Conference focused on support of global mobility professionals and the current state of the relocation industry
The Wisconsin Employee Relocation Council (WiERC held its summer conference on June 9, 2022, at American Family Field in Milwaukee, WI.
The “Summer Baseball Meeting” began with global mobility professionals Rachel Taylor, Rockwell Automation; Elizabeth Thompson, SC Johnson; and Alyssa Williamson, SC Johnson, discussing their varied career paths and current responsibilities in global mobility. Each session participant answered the following questions:
- How did they get their start?
- What they wish they knew starting out?
- What went right in their path?
- What was a challenge?
- What does the future look like?
- How to support new global mobility professionals?
The second part of the conference centered on the timely topics of Temporary Housing, Cost of Living Allowances (COLA), Lump Sum Benefits, Mortgages, and the Global Supply Chain.
The Temporary Housing session was moderated by Jennifer Breen of Suite Home Corporate Housing. Issues discussed included :
- Operational Challenges
- Unit demand outpacing supply
- Extended stays affecting availability
- Property preferences (more transferees are requesting 2-3 bedrooms)
- Difficulty in securing rental furniture
- Delay in getting Cable/Internet to property
The Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) discussion was moderated by Christopher Bloedel of AirInc. The discussion focused on domestic COLA application and use and addressed:
- Defining COLA as a tool used in relocation programs to support recruiting and retention and temporarily assist relocating the employees with higher costs in the new location.
- The goal of the program is to enable a relocated person and family to maintain the same standard of living in a new area.
- COLA formulas that, at minimum, include costs of housing, goods and services, as well as the individual or family size
- Approximately 30% of companies have a domestic COLA benefit.
- COLA payment options
The Lump Sum session was moderated by Pam Jacknick of NEI Global Relocation. The discussion focused on lump-sum programs in the United States and addressed:
- Definition and types of lump-sum payments (Full, Partial, Variable, Managed, etc.)
- Administration of payments
- Advantages (flexibility) and disadvantages (amount determination) of the benefit
The Mortgage session was moderated by Sharrell Kilgore of Premia Relocation Mortgage. Discussion points included:
- Evaluating today’s mortgage environment from a historical perspective
- Revisiting the possibility of reintroducing mortgage subsidy programs for transferees such as Mortgage Interest Differentials (MIDA) and paying for discount points since over 50% of current homeowners have mortgage interest rates at or below 3.25%.
- Recognizing home purchase affordability decreases 10% for every 1% rise in interest rates
The Supply Chain session was moderated by Rebecca Glatzhofer of TRC Global Mobility. The discussion focused on the global supply chain’s fragility. Noted areas of concern included:
Recognizing the fragility of the supply chain when attempting to adhere to “Just in Time” and “On-Demand” schedules
The Supply Chain is further compromised by natural disasters, politics, regulations, and compliance
Having good practices, partners, and contingency plans in place and regularly practiced will strengthen the supply chain
WiERC Summer Baseball Meeting participants ended the day by attending the Milwaukee Brewers vs. Philadelphia Phillies baseball game at the conference site – American Family Field.