Raising the standard

FIDI’s FAIM Supervisory Committee (FSC) oversees the progression of the certification and maintenance of its industry-leading reputation. FIDI Focus speaks to its Chair, Mark Burchell, about the importance of FAIM and recent and future developments

Can you explain the role of the FSC in the development of FAIM?

The ongoing development of FAIM is managed by John Prooij and his team at the FAIM Coordination Centre. Of course, the overall direction for FAIM comes from the FIDI Board, which also assesses direct feedback, recommendations and input from the membership. Meanwhile, the primary role of the FAIM Supervisory Committee (FSC) is one of oversight and acting as a final point of escalation where and when compliance issues arise, and when changes to the current audit programme warrant further discussion, approval, or rejection.

What’s the perception of FAIM among FIDI’s membership and beyond? I believe the perception of FAIM is still very strong for both FIDI members and corporate customers around the world. It is recognised as the leading quality standard for international moving and now also speaks to the standards members must attain and maintain in cybersecurity, digitalisation and sustainability – which are very important areas for every kind of customer group.

I think the EY audit programme and process, and EY’s global brand, add significant validity to the high level of integrity for both members and customers.

How important do you think proven quality (or quality certification) in the sales process is to corporate customers?

I think it is still important and relevant on at least a couple of levels from a corporate perspective, and particularly in the US and Europe. For larger contracts, procurement and legal teams from the corporate client are going to want to see documented evidence of the applicable quality standards and commitments as part of the formal contracting process. And, of course, from a sales process standpoint, FIDI members still need to be able to articulate the value FAIM brings to the corporate client and how it addresses the clients’ specific needs and requirements.

How does the process differ when it comes to selling to direct consumers?

There is a different selling proposition to direct consumers, which, of course, would be based on their individual and specific needs, and how FAIM is able to address these. As an industry, we need to be able to articulate the value of FAIM, and of FIDI, to the individual needs of direct consumers. This will be increasingly important as more corporate transferees become direct consumers through the growing prevalence of cash allowance policies.

Should FAIM be ahead of compliance developments in the corporate world, or should it follow today’s requirements?

The answer is probably somewhere in between. Compliance already means different things to different companies and leaders, and, in some cases, the location you primarily do business in will drive different regulations and standards. I really applaud the position that FIDI has taken with the Coalition for Greener Mobility. In my opinion, this is going to be the way forward; to be a part of the conversation and movement, with a seat at the table and the opportunity to lead the initiative.

FAIM has matured over the past 25 years and adapted massively to what is important both today and tomorrow. Where do we go from here? Is there still a lot of innovation and development ahead?

Absolutely. The way we do business today is going to continually change and evolve. We might not be, as an industry, at the forefront of adopting AI and fully integrating platforms like ChatGPT into our daily working schedules and workflows, but this is coming.

So, the FAIM drive to improve digitalisation across our members is critical today and to prepare us for tomorrow. While we don’t yet have robots performing packing and unpacking services in homes, I think we will start to see progressive moving companies adopting AI into their daily activities and work flow, and FAIM has a role to play in that, for sure.

Added to the issue of ESG, there is a lot of work to be done around standardisation, measurement, meaningful reporting, and validation from a FAIM perspective. For FIDI, industry representation across multiple groups that touch and drive these initiatives will be critical to help keep FIDI relevant.

With the increasing emphasis on digitalisation, cybersecurity and corporate sustainability in FAIM, what other areas could become subject to future audits?

Who knows what the future holds; we are busy with FAIM 2022 currently, which is going very well and has been well received by members. We can be certain that these areas alone – digitalisation, cybersecurity, and sustainability – are going to be very dynamic and take the industry in different directions, and probably at a very fast pace.

From my perspective, it will mean we collectively must make sure FAIM maintains pace with these market dynamics, as customers demand more information and validation of our position and overall level of compliance.

I believe that the use and mis-use of AI, along with the validation of original information and documentation, could be an area of both concern and focus in the future, too.

Does the FIDI DSP certification have the same potential for DSPs as FAIM had for movers?

Yes absolutely. Finding a home can be just as stressful as moving home. Also, today, DSP services come in many different formats, spanning both virtual and in-person services.

What we do need is for these different types of services to meet the various needs of the changing demographic of DSP customers. So, at the same time, it is very important for customers to know that, with the FIDI quality seal for DSP services, they are going to be dealing with a certified, secure and reputable company, regardless of geographic location.

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