Navigating the road ahead

At the start of the year I could not have imagined sending you this message from my home office in Zurich.

For many of you, the stay-at-home orders intended to curb the spread of Coronavirus have become the norm. But as I write this, more places around the world are starting to open up, including Switzerland. There are common guidelines and approaches being followed globally, but there is no one-size-fits-all method.

The same rings true for our industry. Global mobility has changed quite dramatically but it has not come to a standstill. Mobility leaders around the world have put strategies in place to reassure and support their mobile populations, while preparing for the wave of relocations, international assignments and transfers currently on hold.

I am particularly proud of our teams here at Crown who have embraced this unprecedented situation with agility, productivity and a responsiveness that has inspired our leadership team, instilling confidence for the future.

My purpose today is to share our experiences over the past 60 days and discuss our response as we adjust to a new normal.

Laying a solid foundation for success

Crown has remained a stable business and well positioned after 55 years in operation; we will draw upon our tenure to guide us through the future.

Over the last few years our industry has seen significant changes driven by macrotrends (technology, multi-generational workforces and the need for greater flexibility to name a few).

Our 2020 Vision and Strategy has put us on the path of evolution. In establishing centers of excellence across the globe, we can continue to provide our customers with options as well as regional knowledge and expertise. Our investments in virtual solutions such as ePacking, virtual surveys and language training have also proven to be valuable during this time.

Many of you are already taking advantage of this and supporting your employees in the assignment/transfer pipeline with language and intercultural training – which under normal circumstances, may not have been relevant.

Adapting to the new Covid normal

From the start of this pandemic our primary focus has been the health and safety of our teams, our clients and customers. I was pleased to see us come together, create a Covid-19 taskforce led by our Chief Risk Officer and implement business continuity plans quickly. I am also incredibly proud of our Operations teams who have still been able to pack and deliver a number of consignments safely.

Like many of you, we have been compelled to make some challenging decisions to stabilize our business. In making these decisions, we were forced to reevaluate our roadmap and investment plans to ensure a better tomorrow. During this time we have been encouraged greatly by your stories of how our teams have been there for you.

Open lines of communication are key, but I have not wanted to overwhelm you. We understand and we are here to provide you with tips and information when you need it. Adjusting to remote work is still a challenge; our latest webinar on thriving in the new virtual world was created to help close the cultural communication gap. If the latest immigration advice is what you’re after, you can find details around impacted policies and processes worldwide here. We are equally excited to share more on the topic of remobilization; you can register for our upcoming webinar here.

It was also important that we secure a view of your mobility programs. I would like to thank you personally for participating in our latest survey. Your valued input will help shape our future strategy and the future of mobility. As partners, we will be looking for more transparent conversations as a new normal emerges and many companies, including yours and ours, face a realignment for growth.

Out of crisis comes opportunity

Globally things are beginning to pick up, so the Crown team has shifted gears to get ready for remobilization. We understand this may look different for our clients and customers, as you evaluate the impact of the crisis and the impact on your mobility strategy. But you should know that we have worked with industry peers and our Covid-19 taskforce to establish strong Safety Guidelines that will protect you and our staff. This includes limiting interactions and issuing staff with their own Personal Protection Equipment, such as masks, disposable gloves and hand sanitizer.

Our Workspace business is working with companies to reconfigure office spaces. Strategic floor plans, storing excess furniture, and installing plexiglass sneeze guards and handwashing stations are just a few of the services we can provide.

A quote I like in particular and find quite reflective of the current times, Vivian Greene’s, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” On behalf of Crown World Mobility’s team around the world, I wanted to wish you all well and just ask that you continue to take care of yourselves.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your continued support and business. No-one can see the road ahead but we are all in this together, and I want you to rest assured we’re here to help you enjoy the rewards of a global economy once more.

With my warmest regards,

Jurgen Zyderveld, Group Vice President of Crown World Mobility 

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