Ciba Specialty Chemical Corporation enhances its end-to-end process flow through a competitive relocation policy developed by AIReS.
By Joleen Lauffer and Susan Vittorio
Looking to stay competitive in the talent marketplace, Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corporation sought an outsourcing vendor to help reshape its domestic and international relocation policy. In addition to streamlining the service delivery, the firm had a list of several other goals it wanted to achieve through its benchmarking program.
To secure these objectives, Ciba awarded a contract to global relocation service provider AIReS, which helped to revise relocation policies to align with company goals and objectives; change U.S. domestic practices to accommodate all the requirements of NAFTA; consolidate services that were performed by multiple vendors; maintain some vendor relationships that already existed in various regions throughout the world; re-evaluate methods and responsibilities of Ciba employees throughout the region relating to relocation; shift designated relocation service responsibilities from Ciba HR to AIRes; redevelop the entire end-to-end process flow for domestic and international relocation; and benchmark relocation policy provisions (11 total) against national and like-industry best practices.
To accomplish myriad objectives of the client, AIReS implemented a detailed program that effectively executed the steps necessary for success. By analyzing the current system in place, AIReS recognized the need for Ciba to have a workflow that had a domino effect. Each successive step correlated to the development and achievement of the previous step (See Figure 1). The process was broken down into eight steps as follows:
Policy Review and Benchmark Analysis. AIReS began the process with a side-by-side comparison of Ciba’s current relocation policies to best practices and like industries. Each practice was categorized by one of the following descriptions: generous; conservative; best practice currently in place; and new trend. AIReS’ consulting services division used these classifications to make specific recommendations for change.
Policy Sessions and Revisions. To create a customized process for Ciba, AIReS conducted on-site analysis meetings with the client. AIReS provided revisions within two weeks, which led to further changes. Several drafts were accommodated before the process was finalized.
AIReS Implementation Guide Completion. This tool allowed for off-site suggestions to be taken into consideration.
On-site Evaluation of Current Process. The provider conducted a thorough evaluation of the current roles and responsibilities of all professionals, including regional HR generalists involved in Ciba’s previous process. AIReS found that under the original model, local HRâgeneralists were significantly involved in the relocation process. This incurred additional time and costs for delivery of high-touch services that incoming transferees require. This was a stimulus for change when streamlining the new procedure for Ciba.
Process Mapping Sessions. After in-depth analysis, an effective workflow was determined. Two swim-lane process maps were developed:âone each for international and domestic relocation. Steps on the high-level process have corresponding sub-processes. In the end, the results reflected a multi-layered process with defined roles and responsibilities.
AIReS Team Training. This step outlines the details of the implementation guide, which cover the exact process to be followed for each service delivered by operations team.
Regional Kick-off Meetings/Calls. To ensure a smooth transition, Ciba held regional meetings and calls to explain the new procedures as well as policy revisions. Questions from regional HRâspecialists were also answered during these sessions and calls.
Ongoing Evaluation and Refining. AIReS has made the commitment to continually monitor the process and incorporate any necessary changes to best suit the client’s needs.
Click here to view Figure 1
Joleen Lauffer, business process manager for AIReS. has been with the company for more than 10 years. Susan Vittorio is the manager of people services, including domestic relocation and staffing, for Ciba.