Winner: Outstanding HR & Supplier Partnership 2017

Recognised by the Relocate Awards 2017 judges as “an inspirational relationship”, the partnership between Clearview Relocation and vacuum products manufacturer Edwards won the two firms a trophy.

Relocate Global Awards 2017 10th Anniversary Outstanding HR and Supplier Partnership Clearview Relocation and Edwards winner
Relocate Global Awards 2017 10th Anniversary Best International Bridgestreet sponsor
Judges of this category were looking for an outstandingly strong and seamless partnership, which Clearview Relocation and Edwards clearly demonstrated in their winning entry.Testimonials from both companies combined to describe an inspirational relationship, allowing the strength of the partnership to shine through, said the judging panel.

Employee-centred relocation

The six-year partnership between Newbury-based Clearview Relocation and international technology firm Edwards is based on trust, communication and mutual understanding of the challenges encountered by relocating employees.Part of Atlas Copco, Edwards develops sophisticated vacuum products, abatement solutions, and related solutions that are integral to manufacturing processes for semiconductors, flat-panel displays, LEDs and solar cells. Its products are used in a range of industrial processes and R&D applications.The company employs approximately 7,200 staff globally. At any given time, it has a mobile population of around 50 in and out of the UK and other locations, managed by a team of two in-house global mobility specialists in partnership with Clearview.“My role involves uprooting people’s lives, and I take that very seriously,” says Judy Gilbert, global mobility specialist at Edwards. “I trust Clearview implicitly in terms of sensitivity around the cultural needs of our assignees. I can unequivocally say that they make my life so much easier. They work to budget, timescale, and always go the extra mile.”One of Clearview’s outstanding strengths, Judy Gilbert adds, is its ability to match its orientation tour consultants to the age and type of assignees.“We move people at all levels, from graduates here for a few months to VIPs here for three years,” says Debbie Ward, relocation manager at Clearview. “The team is aware that we are delivering excellence in an open partnership across the board.“For us, Edwards is a typical account that’s grown from basic-level support to delivering a host of other services to support HR – for example, removals into and out of UK. We have a solution for everything.“We are respectful of the various cultural backgrounds and differences as we encounter them on a day-to-day basis across all of our client base. The services we provide are therefore tailored to meet the needs of both the business and the individual concerned.“This makes it easier to develop our relationships with clients. They tell us what they need and we adapt accordingly. We really want to make sure the move is as smooth as it can be, with all the parts working together.”

Building and maintaining trust

The partnership’s excellent service provision is cemented by trust, which has been built through a commitment to communication, responsiveness, and a legacy of positive relocation experiences for assignees and team members. “We regularly have calls to discuss ongoing relocations or assignments that are in the pipeline and confirm the next steps,” says Judy Gilbert.Debbie Ward adds, “The partnership is successful because Judy and I work to the same standards. I always have excellent assignee profiles from Judy, which enable me to brief our consultants thoroughly and pre-empt assignee needs and challenges.”Clearview’s sensitivity to Edwards’ way of working is reflected throughout its extensive team of home-search consultants, removals firms and related services.Carol Woodcock, one of Clearview’s home-search consultants working alongside 16 full-time office-based employees, says, “I always feel supported by the team back in the office. They’re flexible enough to give me freedom to use my knowledge and experience in order to deliver the best possible outcome for Edwards.”Such relationships are critical to ensuring good experiences for employees on the move. “We want to make sure that our assignees and our clients are not aware of any change in service provider, for example, when our partner takes over,” says Debbie Ward. “We want it to be an easy transition so there are no jolts in the relationships with suppliers.“This is why careful case management is so important. We communicate and feed back so that everyone knows the assignee’s background, what they might be looking for, and whether there might be rumblings so we can pre-empt them.”

Managing resources

Such is the strength of the relationship that Edwards is happy to follow Clearview’s lead when it comes to responding to assignees’ needs in the context of external realities.“We are at a point now where we have earned Edwards’ trust, which makes it much easier for everyone when we are faced with challenges,” says Debbie Ward. “There is no hesitation in following our advice when we offer a solution based on our experience.”While communication and a thorough understanding of policies are vital for this aspect of the relationship, flexibility and a consultative approach are also valuable, as Debbie Ward explains. “Guidelines might be written down, but we also have to be reasonable about the real world, and sometimes market conditions dictate.“Edwards is very understanding about this. They are also open to hearing our proposals.”

The future

Its partnership with Clearview means that Edwards can continue to attract, develop and retain employees with international experience, and to deploy talent to grow the business in a cross-cultural context in this highly skills-competitive sector.“Global mobility enhances the knowledge, talent capability and resourcing within the group,” says Judy Gilbert. “It is encouraged to support both business needs and operational flows.“I think the trend globally is that the mobile population is set to increase, as businesses need to share information across the globe. Because this is a constantly shifting area, the relationship with Clearview is such that they are agile in their ability to react to our needs with their network of consultants around the world.”Debbie Ward explains that Clearview’s established global network is well prepared to meet Edwards’ growing global mobility needs. “Working with best-in-class, tried-and-trusted partners around the world means that we can help our clients wherever they might need us.“Our international partners work to strict service-level agreements and are evaluated on an ongoing basis. They share our principles, ethics and approach, allowing us to provide a consistent and high level of service across the globe.”

Winning ways

The win is the culmination of a number of years’ hard work and a positive experience of entering the Relocate Awards. “As a team of individuals and as a company, we’ve been around a long time,” explains Debbie Ward, “but entering awards is not something we’ve tended to focus on until recently.“This year, for a whole raft of reasons, including the team we’ve got and developing the business, we decided to go through the process of putting a submission together.“It was a steep learning curve. We went out to our clients, our assignees and our partners to hear their views. They said some lovely things. We feel we deliver a good service, but it was reassuring to have that confirmed.“Entering the Relocate Awards and winning two [Clearview is also Destination Services Provider of the Year] was also really special because every day people in our team come up against barriers and challenges that they work through to solve. Again, to have that external validation is lovely. It gives everyone a massive boost.“The whole process has been positive. The office has been smiling ever since the Relocate Awards!”Last word to Judy Gilbert. “I think the award is very well deserved, and I’m proud of the service that we and Clearview, as a team, are able to provide to our assignees.” 

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© 2017. This article first appeared in the Summer 2017 edition of Relocate magazine, published by Profile Locations, Spray Hill, Hastings Road, Lamberhurst, Kent TN3 8JB. All rights reserved. This publication (or any part thereof) may not be reproduced in any form without the prior written permission of Profile Locations. Profile Locations accepts no liability for the accuracy of the contents or any opinions expressed herein.