In the Spotlight: Onboarding Clients with Robust Implementation
When considering a new mobility management partner, the quality, robustness, and speed of new implementation is one of the key client considerations. Amy Pridham, Director of Implementation, is In the Spotlight to talk about how BGRS’s implementation process is designed to withstand organizations’ most complex needs.
A robust implementation process is essential to seamlessly supporting clients through a service provider change. How does BGRS’s implementation framework support clients’ needs?
Amy Pridham: Our proven implementation methodology follows an innovative project management approach with a defined onboarding process from initial transition planning to hypercare support. Our approach, which includes proprietary tools, digital project management technology, and collaboration work rooms, allows us to be proactive and use best-practices adapted from years of experience, as well as new discoveries made implementing client engagements across a variety of industry sectors, mobility program sizes, corporate requirements, and geographic footprints.
Although the basic components of implementations are similar in nature, BGRS develops an implementation plan to meet the specific needs of each new client. A dedicated implementation project manager manages the implementation plan, milestones, deliverables, and timeframes. A team of experienced BGRS workstream leaders from key functional areas, such as finance, IT, and supply chain, as well as the assigned client experience teams, are assembled as critical participants of the implementation team. This team works with the client’s implementation and mobility team to identify and document program goals and objectives. Then, all integral deliverables and dependencies are mapped for the overall engagement to determine the target go-live date. If program gaps are identified the BGRS consulting team is available to provide guidance, benchmarking, trends, and recommendations to close the gaps and deliver the desired outcomes. Using a structured governance process, the implementation manager ensures that stakeholders on both sides are aligned, resources and expertise are available, and issues are adequately addressed throughout the implementation process.
I should also mention that our implementation managers are part of BGRS’s Project Management Office and have a unique blend of project management expertise, as well as experience in managing complex mobility programs and new client onboarding engagements. The BGRS workstream leads bring years of subject matter expertise which ensures they can proactively guide the client through a series of considerations and dependencies that reduce the complexities of onboarding. The recommendations can range from supply chain and billing structure, to addressing specific technology configuration, to tailoring customer choices, to mitigating compliance and governance risks. As a key component of the communication and training workstream, training on the new program including specific client experience elements, flexible customer experience options, and ReloAccess™ digital platform capabilities is provided to key stakeholders. Additional training is provided to suppliers and BGRS teams on the client’s corporate culture, mobility goals, and program objectives as well as client and mobile employee experience requirements. In simple terms, our framework is designed to ensure that the client is implementing a program that meets their business requirements, mobility goals, employee needs, and maintains the governance and compliance they require. We are then able to transition without disruption to their relocating employees with our customer experience teams ready to hit the ground running on day one.
Organizations have many different needs. How can we ensure adequate timing of our implementation process to on-board new clients in a manner that best works for them?
Amy: The first step to determining an appropriate timeline is to confirm the client’s goals and unique requirements. We partner with organizations of all types and sizes, program structures, and scope of services. We work with the client to understand the drivers of their internal timelines. Our goal is to implement the client account with a sense of urgency, while ensuring that appropriate governance and compliance standards are adhered to. We take the client’s internal deadlines, contract end dates, and program complexity into consideration as we work with the client to determine their priorities and whether a phased implementation, for example, provides the required agility and sets them up for success. This agile approach allows us to deliver in line with the way global organizations are structured in a rapidly changing business landscape.
The last 12 months were extraordinary in many ways. How has our implementation process been affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Amy: Even in these turbulent times, we are successfully utilizing our implementation framework. We made discoveries and found new ways to operate and thrive in a virtual environment. Many organizations identified gaps or new needs in 2020 and are transitioning to a new mobility partner. We also noticed that clients increasingly look for guidance and expertise as they navigated the human resources-related disruptions caused by the pandemic. In some instances, the transition timelines shortened, the client needed to extend the time required to transition.
Our ability to swiftly move to a virtual environment was critical for all projects. We have always relied on video conferencing given our global capabilities and needs to accommodate our own and our client team members in various places. However, the pandemic required moving to fully virtual communications and we adopted additional innovative approaches necessary to making a fully virtual transition process successful. Since the pandemic began, we have implemented multiple clients in an exclusively virtual approach. Many more client expansion projects were managed the same way.
Video conferencing and online collaboration tools enabled us to develop the critical personal relationships with our clients’ stakeholders, maximize meeting times, selectively involve team members due to limited need to travel, and remain just as available to answer questions and provide support to our stakeholders. This was critical as we often worked with clients’ in-house teams, which concurrently managed resourcing challenges, reductions in team size, reduced working hours, business continuity, and other crisis management-related requirements.