A global leader in the world of power generation, power transmission and rail infrastructure with 93,000 employees in 100 countries worldwide.
Following a competitive tender, Paragon Relocation won the client’s global relocation business and began to service the account in January 2011. Paragon Relocation’s immediate challenge was the implementation of the large scale, complex, global relocation program. There were numerous areas of consideration as Paragon was a single source solution to replace four separate global relocation service providers.
Logistically, client users were spread over 82 different countries. Financially, services were billed in 22 different currencies. And due to the nature of the client’s business, visa and immigration challenges included remote locations with limited resources and an immediate need to have employees on-site. Relationships and issues with local and regional service providers such as DSP and household goods suppliers made streamlining a challenge. IT systems and HR processes had to be re-engineered to bring the team to a common platform.
Creating Consensus. Paragon’s ability to create consensus with a very diverse Human Resources team was one of the biggest challenges. With more than 80 different groups submitting relocation initiations – either through local HR teams or three global mobility centers – the standardization of processes was essential. Paragon immediately established an implementation team, with buy-in on operational processes and a timeline from client stakeholders and key Paragon members. Given the cultural and geographic diversity of the client, it was important for Paragon to build a spirit of cooperation on the implementation team that would filter through to the end users. By leveraging the sponsorship of the lead HR team, Paragon worked to create synergy among the different HR managers.
Through a combination of regularly scheduled face-to-face and virtual meetings, personal relationships were built among HR teams, Paragon members and local service providers. In some locations a completely new relocation environment was being introduced (with Paragon as the new relocation provider, and/or new local service providers), which necessitated a concentrated effort to communicate and work together. Paragon helped build teamwork through additional on-site visits to strategic country locations such as China and India. Additionally, the Paragon Relocation Information Systems Manager (PRISM) helped bring process continuity and 24/7 online access for the HR teams.
Leading Change. Replacing four providers with one posed many internal challenges due to previous provider-specific processes and relationships. By building relationships through on-site visits and supplier introductions in 15 countries, Paragon worked through many of the pre-existing issues and helped bring together HR teams and new suppliers. The migration from four relocation providers to a single source provider required strong leadership.
Paragon had high visibility during this shift as many long-held relationships were changed and/or disrupted, and regional HR teams were adapting to decisions made by their head office.
A detailed implementation plan provided a common framework across all groups to keep the process on track. With the goal of developing a long-term relationship – yet having a relatively quick, 3-month implementation timeframe, Paragon worked to gain adequate understanding of specific regional or local issues while maintaining overall leadership of the global process.
Since the Paragon Global Account Manager, who leads the account team after the “go live” date, was also deeply involved with the implementation process there was continuity between decision-making and service delivery. In fact, many members carried on in the area for which they served on the implementation team.
Standardizing Procedures. Billing in 22 different currencies created a challenge, and efforts to accommodate each financial scenario proved to be complicated. Paragon invested significant staff, time, technology and financial resources in establishing the accounting processes to govern the client program. A team of 12 Paragon employees worked many long hours on the implementation including standardizing all the billing procedures worldwide. Whenever possible, technology-driven solutions through Paragon’s newly enhanced PRISM system were applied, as this helped with process continuity, standardized reporting, and accessibility across many time zones. As a result, Paragon gained the ability to bill in the Chinese Renminbi (RMB), a heavily regulated and restricted currency.
Paragon worked quickly and effectively with the client to bring synergy to the group and develop a detailed operational plan. Communication and relationship building played a critical role in the success of bringing together the pieces of the program to go “live” as scheduled. In just three months, the implementation – involving more than 50 client Human Resources managers from all over the world – was complete. By streamlining the relocation process and switching to one service provider, the client brought its global and diverse HR teams together as a team with common processes and goals. In 2011, Paragon implemented services in over 30 countries and processed more than €2.8 million in expenses for this client. The once fragmented and disjointed relocation program is now functioning more cohesively with centralized management and oversight which has increased transferee satisfaction and reduced the policy exceptions.
From an internal perspective, this project underscored Paragon’s ability to conduct a complex, global implementation and create synergy across a diverse group of HR managers. Paragon also expanded into new countries and regions; we perfected our process of incorporating new service providers in remote areas in short timeframes, including DSP, visa and immigration, and international freight forwarders; and expanded our ability to process expenses in local currencies. The experience and knowledge gained throughout this global implementation will continue to further Paragon’s overall global business opportunities for many years to come.