Case Study

Revolutionizing Mobility Compliance

An Award-Winning Partnership, a Game-Changing Tool

Recently, we leveraged some powerful and compelling client testimonials of our SMARTRIP technology that earned us a prestigious EMMA Award for Best Partnership Between an RMC and a Provider Partner at the 2023 EMEA Summit hosted by the Forum for Expatriate Management.

SMARTRIP was the product of a strong and dynamic partnership with UK-based tech firm Tracker Software Technologies (TST), and our EMMAs nomination detailed how, together, we developed a compliance solution for a client that later evolved into a tool leveraged across our client base. This tool has helped streamline disparate administrative processes, allowed companies to track their employees and uphold their duty of care more effectively, and, most importantly, improved the mobile employee experience by simplifying tedious compliance to-dos.

You’re Working from Where?

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the world of work was already undergoing some big changes. Things like tougher visa and tax laws, Brexit restrictions on EU-UK moves, and Posted Worker notifications in the EU made work-related travel more complex – hurdles that would only get stickier during and post-pandemic amid frequently changing travel restrictions and remote work arrangements. Today, there remains great urgency around the duty of care and knowing where your employees work.

One of our leading global automotive clients was among the first to see this new class of challenges coming and recognized that, to keep the company and their mobile employees compliant, they would need to be in step with myriad regulations. Regulations that, if violated, can incur penalties ranging from employees being turned away at the border to heavy fines and losing the right to conduct business in certain countries or jurisdictions.

When the global structure of a company necessitates extensive international travel, improving and maintaining compliance requires a multipronged approach to ensure that the many internal departments around the world are aligned in how they manage their global business travel processes. This can be a formidable task, especially when some teams are ill-equipped to provide the required attention.

An Innovative Solution to Compliance-Related Woes

To tackle this challenge, Weichert teamed up with our partner, TST, to develop a private label immigration tool with a fully integrated alert system built on the framework of TST’s Global Tracker, which assesses each employee trip against the latest tax, immigration, and social security regulations for Business Travelers. This functionality allowed our automotive client and their employees to “know before they go,” empowering the company to make the right decisions at the right time regarding their mobile talent.

The colossal success of this tool was the springboard for Weichert and TST to develop and launch Weichert SMARTRIP, a technology that would allow all our clients to better manage their distributed workforce with greater transparency and efficiency, and mitigate the associated risks in the post-COVID landscape.

 A True Industry Disruptor

How is SMARTRIP a game-changer for the mobility industry? It’s the only solution of its kind to track and synergize immigration, tax, and duty of care data into actionable information that mobility managers can use to make the right decisions at the right time regarding their mobile talent.

What makes this tool unique is the way it’s built. It’s a complete, end-to-end solution, fully integrated with our clients’ internal systems, tax and HRIS data to streamline approvals and provide a true single source of truth for reporting. The tool also boasts a number of compelling features:

  • Automated alerts that help clients manage a disbursed workforce with greater transparency and efficiency.
  • Pre-trip assessments ensure employees are authorized to travel or work in their new location, then monitor their length of time in that location.
  • Robust algorithms that monitor fast-changing travel restrictions, immigration regulations, and social security requirements to reduce compliance risks.

SMARTRIP uses more than four million algorithms to assess each relocation, assignment or employee trip against the latest travel, tax, COVID and visa/immigration requirements. This allows employers to protect the welfare of their employees so they can travel and work without the penalties, restrictions and reputational damage that compliance violations can bring.

Beyond payroll, immigration and tax compliance, the tool addresses another issue of critical importance: duty of care. While for many, COVID fears have subsided, natural disasters have been rampant and widespread, impacting business travelers. SMARTRIP improves employee well-being and reduces anxiety by ensuring they are prepared for cross-border mobility and remain tethered to The Company throughout their assignments.

Here are a few of the many tangible process improvements reported by clients using the SMARTRIP functionality:

  • Faster talent deployment
  • Regulatory surety
  • Enhanced control and governance
  • Better reporting and accountability
  • Improved engagement across its business traveler population, the result of a better employee experience and “no surprises” global travel

SMARTRIP in Action

Here’s an on-the-ground look at how SMARTRIP functions internally for our clients:

Our client’s priorities were straightforward: they needed to button up compliance across their business traveler population. The most predominant obstacle was an inadequate system of approvals and a disconnect with vendors that made it difficult to track employees for immigration and payroll compliance. They needed an accurate picture of where their employees were working, how long they were working there, the functions they were performing and which business units they belonged to.

Now, our client’s employees enter their travel details up front to start the approval process—information like their destination location and how long they’ll be living/working there. This data is essential to determining which visa type (and how much immigration paperwork) will be required, and collecting it upfront helps avoid situations where employees may state an alternate reason for their travel (for example, saying they’re attending a meeting when in fact they’ll be working).

Even after employees are safely in their destination location, the tool provides ongoing monitoring to ensure compliance with visa/immigration and tax requirements, giving our client added confidence and peace of mind. It also strengthens duty of care, enabling their HR and Security teams to locate and communicate with employees in the event of an emergency and get them to safety when necessary.

For another automotive client, SMARTRIP has offered a way to condense a fragmented process – including invitation letters, immigration case requests, and tax provider information — into one streamlined platform, improving the experience for the end-user and ensuring that they would no longer have to track several different emails in order to manage the compliance lifecycle. The tool has also eliminated relying on email to exchange and track information with third-party providers. Immigration vendors are now automatically initiated through the platform based on the built-in logic. Therefore, immigration companies are only asked to intervene on a necessity basis rather than being alerted at every instance (even when there is no need for review). The client now has full visibility into each interaction and updated status, and this simplified process has made business traveler management far more efficient for all stakeholders.

The simplification of manual and disjointed compliance processes brings transformative benefits to many of Weichert’s clients, allowing their internal mobility teams to focus on other key priorities. It’s putting the control back in the hands of their mobile employees, making it quick and easy to stay on top of immigration and taxation requirements.

As remote work arrangements increase the number of business travelers, compliance and tracking are inching higher on the list of business priorities. SMARTRIP has already had a profound impact on our industry at large, providing a plug-and-play solution for the challenges of managing a distributed workforce. As we continue to refine and market the platform, the impact and capabilities of this tool will only grow. It’s technology for the future of talent mobility and business travel.

“With an increasingly distributed workforce, today’s employers need to synergize both immigration and tax regulations to ensure compliance. This solution gives them the actionable information they need to make decisions that keep their business moving.”

– Janet Markle, Senior Regional Vice President, Midwest Region


Cookie Statement

In order to deliver an optimized user experience, this site uses cookies. To learn more, please see our cookie policy.

Accept & Close

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter. It's an easy way to stay connected to the latest workforce mobility trends and best practices.

Contact Us