The Schunck Group turns 100 and launches brand campaign

The SCHUNCK GROUP, one of the leading industrial insurance brokers in Germany, celebrated its centenary on 19 June 2019 and launched a new promotional campaign.

SCHUNCK. Make it easy
SCHUNCK. ‘Make it easy’ was conceived together with communications agency Cyrano as part of a brand development. The campaign targets both internal and external target groups and communicates the maxim of the SCHUNCK GROUP ‘We make the complex insurance business understandable for customers and their world easier’.

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Graebel expands Mobility Strategy service

Graebel has expanded its consulting service that helps Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies imagine and introduce a tailored mobility strategy designed entirely around their business needs.

Graebel’s Mobility Strategy Service responds to the needs of global mobility professionals who want to elevate their roles and programmes. In fact, Graebel Global Mobility Summit research found mobility professionals today spend 80% of their time on reactive tasks such as managing administration and transactional or service issues. However, they want to set goals, measure ROI and enhance relationships.
That’s why Graebel expanded its Mobility Strategy service, to deliver an even more comprehensive suite of practical tools and collaborative practices, along with its proven expertise, to help mobility professionals demonstrate the full value of their programme with a direct connection to their company’s business goals.

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Six new companies accepted into the OMNI network

OMNI (Overseas Moving Network International) has recently announced that it has accepted six new probational members into the network as they have achieved the high standards required for membership. The new members are:

  • Kings International Removers (Pty) Ltd, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Gerson Relocations, London, UK
  • Freeline Movers, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • M. Dyer & Sons, Inc., Hawaii, USA
  • Clover International C.A., Caracas, Venezuela
  • Vinelli & Scotto, Milan, Italy

As Probationers the six companies are required to fulfil their obligations of membership for a period of two years before being accepted as Guarantors of the OMNI network.

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Gerson Relocation thanks Graham Green for 40 years of service

Showing appreciation to our employees is an important part of who we are. This week we want to thank Graham Green and to recognise his 40 years of service with us. Retaining and developing talented employees is important to any business, so we wanted to recognise everything that you have achieved so far. Thanks Graham!

Graham is the fourth employee to have reached this milestone at our company.

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Delays to UK Transfer of Residence (ToR)

OMNI Would like to thank Gerson Relocation for providing the following update…

 

We have received reports of delays in relation to the processing of ToR applications by UK Customs (HMRC) on household goods shipments into the UK.

In the build up to the summer peak period, Gerson Relocation is advising clients and overseas partners of
these potential delays and the steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of incurring additional charges.

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Graebel Companies, Inc. Expands Mobility Strategy Service

Mobility professionals can tap Graebel’s expertise, collaboration and hands-on tools to elevate their role and programs

Denver, Colo. (June 3, 2019) – Graebel Companies, Inc., a leading provider of talent and workplace mobility solutions, today expanded its consulting service that helps Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies imagine and introduce a tailored mobility strategy designed entirely around their business needs.

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OMNI talks business in Seville

Seville in south-west Spain was the venue for the 2019 OMNI conference.

Despite the inclemency of the weather (very unusual for Andalusia in springtime), the friendship between the delegates was as warm as ever. The venue
was the Alfonso XIII hotel, a short amble from the city centre, the Guadalquivir river, the Seville University and the old tobacco factory that was the inspiration for the opera Carmen.

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Jacob Rasmussen rejoins Aspire Mobility Group A/S

Aspire Mobility Group in Denmark has announced the appointment of Jacob Rasmussen as Director of Moving Services.

The announcement marks Jacob’s return to the Aspire Mobility Group having left the company in 2011 to work for a major international competitor. Jacob takes over the role from Sara Lyrum who has recently been appointed Group Director following the retirement of Gunnar Moeskjaer.

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Sara Lyrum takes over from Gunnar Moeskjaer at Aspire Mobility Group

Sara Lyrum has taken over as Group Director for Aspire Mobility Group in Copenhagen, Denmark, following the retirement of Gunnar Moeskjaer after over 30 years in the moving industry.

Gunnar started his moving career with Santa Fe in Hong Kong in 1988, he moved to Singapore with the company in 1993 before returning to his native Denmark in 2000 to join moving company Bach & Salicath. Two years later the company bought Mobeltransport Danmark which rebranded its international moving and relocation division in 2013: Aspire Mobility Group.

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Suddath: Driving Innovation for 100 Years

Global Leader in Moving, Relocation and Logistics Celebrates Centennial

A century ago, Carl Suddath had little more than a dream when he bought a failed moving company
to start up his own business. Armed with a couple of small trucks, two mules and a cart, Suddath saw
opportunity in a 7,000-square-foot warehouse. Today, The Suddath Companies celebrates its 100th anniversary as a transformed company that is driving change and innovation across the moving, mobility and logistics industries.

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Venezuelan Electricity Outages

Zenaida Romero of MI Global has advised us that problems with the national electricity supply is effecting internet and telephone services.
Authorities are gradually restoring electricity services but these efforts are taking some time.
Please expect interruptions and delays in communications.

Lance Allen joins Aires

Aires in the USA has announced that Lance Allen, GMS, has joined the company as General
Manager of the West Coast Region. In his role, Lance will be responsible for the continued
growth and development of Aires’ business in the region.

Lance has over 30 years of mobility industry experience having worked extensively in the
United States, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. He has worked for relocation management,
destination services, and household goods shipping companies over the course of his career,
specialising in strategic company development in key markets, client relationship building,
and team development.

“We are excited to have Lance join Aires,” said Aires’ President Jeff Wangler. “His years of
experience will be a great asset to our company as we continue to expand and develop our
West Coast presence. Lance brings the perfect mix of abilities to Aires, from building
strategic alliances with clients, to developing successful operations and management teams,
to successful business development and growth.”

Most recently, Lance was based in Hong Kong, serving as the Managing Director for North
Asia for a leading mobility firm. In that role, he oversaw all business lines in the North Asia
Cluster, serving as a member of the senior leadership team. He will directly apply his years
of management experience in his new role with Aires.

“Being a service provider and partner with Aires, I have admired the organisation for
decades and now I have the opportunity to be part of their team,” said Lance. “Aires is a
true market leader in the mobility industry, and I feel honored to be joining such a strong
and professional organisation.”

Lance received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Indiana University and a Master of
Business Administration from Pepperdine University. He has been instrumental in
establishing CSR, ISO, and other relevant certifications for organisations throughout his
career. He has also served within several industry organizations, including the Board of
Governors for the American Club and the Board of Governors for FIDI-Asia (during which
time he also served as Vice President and President).

Enhancing the Mobility Journey without Increasing Costs

By Vaida Paulauskaite, Global Client Service Manager, Aires

More often we see companies tasked with the balancing act of developing a competitive
global mobility program while maintaining/reducing costs. Mobility teams are challenged to
act as business owners who do more with less, while simultaneously enhancing the mobility
experience – which is at the centre of all initiatives.

Here are some tips on how to enhance the mobility journey without adding costs to your
program:

Homework Share

  • Engage partners to do ‘homework’ on the programme elements they are responsible for.
    The intent of this exercise is to gather consultative advice relevant specifically to your
    programme. This will help evaluate if the package offering is competitive and if all services
    are still adding value to the overall programme. Encourage your partners to share what
    other companies are doing to fine-tune the programme and stay agile.
  • Review assignee feedback, either through the partner tools and resources or conducting
    your own additional internal survey to gather notes on what works and what doesn’t.
  • Review your program exceptions to find process improvements that will allow you to
    manage the program more effectively and/or reduce costs. To give an example: your
    relocation exception data indicates that the top category of spend is for temporary living
    extension. Following close analysis, you find that families find it challenging to find new
    homes in that location due to limited destination support they receive through the current
    programme. Because of this review, you decide to provide an additional day of home search
    support to future relocation packages, which is more cost effective than an additional month
    of corporate housing extension and helps to reduce the number and costs of these
    exceptions.
  • Review actual benefit utilization. You may find that a certain benefit is underutilized;
    however, its cost opportunity is high. By removing it from the standard package, it will give
    you room for considering a different service in another area that would complement the
    assignee’s experience.

Say Yes to Technology

  •  New HR/Global Mobility technology solutions keep cropping up, which can give you a great
    view of your mobility programme at your fingertips. This allows more room for you to be
    strategic, efficient, and consultative with the businesses you work with and to address more
    specific programme requirements and changing needs.
  • Review the needs and demographics of your managed population to evaluate how much
    technology they need, and what type of service would be the right fit. For example, some
    assignees may find online language courses or web tool cultural training more attractive due
    to added flexibility of being able to use whilst still at their home location, in comparison to
    class-based or one-on-one sessions at the host location. Such an alternative solution would
    not only meet the individual assignee needs and demonstrate your programme’s flexibility,
    but also would generate some cost savings as a technology solution.
  • Embrace various additional technology resources, such as video surveys for the household
    goods move, especially if the assignee has very few items to move. It takes less time out of
    their day to manage it, and the movers are well equipped in preparation. You may also create short videos to demonstrate what the new office location is like. The opportunities for technology are limitless.

Flexibility

  • Consider offering flexibility to the relocating assignee, catering to their individual needs. As
    an example, we see a trend of people ‘traveling light’. For example, they may not require a
    20-foot container, which the company budgeted for. Perhaps they can instead utilize a small
    air shipment or excess baggage in lieu of the full container shipment. Consider that they
    could also receive an additional flex-benefit to complement their individual needs, such as
    language training or reimbursement of a nanny or dog-sitter on the day they are moving.

Social Integration

Within the mobility packages, social integration is sometimes overlooked, even though it is a
very important factor for the overall mobility experience of the relocating assignee and their
family. Transferee surveys indicate that they often feel a sense of disconnection and
loneliness when relocating. Here are some tips that will help boost morale and inclusion:
 Provide access to socializing and networking opportunities for the assignees,
spouses/partners and children relocating to the same location. Perhaps sign them up for
next 3 events.

  • Share social company group pages if available.
  • Offer corporate membership to expatriate organisations.
  • Assign mentors in the office who may have gone through a similar relocating/ settling-in
    experience that they could connect with.
  • Include spouses throughout the process, for them to feel just as much supported and
    connected.

Solutions are limitless. Explore the above initiatives, share your success stories with us, and
surround yourself with innovative partners and programme stakeholders to build and
enhance your brand as the best employer. Keeping the businesses pleased with the most
effective cost management.

One Year Later: 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Aires in Pittsburgh explains the actions the company took following the US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that came into force at the beginning of last year.
On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – H.R.1 into law.
Many of the provisions took effect on January 1, 2018 and are set to expire on December 31, 2025. The Act contains provisions that impact individuals and employers with both domestic and international cross-border relocations. Implications are considered at the individual level and for global mobility programmes as a whole.

The major component impacting mobility programs and the relocation industry was the repeal of the qualified moving expense deduction and moving expense reimbursement exclusions. Previously, moving expenses were excluded from taxable wages. Under the Act, these are now subject to federal income tax, FICA/Medicare, FUTA, state and local reporting, and withholding.
In January 2018 there was uncertainty in the relocation industry regarding how expenses that crossed tax years would be treated. Aires consulted the top tax professionals in the industry and developed a conservative approach to ensure our clients were recording earnings appropriately.

We found that many of our clients also sought guidance from Aires regarding the following
impacts of the Act:

1. Increased individual assignment costs which were not budgeted from a business perspective.
2. Increased overall costs of mobility programmes offering tax assistance / tax equalisation due to gross-up factor in multiple jurisdictions.
3. International assignments may not generate enough foreign tax credit to offset additional tax costs where other jurisdictions exempt these expenses from taxation.
4. Mobile employees would not be able to deduct moving expenses from personal taxes.

We began working with our clients to explore ways to help mitigate these additional costs while also allowing them to make decisions to support the business, stay competitive with mobile talent, and minimize disruption and hardship for mobile employees. Initial assessments we helped our clients with include:

1. Revisiting cost estimates for assignments where moving expenses were incurred after December 31, 2017 and determine extent of additional costs.
2. Working with tax service providers to evaluate leveraging unused, excess foreign tax credits.
3. Determining cost impact of substituting furnished accommodations for large household goods shipments. (A portion of the furnished accommodations may be excludable under IRC Section 911).
4. Determining cost impact of substituting a discretionary allowance for large household goods shipments.

After analysing the data and taking consideration of all options, most of our clients decided to cover the additional tax costs of Household Goods and Final Move Travel. Although the relocation costs would increase, our clients determined that corporate tax cuts received from the Act would offset a majority of the impact. Very few international assignment or tax equalisation policies were updated, but where required, clients simply included an addendum referencing the additional gross-up on such items.

In September 2018, the IRS issued Notice 2018-75 which provided guidance that if a move
occurred or started prior to 1/1/18 the expense could be treated as non-taxable under the
previous law. Aires initiated full-year reviews for all of our clients and sent corrections with
the final payroll reporting. These corrections greatly assisted our clients by reducing
earnings to be reported and, where applicable, reduced their overall gross-up cost.

The logistics of how to process additional gross-ups were challenging due to that fact that
some states did not conform to the Internal Revenue Service code. Our clients began to
realise that their payroll systems defaulted to state tax treatment consistent with the federal
law for relocation earnings reporting. Adjustments were required to our payroll software to
account for states that did not treat household goods and final move travel as taxable.

We made enhancements to our systems to produce adjustments that would reduce state
earnings as well as the related state tax. We worked with many of our clients to produce
payroll adjustments that would also help them save on gross-up costs.

A few clients considered adjusting their programs by limiting shipment sizes or offering a
discard and donate programme to help minimise their employees’ shipments. In some cases,
clients offered a small incentive in lieu of storage.

Despite the initial concerns, our clients understood the importance of retaining key mobility
talent. By helping our clients implement adjustments that enabled them to be competitive,
we collectively limited the exposure of the tax changes to the relocating employee.

Article written by Kamryn Bohn, Richard Loebig, & Bobby Mathew from Aires

Aires Awarded Highmark Health’s Best Practice Award

Aires is pleased to announce that the company has earned Highmark Health’s Best Practice Area Performance award as a mobility partner in recruiting. The award was presented to Aires at a ceremony held in Pittsburgh on January 17.

“We are proud to be recognized for our service excellence, and to receive this award from a fellow Pittsburgh-based company makes it even sweeter,” said Aires Vice President, Central Region, John Casuccio. “The dedicated team at Aires that serves the Highmark and Allegheny Health Network’s transferring employees deserve all the credit for their focused advocacy and high-touch urgency to make sure each move goes smoothly.”

Highmark Heath’s executives noted Aires’ service, processes, and superior account focus as key reasons for the award.

Valparaiso Port Strike Ends

OMNI have been informed that the strikes affecting Valparaiso port have now ended.

Apparently an agreement has now been signed between port workers and the Ministry of Labour which should ensure that operations return to normal soon.

Thanks again to Sylvia Garcia at Ward Van Lines.