Insights and Observations: Reflections on the Americas Relocation Policy & Strategy Summit
By: Jon Schroeder
President, Atlantic Relocation Systems
The past two decades have changed the way modern society communicates and how we conduct business in a global economy. In today’s hyper-connected world, organizations have to move quickly and adapt to new trends at scale. It is now more vital than ever for companies to have the ability to move employees or relocate to entirely new locales in a timely and efficient manner. The world won’t wait, so it is crucial that all businesses have a strategic plan or partner to tackle this challenge when it arises. Innovation in workforce mobility is critical to overcoming this hurdle, and Graebel is certainly one of the leaders at the forefront of this revolution.
The Americas Relocation Policy & Strategy Summit 2017, recently held by Graebel, was a reflection of their mission to exact and drive innovation in the mobility space. My time at the Summit was truly educational. As a moving services vendor, it was a privilege to be invited amongst a small group of supplier partners and have the opportunity to interact with various corporate client attendees in a somewhat unique and certainly enjoyable environment. Upon arrival, you could almost immediately feel the vibe of truth and love that is part of the Graebel Corporate Values Statement. The positivity and real interest I witnessed as expressed by CEO Bill Graebel, while he was casually interacting with both client and supplier attendees, was undoubtedly genuine and likely a significant contributor to the company’s notable success.
One of the highlights of the Summit was definitely the “Build a Bike” charity event. During this session the group divided up into teams and assembled bikes straight out of the manufacturer’s cartons while collaborating together in small assigned groups. This experience (and challenge for non-handy types like me) allowed everyone to interact in a more engaging and personal way and to accomplish (in an unbelievable and truly memorable fashion) being part of giving back to the local Denver and surrounding metro communities. The best part of this program came toward the conclusion of the session when a group of challenged kids from a local non-profit charity arrived to claim their individual bikes. It truly touched my heart in a profound way to see the excitement of these youngsters and their real enthusiasm and appreciation for the bike, helmet, and lock that each of them was able to take away (of course, that was only after a good double check on the safety of the assembly by bike building experts since most all of us were not really effectively skilled at this task). It was clearly evident that community involvement was not new to the company culture, or Graebel family, and that giving back in a meaningful way is vital to their mission and goals.
I also really enjoyed the session “What Mobility Has Taught Me,” where several conference attendees (a mixture of corporate clients, suppliers, and Graebel employees) shared an individual six-minute experience of their personal perspective on that question and engaging session topic. Some of the takeaways I jotted down on my notepad included: “A brand is a promise delivered”; “The power of yes”; “Talk less and listen more”; and “BVO options are not commonplace for transferees in their day to day lives – therefore, it is necessary to assist them in truly understanding the complexities and value of this benefit and how, when applicable, it pertains to their relocation.” Each of these overviews had a unique and true-to-life feel. This entire session was insightful and memorable.
The attendees at the Summit included many small, medium, and large corporate clients, along with a select group involved in the various facets of the supply chain. When I spent one-on-one time with the guests during the forum breakfast, lunch, dinner, and break sessions, the common denominator expressed was that they made the choice to work with Graebel because they feel that Graebel has a unique and refreshing approach to their relationship and business model. There can be little doubt that something unique and positive is going on based on the types of clients that participated and the industry-leading suppliers in attendance, who were all expressing a similar tone. It appeared that Graebel’s desire to continue to win at becoming the “Supplier of Choice” and an “Employer of Choice” (which are both part of their stated company goals as expressed during the breakout sessions) will be achievable objectives for them.
Hats off to the entire Graebel team. They appear to have great things in store for themselves, their clients, and their suppliers in the global mobility space.