Almost a decade since it was first conceived, FIDI’s Branch Affiliation Scheme is still in place, offering Affiliates a cost-effective way to access FIDI services. Lydia Cope, FIDI’s Customer Relations Officer, looks at the background to the initiative and speaks to two branches that have recently become affiliated through the scheme
The Branch Affiliation Scheme in its current format was created in 2013. Before this initiative was introduced, branch offices in the same country as a FIDI-affiliated head office could be members of FIDI. However, this could be costly for Affiliates because those branch offices were also subject to a FAIM audit and an increased membership fee.
A motion was put to the Delegates Meeting in Washington DC in October 2012, and the decision was taken to create an affiliated branch scheme to allow more branches to join FIDI, and for the branches and their staff to be able to benefit from and use FIDI services.
At the time, the Board felt that if an affiliated head office was working according to FAIM quality standards, it was safe to assume that branches in the same country operating under the same brand identity would also hold the same quality standards.
The FIDI Branch Affiliation Scheme offers heavily subsidised FIDI affiliation fees for these branch offices. Under it, branches do not need to be audited separately. It is the responsibility of head offices that their affiliated branches are, at all times, compliant with the up-to-date FAIM Quality requirements.
Membership investment per branch, per calendar year, is
- €500 annual membership fees
- €150 FASI contribution.
- No entrance fees are applicable, and for a branch or branches added partway through the year, the annual membership fee will be pro-rata.
- The FAIM audit fee to cover the branch responsibility checks is €225. This is a one-off fee, irrespective of the number of branches.
The benefits of branch affiliation include:
- Increased market exposure both to the FIDI community and to end customers. Each branch has its own listing in the FIDI Directory under its location
- Access to all FIDI services, including FASI payment protection
- Access to FIDI resources for all branch staff, including Academy training, enhanced customs information, FIDINET and more.
Initially, the scheme attracted more than 150 branch affiliations. That number has slightly fallen now to 120 branches but remains an important mechanism for Affiliates. It allows them to increase their visibility in the FIDI community; position themselves in competitive market spaces; obtain FASI protection in multiple locations; and open the door to FIDI services, such as FIDI Academy programmes, to its wider staff – at a significantly reduced membership cost.
CEO Christoffer Westin on SBK Moving’s Malmö branch
FIDI Focus: Why did SBK add the Malmö branch to FIDI?
Christoffer Westin: The branch is the latest expansion for SBK Moving. Since the company started in Örnsköldsvik back in 1888 as a local removal company, we have expanded to Stockholm, which is now our head office. Furthermore, we have an office and depot in Cannes, France, to
cater for our European traffic.
In 2019, we purchased a small removal company in Malmö that we knew intimately and previously had used as our local partner and hub.
Malmö is the third-largest city in Sweden and is well known for large corporate businesses. It felt natural to expand to the south of Sweden especially since all our removal vans
to and from the continent go via
FF: What are the key benefits of affiliating the Malmö office?
CW: Since we became a member of FIDI, our intercontinental business has increased tremendously.
We knew that southern Sweden is also an important destination for our fellow FIDI members – and affiliating the Malmö office allows us to let them know we are now serving the south of Sweden – and even the Copenhagen area in Denmark, which is only 30km from Malmö, connected by the
FF: Do you foresee further expansion in the future with additional offices in Sweden or overseas?
CW: It would seem natural to open in Gothenburg as well and we hope to do so within a few years. This branch would, of course, also be affiliated to FIDI.