Outsourcing – Overall & International

Nearly six out of ten companies outsourced relocation services in 2013, similar to 2012 and well below the peak of 2011. Overall, outsourcing falls in the historical mid-range. A slight decline from 2012 owes itself to a near-historic low among small firms with only slight upticks by large and mid-size firms. The vast majorities of large and mid-size firms practice outsourcing and typically require a greater variety of services than do small firms.

  • Outsourcing remained at levels similar to 2012 across every service category, with two exceptions. Orientation tours at new location (24%) and audit and/or payment of invoices (20%) fell significantly (from 31% and 28%, respectively).Only the outsourcing of real estate purchases (40%) remains similar to the historic high of the past decade (44%).
  • Overall, outsourcing trends within the historical mid-range for most service categories.

Shifts by Company Size

  • Among large firms, outsourcing across categories is nearly the same or up slightly from last year, with a few exceptions. Expense tracking/reimbursement services rose from 50% to 61%, approaching a historic high (65%). Audit and/or payment of invoices fell from 50% to 38%, close to the lower historic range on average. Five services remain near historic high levels: household goods carrier contracts (57%), real estate purchases (66%), expense tracking/reimbursement services (61%), relocation planning & details counseling (56%), tax gross-up assistance (54%), and company policy counseling (51%). The rest fall well below historic highs.
  • For mid-size firms, outsourcing across categories is nearly the same or down slightly from 2012, except for tax gross-up assistance, which fell from 40% to 33%. Six services remain near historic highs: real estate sales/marketing (56%), household goods carrier contracts (58%), real estate purchase (50%), expense tracking/reimbursement services (44%), relocation planning & details counseling (43%), and property management (26%). The rest fall well below historic highs.
  • Among small firms, most outsourcing services are close to historic lows. The exceptions are household goods carrier contracts (23%), real estate purchases (16%), and family transportation and accommodation arrangements (14%), which fall in historic mid-ranges on average.

International

Interestingly, far more firms outsourced internationally last year than did overall (72% vs. 59%). Nearly three-fourths outsourced relocation, up slightly from 2012 (67%) and similar to the historic high (77%) in 2011. Overall, outsourcing falls in the high range historically. It reflects heavy international outsourcing by vast majorities of mid-size and large firms, which typically access a greater variety of services than do small firms.

  • International outsourcing increased for almost every service category, with levels near or above historic highs. The exceptions are: visa & immigration services (38%) and international real estate (19%), which trend lower; and counseling about company international relocation policy (31%), which falls in the historic mid-range. The drop in visa/immigration services reflects a marked decrease in activity among small firms; the drop in international real estate is due to fewer large firms outsourcing it. Outsourcing of company policy counseling remains fairly static compared to 2012.
  • Overall, international outsourcing across most categories trends higher and near historic highs for mid-size and large firms. For small firms, it trends lower, generally, with two exceptions: outsourcing of international relocation program management (25%) and of international real estate (17%) are at their highest levels to date.

Among companies that outsourced relocation services domestically, the percentage that also outsourced internationally surpassed the historic high (89% vs. 88%). Large firms remain more likely to outsource internationally than mid-size firms. However, both groups show similar propensities to outsource across individual categories.

Question 41-1
Possible outsourced relocation services in 2013
Chart Q41
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Question 41-2
Services outsourced to a relocation service, HRO or brokerage firm in 2013
Chart Q41-2
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Question 44g-1
List of possible outsourced international relocation services in 2013.
Chart Q44g
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Question 44g-2
International services outsourced to a relocation service, HRO or brokerage firm in 2013
Chart Q44g2
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