What’s Your Biggest Mobility Challenge?



What We Heard and How We are Meeting the Challenge.

More than 1,500 mobility professionals recently attended ERC’s Global Workforce Symposium in Chicago, IL.  As our team connected with the event attendees, we asked each of them a question, “what is your biggest mobility challenge?” Nearly 120 people responded by writing their answers onto post-it notes that we collected on our booth wall.

The findings offered insight into the top mobility issues that will most likely impact all faucets of the industry as we move into 2018. Here is a summary of the key findings:

Cost Containment is Still Top of Mind

Cost containment topped the list as one of the biggest challenges facing mobility industry professionals in attendance. Cost containment has been a long-standing priority for everyone from mobility suppliers and clients to transferees. At Oakwood Worldwide, we answer this need by continuing to invest in technology like epic™, which is a global accommodations platform that offers our clients unbiased accommodation options. This single tool has saved our clients over $18.6 million per year. Our client service teams are also constantly working with clients to create new tiers of accommodations for employee levels (e.g. interns) that offer creative cost saving options, without sacrificing service.

Managing Employee Expectations is Key

Managing “employee expectations” was right behind cost containment as a key challenge facing today’s mobility professionals. We weren’t completely surprised by this, as buzzwords like “employee experience” have been floating around the industry for years.

Elizabeth Hotze, Director of Sales, Oakwood Worldwide shares how to begin creating the best employee experience, “It all starts with setting expectations up-front, communicating clearly throughout the relocation process and alignment with trusted industry partners,”   

For the corporate housing industry, the more knowledge your partner has about the property, accommodations, country and culture – the better equipped you can be to communicate those details to your transferees. Because Oakwood operates in all 50 U.S. states and over 95 countries worldwide, we have intel on the experience of the 100,000 guests that we serve each year and can use that information to best prepare our clients’ transferees so that expectations are clear and concerns are handled up-front rather than post-relocation, when the stakes are higher.

Technology is Still an Industry Struggle

Technology continues to be an industry challenge, as mobility professionals want more upgraded service – which includes access to reports, custom functionality and mobile-friendly applications. Oakwood will continue to invest in technology across the organization into 2018 and beyond – with plans to roll out EPIC 2.0, a more user-friendly digital presence and mobile application. These enhancements will improve property search, booking and sourcing capabilities – so that there’s more visibility into property details, cost savings and inventory options. This will continue to be an area of focus for us as we look for ways to improve our clients’ and guests’ experience.

As we chart our course for 2018, we are grateful for opportunities like this where we can listen to our clients and ensure that our company priorities are in-line with the market needs and client demands. We would like to thank all of those who participated in this survey – we appreciate the insight you offered to our mobility industry community.