How to Manage Global Mobility Costs Effectively

Budgeting and persuading the powers that be to approve them is a global mobility manager’s job. It may not give the same thrill as talent recruitment or the same high as overseas travel, but it may even be more necessary than these two tasks. Budget approval means the continuous flow of funds and other resources to the department’s projects and programs. Reduction of it — or worse, flat-out rejection with an order to make do with current funds — can slow down operations and prevent the global mobility team from performing at optimal level.

That’s why it’s important for global mobility manager to learn how to manage their costs if they are to defend it. The approving executive — often the CEO or CFO — would have to see that the manager had done everything in their power to streamline the budget before they have asked for it. Spending has to be smart and judicious. This discipline becomes even more imperative given that global mobility costs tend to exceed those that are spent locally or within the home country.

Here are some tips to scrutinize, organize, and then justify the usual expenses associated with global mobility operations:

Plan the budget and start with cost estimates.

This tip from Global Mobility Insider seems to be obvious but it does have to be said. Sometimes, in the mad scramble to global hop for talent, tracking down one’s expenses fall by the wayside. Assembling all of them at month’s (or year’s) end risks ending up with an inaccurate estimate.

Near the end of the fiscal year and before the new one, it’s important to come up with a chart or table and list down every resource needed, every dollar spent, every item or service bought, and total them. Afterwards, instead of relying on this piece of history to come up with next year’s budget, whittling it down to weed out what is unnecessary can lead to significant savings. Discerning the essential from the convenient-but-not-needed can also be an eye-opener.

Categorize the costs.

This piece of advice comes from Blick Rothenberg. Listing down everything can get the global mobility manager lost in a pile of numbers. What would be more helpful would be defining the various categories and placing the different expenses under them.

In this set-up, other factors that will influence costs will emerge, such as taxation and miscellaneous business travel expenses. The many streams of spending where cash flow tends to hide can also be taken into account and charted.

Be innovative when it comes to cost-cutting.

There are certain things that a global mobility manager cannot do without. However, it does not mean that their costs would be astronomical or consistently high. GMS Mobility urges global mobility managers to look for platforms and solutions that can help them, such as using online candidate searches as opposed to on-the-ground recruitment.

Discounts are another way to reduce spending. Long-term partners that have done business with the company would be more than willing to work things out if it means a longer service apartment or contract. As early as possible, global mobility managers should start sending feelers out to their suppliers like relocation companies, travel agencies, and corporate housing providers such as California Corporate Housing.