective, developing conservative cost savings estimates for each based on two years of the client’s expense and volume data.


The Results

The client implemented several specific policy changes based on our Programme Health Assessment, including:

  • Revising relocation allowance calculation criteria to exclude meal per diem while in temporary living (saving more than €467,267)
  • Implementing a Discard and Donate program to minimise the volume of transferee and assignee shipments (saving nearly €70,090)

More of our proposals are scheduled to go into effect in the near future, including revisions to the company’s Loss on Sale and Amended Value Option Home Sale programmes. Our analysis and work with the company is ongoing as we continue to optimise and leverage all of its mobility programme elements.

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