Daring to decide

The latest FIDI Delegates Meeting took place online in November 2023, with attendees taking momentous decisions in areas including finance, DSP membership, and sustainability. FIDI Secretary General Jesse van Sas gives us the highlights

Who said movers are conservative and allergic to change? The recent FIDI Delegates Meeting shows that is far from the case.

Yes, of course, our industry is unlike the tech sector or social media, where innovation is a given, a daily task. We tend to be more cautious, and take our time to evaluate, assess and implement. We do still embrace change in our business, however, and this was shown again during the most recent, virtual, Delegates Meeting in early November. I dare say groundbreaking decisions were made in the long-term interest of FIDI, FIDI movers, and the industry overall. Here are a few of them:

Our Delegates approved the FIDI-DSP Quality Standard, paving the way for pure DSP companies to join FIDI, in a new membership category.

Incorporating a business activity that was once very alien to movers (but that, in the end, services the same customers) is a major step for FIDI. This will gradually change the nature of our organisation, but it makes sense to adapt to the realities of this world.

The FIDI Board also confirmed that the office is now ready to implement a netting service at FIDI, accessible to all Affiliates. This is an extremely positive step. Netting is basically a way to reduce your risks in financial contracts with your fellow FIDI agents by combining and aggregating multiple financial obligations (payable invoices), to arrive at a single net obligation amount. It is like an offset between agents, but on a FIDI-wide scale, potentially involving every FIDI agent and all their inter-FIDI invoices in a given month.

This leads to just one single payable or receivable amount per month, to cover all your payables/receivables with all FIDI agents. We hit a few road bumps in the development of this service in the past two years, but we are now ready to roll it out during 2024. More information will follow at the Edinburgh conference.

Next and a less happy decision, perhaps was the approval of making public to FIDI Affiliates the names of FASI Frequent Offenders in our membership. This is a step that nobody really likes, but it is a necessary motivator to get reluctant frequent offenders of FASI payment rules to clean up their act and show better payment behaviour. This rule comes into force early next year, and it is our sincere hope that there will eventually be zero offenders on the list.

Finally, a framework of sustainability reporting is carbon footprint measurement. To help our Affiliates tackle this in a pragmatic and cost-effective way, FIDI is developing a bespoke calculator for the moving industry. There is increasing pressure from corporate clients and RMCs for FIDI members to report on their carbon footprint. This uniform measurement is the first step towards proper sustainability reporting, which is increasingly becoming mandatory in our industry.

As moving is operations-heavy, we are often singled out as having the biggest environmental impact in global mobility. So it makes sense that we come up with a solution to properly measure this impact enabling us to benchmark ourselves against global mobility as a whole. By creating a tailor- made solution for moving companies, we ensure standardised, consistent measurement that will help us understand the real impact of our activities.

We hope and expect that other associations in our industry will eventually join this initiative, and help make the carbon footprint calculator the most compelling measurement method in the relocation business. We intend to roll out this new tool, free of charge for FIDI members, by the time we meet in Edinburgh.

So, there you have four major steps ahead for FIDI and our industry all from a single online FIDI Delegates Meeting. Who said FIDI and movers are not decisive and forward-thinking?

Jesse van Sas, Secretary General of FIDI Global Alliance

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