Standardisation in the International Moving Industry

Why opting for uniformed trading terms is beneficial for the FIDI Community. By Marie-Pascale Frix, Business Intelligence Manager, FIDI

In today’s global world, there is an increasing demand from end customers for enhanced quality delivery and strengthened supply chain management through compliance requirements. The current buzz around blockchain is a good example of such an evolution and is based on simple key phrases: cooperation between all stakeholders in a given industry, harmonised processes, automation and technical developments.

Studies of standardisation demonstrate that it is key to success. According to the European Commission, the benefits of standardisation are extensive. It helps improve market access, increases competitiveness and efficiency, reduces trading costs, harmonises contractual agreements and increases quality. It also brings a solid foundation to build and disseminate innovative technologies and enhance business practices.

In previous issues of FIDI Focus, General Manager Jesse van Sas has made a strong case for standardisation in our industry. If we want to be relevant globally and taken seriously by corporate customers, governments and consumers, we need to be able to demonstrate that we are moving in this direction.

FIDI Norway has done just this, embarking on an initiative to establish general liability conditions for the moving and storage industries in Norway and the Nordic countries (‘NSAB Moving’, ‘NSAB Storage’). FIDI Norway President Hans Christian Strand says there was an urgent need for harmonisation, as companies based in the Nordic countries were facing many different liability provisions that were causing confusion for customers. 

As a trade association, one of FIDI’s roles is to provide its Affiliates with tools that foster standardisation and enhance their competitiveness. FIDI Affiliates have a straightforward role to play in this regard: by opting for the standardised tools developed by FIDI and leading by example.

A good example

In a typical month, how many service level agreements (SLAs) do you receive from different stakeholders, each with their own specifics? Have you ever considered how many hours were lost reading each of these SLAs, not to speak of the related risks of trading using different sets of regulations, interpreted differently depending on your region or local conditions?

To address the proliferation of SLAs and the need for uniformity in our industry, FIDI has developed a standardised SLA for the benefit of its Affiliates and, ultimately, of the industry.

The second edition of the FIDI SLA template was launched at the beginning of 2019. It enables FIDI Affiliates to trade with FIDI and non-FIDI companies based on the same standard requirements.

FIDI SLA Templates, FIDI PCGs and compliance guidelines are available on FIDINET. For more info or to share your views, contact marie-pascale.frix@fidi.org

FIDI SLA template: benefits in a nutshell

1. Applicable to all international household moving services.

2. Improved business partnership between trading partners. The FIDI SLA defines how moving companies should conduct business with one another (based on PCGs principles) while emphasising the importance of compliance requirements in today’s business.

3. Peace of mind – no need to send a new version each time to your FIDI trading partners as the FIDI SLA clearly refers to the PCGs and compliance principles ‘in their latest version as published on the FIDI website’.

4. Increased efficiency, productivity and quality delivery.

5. Improved cooperation and communication between FIDI Affiliates trading according to the same common principles. In case of a dispute, the FIDI Dispute Resolution Scheme (FIDI DRS) will assist your companies in line with the PCGs.

6. You can opt for implicit or explicit consent. There is no obligation for the document to be signed.

7. You can include alternative agreements specific to your company or to a trading partner and indicate the order of precedence that shall apply.

If you haven’t already adopted the FIDI SLA, please take the time to read the documents and consider the benefits it will have. Standardisation will help your company, your customers, the FIDI community and the entire moving industry. 

Views from a FIDI Affiliate and FIDI Norway

‘While the FIDI SLA doesn’t completely replace our terms and conditions – there are elements specific to our company – it certainly helps us address the topics that are most pressing in today’s market, such as data protection and privacy; and it is especially important when dealing with non-FIDI agent partners. We can opt for implicit consent, which makes it very valuable.’

Natalie Nisivaco President and COO of Westerberg Global Mobility Services, USA

‘Standardisation ensures that certain goods or performances are carried out in the same way, according to guidelines, for the benefit of all stakeholders. When we started working on our FIDI FAIM 3.1 audit, we understood quickly that we needed something more in our day-to-day business. The FIDI Professional Cooperation Guidelines and the FIDI SLA were the answer for A/S Adams Express as it helped us regulate the working relationship we have with other overseas agents (both FIDI and Non-FIDI agents), in a way that existing ‘NSAB Moving’ and ‘NSAB Storage’ (harmonised general liability conditions for the moving and storage industries respectively in Nordic countries) could not do for us. We are, therefore, in favour of more standardisation within the international moving field, and we would welcome any initiative from FIDI to strengthen further the work with standard contractual terms and conditions for our global industry.’

Hans Christian Strand, Managing Director A/S Adams Express, Norway, and FIDI Norway President

Meet FIDI in Chicago

FIDI is taking part in the 57th IAM annual meeting and exhibition in Chigaco, Illinois, from 3 to 6 October, 2019. Meet us at booth 1220 in the expo hall to discuss the FAIM compliance procedure, FIDI membership benefits and sponsorship.

We are also hosting a panel discussion entitled Corporate Accounts, Government Customers and RMCs: How to Get More Business that will aim to help the moving industry understand the logic behind the compliance requirements and to build a bridge between global mobility stakeholders.

In our industry, we often hear complaints from moving companies about how RMCs and big corporate accounts have changed the rules of the relocation game. Move service providers feel that they are being forced into an impossible position: on the one hand, pushed into cutting corners because of pressure on pricing; on the other, they need to abide by ever more stringent and constantly changing compliance regulations.

FIDI’s General Manager, Jesse van Sas, will lead the conversation with key players from the RMC and corporate world, with the aim of clarifying the reasons behind the compliance rules and to give you a chance to ask your questions and make your voice heard.

Corporate Accounts, Government Customers and RMCs: How to Get More Business: October 4, 2019, 10.30am-11.30am 

If you would like to arrange a meeting during the convention, please email us at: fidi@fidi.org

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