Steve Jordan looks at the delicate topic of getting paid as the difficulty of doing so appears to increase throughout the industry.
During my time in this industry, which is a little longer than most I suspect, I have seen our industry become a commodity. Large, powerful companies have for decades pretended to undervalue our services. I say ‘pretended’ because I am sure they know that, without us, their mobility programmes would be in tatters, but they have chosen not to reward us. Why? Because we have let them or, at least, have never been able to discover an antidote to the poison that is the race to the bottom. We have always rolled over and tried to find ways of converting our efficiency and hard work into savings for customers who don’t show that they appreciate what we do and continually push for more.
Now, it seems, we have a further indignity to endure. Having worn our hands to shreds trying to provide the excellence these customers demand – they don’t pay us. Why? Because they don’t have to and because we let them get away with it. They are big and strong, we are not. We have little choice. Or do we?
There are three culprits: our agent partners, corporate customers and Relocation Management Companies (RMCs). This story focusses mainly on the corporate world and, in particular, the RMCs for which contributors have reserved their most toxic venom.
I am not planning on naming any company or individual in this story except where I have their permission to do so. That’s because people will always share their true feelings when they know they will not be exposed and suffer commercial consequences. That’s the only way to get to the truth.
In doing my research I simply asked a dozen or so companies, at random, about their experiences with the payment of accounts. Almost everyone came back with tales of woe sufficient for me to believe that there is a widespread problem. Talking to people at the recent IAM conference, and listening to some of the business presentations (especially IAM Trusted), confirmed it ...
Photo: Steve Jordan.