A Sterling job of moving

Sterling Lexicon Spain has gained its FAIM certification, meaning the company becomes the latest FIDI Affiliate in the group. In this question and answer feature, Director Blanca Fariña shares her thoughts on current trends and opportunities in the country’s moving market

FIDI Focus (FF): What are the characteristics of Spain’s moving market?

Bianca Fariña (BF): It is extremely competitive. There are hundreds of small businesses offering domestic moving services. Sterling Lexicon’s key differentiators include our reputation for quality, customer service and industry expertise, so earning the FIDI FAIM certification was a priority, because it further demonstrates our unwavering commitment to quality.

FF: How has the Spanish moving industry evolved over the past decade?

BF: Global economic volatility has hit Spain particularly hard. Many businesses have disappeared, as they did not have the resilience to withstand the headwinds. However, many of those that were agile enough to adapt emerged even stronger – and are now showing better financial results than ever.

FF: What impact has COVID-19 had?

BF: There have been two main outcomes. Most industries experienced some level of fluctuating freight rates, disruption in port and vessel operations and increases in costs, which have impacted on day- to-day operations and profitability.

On the other hand, we have better flexibility. In our industry, we can now respond to short-notice moving requests faster, we are using better and more efficient technology, and have introduced more flexible HR policies, giving us greater access to talent and improving workforce experiences.

As challenging as this has been, it has also been a learning experience that has positioned us well for the future.

FF: Where do you see the biggest opportunities for growth in your market?

BF: Late last year, the Spanish government approved new regulations to attract digital nomads and foreign talent. These aim to support the establishment and growth of new companies and incorporate migratory measures to facilitate the entry and residence of not only highly skilled talent, but also entrepreneurs and investors. We are well positioned to help welcome new people to Spain and give them positive settling-in experiences.

FF: How would you describe Sterling Lexicon Spain’s business ethos?

BF: We are passionate about the people entrusted to our care. We know that no two moves are alike – while our clients rely on us to deliver consistent levels of service. Our ethos is to give clients tailored, flexible solutions, while ensuring the same level of quality and care with every move.

FF: What are Sterling Lexicon Spain’s strengths?

BF: Our people are part of long-standing, experienced teams. We work in close collaboration to ensure we remain current with industry trends and serve as consultative partners to help clients arrive at the best, most cost- and time-efficient services to meet company culture and employee needs. Our integrated approach, offered from our 14 global locations and network of partners around the world, enables us to fulfil our mission: to serve our customers, communities and each other with the highest level of care.

FF: Why did you decide to join FIDI?

BF: International customers need reliable, seamless service delivery from trusted partners who understand and will manage all the complexities and nuances of a move. The FIDI Global Alliance is the only network of international moving and relocation specialists that complies with globally recognised quality standards.

We have seen the benefits to our long-standing partners across our European locations so, as we grow our operations in Spain, it was a natural step for us to join as well.

FF: How did you find the FAIM process?

BF: The FAIM certification truly raises the bar in the international moving and relocation industries. While it requires adherence to a very rigorous set of controls, we found the process clear and straightforward. We were delighted to hear from the independent auditorthat it was one of her quickest audits as everything was in place.

FF: Are you looking forward to playing an active role in the FIDI association?

BF: Yes. This industry is all about relationships, and FIDI helps companies build strong connections and lasting partnerships with colleagues around the world.

Like most affiliations, the more time and expertise you invest, the greater the benefit. I am looking forward to the conference in Bangkok.

FF: What are the challenges ahead?

BF: We believe the moving industry will continue to experience more consolidation. Consumer expectations are changing, and leading companies need to deliver custom solutions and high-quality services at competitive rates. We also know we must continue to invest in sustainability and digitalisation.

We strive to be the easiest company to do business with and are putting our company values to work in meeting that goal and the challenges that lie ahead.

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