How to Create a Robust Relocation Benefit

Posted by Ryne Inman on Dec 12, 2017 8:06:00 AM

Reimbursement policies have been a pillar of employee relocation programs for years. Over time they Expense Management Solutionsevolved, but rather than increase in efficiency, they typically became more time consuming, burdensome, and a hassle to relocating employees, relocation professionals, and payroll departments. Even as technology improved other burdensome processes, reimbursement procedures remained frustratingly manual. UrbanBound’s new expense management solution tackles this very obstacle.

Flexing Expense Management

Current best practices dictate that reimbursement works best as part of a Core/Flex policy, in which “flex” options are paired with a “core” policy that uses direct bill benefits to handle the bulk of an employee’s move. This arrangement allows the best of both worlds for both employers and employees. In a Core/Flex policy, the large portions of an employee’s move are administered via direct bill, where a third party, such as UrbanBound administers the payment for services, avoiding tax penalties, and giving employees a directly defined benefit.

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For instance, an employee’s household goods move, would be paid through UrbanBound, rather than as a dollar amount given directly to the employee. This makes up the “core” policy. The “flex” portions of a policy provide auxiliary support that may vary from employee-to-employee. This includes costs like additional home-finding trips, lease cancellation fees, or storage fees.

Other examples of reimbursed expenses in an ideal Core/Flex policy that in include:

  • Checked baggage fees

  • Meals en route to destination

  • Lease cancellation fees

Utilized in this type of policy, expected fees can be addressed through reimbursement. This approach removes a large degree of variability and in turn, the amount of work needed to approve or deny submitted expenses.

Combining Expense Reimbursement and Direct Bill with the UrbanBound Solution

UrbanBound’s expense management solution streamlines and simplifies this process. Using a direct bill core policy for major expenses, like household goods moves, through UrbanBound allows employees to get service from a network of vetted suppliers. Expense management acts as a fill-in for expenses that aren’t included in that core policy.

Your relocation team can craft a reimbursement policy based on the employee’s needs, and once their relocation has begun, employees can upload receipts directly to UrbanBound. Each upload will be added to an expense report, and is automatically audited against their policy. The administrators at your company are then alerted that an expense has been submitted. Your team can approve or deny each claim. From there, approved expenses can be tracked in UrbanBound’s reporting suite alongside direct bill expenses.

The simplicity and straightforwardness of UrbanBound’s reimbursement tools are a boon to both the employer and employee. Employers save time processing requests and manage less physical paperwork, while constraining spending to predetermined amounts automatically. Employees can more easily manage their receipts, and track the approval status of each transaction each step of the way.

Urbanbound’s expense management and reimbursement tools aim to support relocation programs with best practice solutions for relocation programs. Tackling a time-consuming, burdensome process with easy-to-use technology not only improves existing programs, but opens up relocation benefits to more companies.

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Topics: HR, Relocation Management Software, Product Update

Three Reasons You Need Real-Time Reporting for Your Relocation Program

Posted by Lauren Decker on Apr 13, 2017 12:22:31 PM

UrbanBound Employer Reporting Tracking the success of your relocation program can take practice. For some, it starts with a spreadsheet and a few simple formulas to keep track of relocation spend. For others, it may mean pulling together key data from various sources over time to provide a complete view of the program’s health.

No matter where you are in the process, easy to access, real-time relocation data is critical. If you are spending half your time collecting and organizing your relocation data, then you may be sacrificing time you could be spending to analyze and act on the information at hand. 

UrbanBound’s new reporting suite empowers you to easily review and assess data as relocations occur to help you avoid relocation pitfalls, quickly adjust your program, and equip you with the information needed to measure overall success.

Here’s how:

Insight Into Individual Move Progress

Relocating is a major life event. When a relocation is tied to a new position or job, you’ll find that your employees are under more stress than usual. Stress related to relocating is something you can help mitigate, but cannot completely remove from your employee’s life. One of the best ways you can help reduce stress is to equip relocating employees with professional solutions to help them manage their move.

When you provide relocating employees with UrbanBound's Relocation Management Software, you can see real-time data about how their move is progressing, such as interactions with the Relocation Consultant, booked relocation services, major milestones achieved, and more. With the ability to easily check-in on the progress of any employee, you (or a hiring manager) can obtain a high-level understanding of how each individual is utilizing their relocation benefits and advancing in their relocation.

Access to Policy Performance Data

In addition to ensuring each employee is on track for a successful relocation, you also want access to metrics that help you understand how your various relocation policies are performing. In today’s world, you can’t afford to wait to review policy performance at the end of the quarter or end of the year. Understanding policy performance can help you identify trends and make adjustments accordingly to save money for your company, improve the employee relocation experience, or both.

When relocation policies are administered online, you gain access to data such as policy allowance vs. actual spend, average spend per employee, average spend per benefit, and more. Because the data is already collected and organized, you can spend time slicing and dicing the information as needed to understand what changes need to be made. With access to this information, you can see when employees are spending out of pocket, how much is being spent per relocation benefit, and how different locations impact the performance of the relocation policy.

Reports Delivered to Your Email Inbox

The first step to effectively utilizing your relocation data is collecting it in an online, easy to access location. By getting out of the business of collecting data, you’ll be able to dedicate more time to analyzing trends and implementing improvements. The second step is to make sure you are routinely reviewing that data to see how changes impact the program and how the data changes over time.

One of the best ways to ensure you’re routinely accessing your relocation data is to have your relocation technology do the work for you. When you’re able to view data online AND schedule the delivery of that data to your inbox (or a co-worker’s inbox), you can ensure that your team is spending time on less administrative tasks and more activities that add value to your relocation program.

Whether you are just beginning to build a relocation program or have a time-tested program in place, you need easy access to relocation data to ensure the sustainability and success of your relocation program. By investing in the data you need to track success, you are also investing in your company’s ability to deliver a quality, cost-effective experience to your relocating employees.

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Topics: Technology, Product Update

3 Relocation Questions That Can Be Answered with UrbanBound Reporting

Posted by Lauren Decker on Nov 17, 2016 1:47:42 PM

urbanbound reporting

How do you know if the relocation program you’re administering is working? 

  • Are your employees satisfied with the experience?
  • Do you understand how each relocation package is being utilized?
  • What is the average cost of a relocation within your company?

If any of these questions have been left unanswered at your company, you should consider bringing your relocation program online to help you get the answers you need.

By automating relocation processes with online solutions, data becomes more readily available and enables you to easily access information that helps you evaluate the success and sustainability of your company’s program.

Without this data, you may find yourself estimating how successful your program is based on employee satisfaction alone or even assuming everything is going fine simply because “that’s the way it’s always been done.” Making these assumptions can be costly over time if you fail to pivot to the needs of your business and your employees.  

Let’s see how UrbanBound’s Relocation Management Software can help you answer some of your toughest relocation questions.

How is each employee’s relocation progressing?

One of the most sought after questions about relocation is also one of the toughest to answer:

How is your employee progressing through their move?

If you’re offering relocation benefits to your employee with their move, you’re making an investment in that employee and need that employee to have a successful move in order to reap the returns.

Employers want insight into the progress of the relocation so they can get ahead of any issues that arise and make sure the employee settles into their new location as smoothly (and quickly) as possible.

Relocation Management Software offers unique insights into the progress of each relocation because the moves are serviced online. Once the employee activates their online account, their activities within that account can be tracked to provide the employer with visibility into everything from which suppliers have been contacted to how many times they’ve interacted with their Relocation Consultant.

With this level of visibility into the relocation the employer has a better understanding of where the employee is in the relocation process and identify any alarming trends that might need to be addressed. For example, if the employee hasn’t activated their account and connected with suppliers, the recruiter or manager may choose to reach out to make sure all relocation plans are moving forward as discussed.

How did your employees spend their relocation budget?

Understanding how your employee’s move is progressing certainly isn’t the only data point you want to collect about your new hires and transferees. Most employers want to know how much those employees are spending and on what services. Unfortunately, many employers struggle to access this key information for one reason or another — often due to the benefit they’re offering.

3 Relocation Questions That Can Be Answered with UrbanBound Reporting

Lump sum benefits make it especially difficult to track how an employee is spending their relocation benefits. By offering benefits like direct bill through Relocation Management Software, employers are able to track exactly what’s been spent by each relocating employee and broken down by services rendered, suppliers, used, and more.  This information can not only be used to retroactively review spend, but to also track the employee’s actual spending against their allowance throughout the move.

Armed with this data, employers can begin to objectively evaluate their relocation program and identify opportunities for improvement. For example, if you find that employees are spending all of their relocation allowance on their household goods move, you may want to review what services the relocation package was intended to cover. If you were hoping the relocation package would cover household goods move and final travel, you may consider raising the overall allowance or providing a portion of the allowance that is specifically earmarked for final travel.

What is the average cost of a relocation?

Collecting spend data about past relocations can also help employers make educated decisions about future relocations and associated costs. It’s not enough to simply know that Employee Smith was provided an allowance of $5,000 and that’s the anticipated cost of a relocation. To optimize your relocation policy in a way that sets your employee and your company up for success, you need to understand how much of that allowance was used, for which services and suppliers, along with key factors of the move, like where that employee was relocating to.

With Relocation Management Software, you can gain a deeper understanding of the factors that drive the average cost of a relocation, including where the employee relocated to and how far they moved. By having this information stored online in a database that also contains other important data points, employers can slice and dice the data to narrow in on which aspects of a relocation drive up (or down) the cost of a relocation.

A better understanding of the cost of a relocation at your company will help your business decide how to successfully scale their relocation program. These insights can help your talent acquisition team decide where to recruit, inform budgeting plans, and, of course, help you improve your relocation policies.

Whether you are just getting your relocation program off the ground or are considering making updates to your existing program, make sure you have the data you need to effectively evaluate the success of your program. The ability to easily access your relocation data is the first step to making positive, impactful changes to your relocation policy.

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Topics: Relocation Management Software, Product Update

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