4 reasons to outsource

Celsium provides end-to-end relocation management services to organisations whilst applying our core values of Respect, Integrity and Empathy to the people we come into contact with, the communities in which we operate and the environment around us.  We aim to provide services globally through an extensive network of accredited partners.  We strive to be cost-effective for our clients through our industry-original business structure.  We aim to provide superlative quality services by our highly motivated and talented employees. 

When setting up Celsium, we decided that we wanted to be the best at what we did, which is a tiny bit of a cliché, admittedly, but that was, and remains, the genuine aim of the company. However, saying you are going to be better than the competition requires a lot more effort than just making a statement to that effect, so we set a number of objectives to help us on the journey to meeting our mission. Of those objectives, the following stood out whilst we were fleshing out the company structure:

  1. Partnering with local experts

  2. Offering a broad range of flexible, bespoke services

  3. Managing and minimising risk

  4. Vigorously controlling costs

 

  1. Partnering with local experts has enabled us to provide excellent services in almost every location imaginable. We aren’t going to claim we have Celsium employees on the ground in every region, or in Paris, Istanbul or Shanghai, because we don’t. The reason why we don’t is simple - because we don’t need to as there is no tangible added value. For somebody moving to Paris, it makes no difference whatsoever whether their relocation is managed from Aberdeen, Paris or Tokyo. As long as time zone differences are accounted for, it really doesn’t matter where in the world our Personal Coordinators are based – they are the ones managing the relocation, coordinating the various activities and ensuring the sequence of pre-planned events plays out as expected. Local support, e.g. current advice on the state of the rental market in Hong Kong, is outsourced to those that know it best – the local experts we have selected to support your employees. We could claim to be rental market experts in Hong Kong and attempt to provide suitable advice based on second hand information, but in all honesty, who really knows the Hong Kong market best; somebody in the UK running Google searches to find relevant information to pass on, or somebody in Hong Kong working within the rental sector?

  2. We thought about our service offering in depth as we wanted to stand out from the crowd a little. Rather than just providing the bog standard set of services, we wished to support our clients with some additional services and also enhance standard services. Of course, supporting your clients with slightly different services requires knowledge in those areas and we didn’t feel we were in a position to recruit and manage employees to provide those services. Would you interview, recruit and manage an employee providing tax advice if you didn’t have knowledge of tax? So again, we decided that outsourcing was the most appropriate model here, and this has allowed us to provide our customers with the flexibility of a broad range of services from which to choose. It has also allowed us to provide an industry-leading Tenancy Management service, as every member of our tenancy team is ARLA* qualified and attends regular training updates.

    *The Association of Residential Letting Agents is a professional body for letting agents. ARLA was formed in 1981 as the professional and regulatory body for letting agents in the UK. ARLA raises standards within the letting and property management profession through qualifications and training, offering a range of specialist short courses and the Technical Award in Residential Letting and Property Management qualification. www.arla.co.uk

  3. Minimising risk has become a hot topic of late, and rightly so. Gone are the days of it being viewed as merely a tick box exercise. With the rise and prominence of social media, organisations face increased reputational challenges as their laundry is publically aired. Following on from an actual risk assessment, one of the ways in which an organisation can minimise risk is to ensure it is compliant, i.e. with legislation, good industry practice and described processes and procedures. Managing this in a business can be a laborious task if the work is carried out by directly employed staff, but if areas of work are outsourced, it is fair to say that those to whom the work has been outsourced will be more expert in that field than your organisation and can better manage the processes and risks on your behalf. Celsium has placed its trust in a number of outsourced partners who are highly knowledgeable and compliant experts in their own field, and in order to maintain high standards and high levels of trust, we carry out periodic compliance assessments under the ethos of continual improvement and due diligence. Had we opted to perform these services in-house, our staffing costs would have been significantly higher and we would have had the additional burden of providing specialist training and additional audit activities, but as it stands we are able to pass these cost savings to our clients.

Following on from the point above, what do you have to consider when employing a specialist team member? Well, it’s quite a list when you sit down and think about it. Here’s a little list of activities that will use an organisation’s valuable resources:

  • Creating a job description

  • Advertising the position

  • Interviewing several candidates, some more than once

  • Updating candidates on the outcome of their interview(s)

  • Issuing a job offer

  • Dealing with new starter paperwork

  • Setting up the new employee on company systems and payroll

  • Creating an induction and training plan

  • Providing in-house training

  • Providing specialist external training

  • Conducting periodic training reviews

  • Issuing permanent position after satisfactory probationary period completion

  • Conducting internal audit of processes the employee is following

  • Creating post-audit improvement plan

  • Implementing improvement plan

  • Providing ongoing training

You get the idea – and that’s just a short list off the top of my head. And remember, you can only provide quality in-house training if sufficient knowledge exists within the company and you have sufficient written resources (hard copy, soft copy or online) to which the employee can refer.

The other option is to outsource the position to a specialist organisation with solid experience of working in that sector. E.g. we could have recruited a team of tenancy managers to handle our lease negotiations and manage all of our corporate tenancies, but we would have had to follow the steps above at considerable (ongoing) expense. Lettings legislation in the UK is ever changing so refresher training courses are paramount to providing a top class tenancy management service. You can see the costs mounting up and of course, these costs are passed to the client in one way or another. By outsourcing this work, Celsium is able to reduce the costs of its overheads and pass these cost savings to our clients. In today’s market of bottom line scrutiny, cost control is paramount and any saving we can make for our clients is passed on.

Naturally, we look at cost control across the board, not just at the relocation services we provide to our clients. Our business model allows us to control and minimise costs (and risk) in every single department, including IT, Finance, HR, Sales & Marketing and Operations, a benefit that is ultimately enjoyed by the client.

Celsium is responsible for the coordination and management of all outsourced partners to deliver our services. The Personal Coordinator’s role is to understand the relocation policy, processes and our systems and manage all relocations and arising situations, tracking and following up on all due tasks via our relocation management software. Celsium bears ultimate responsibility for the overall management of each relocation so we select and manage our outsourced partners to deliver a service with the same level of respect, integrity and empathy that we deliver to our clients.

There will be opponents to outsourcing as for every fan there is a critic, but Celsium sees the enormous benefits of outsourcing, particularly for specialist, regulated functions. Ultimately, we want to provide the best services for our clients at the most effective cost, and outsourcing helps us to achieve these goals without compromise.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK