Making the world a smaller place

Making the world a smaller place

Companies often say they want to put the customer first, but rarely do they back up this promise with action.

Santa Fe Wridgways is committed to delivering on this promise for each and every one of its customers, while Santa Fe Relocation Services supports this same promise for its clients in the corporate sector.

As one of the world’s leading removals, immigration and relocation providers, the company prides itself on the passion it puts into providing people with the highest quality customer service in the industry, in line with its company motto of “making it easy.”

With over 123 years of history in providing excellence in customer service and as part of the Santa Fe Group, the company’s ambition is to use its logistics skills to make the world a smaller place.

“We make it easier for people and companies to live and work freely and flexibly around the world,” said Andrew Simpson, CEO of Santa Fe Australia. “We service both corporations who are moving their employees, as well as consumers.

“Whatever reason a person chooses to relocate, whether it’s within Australia, outside of Australia, or into Australia, they are equally as important a customer to us as anybody that works for a large corporation.”

A company on the rise

Santa Fe has grown immensely over the last five years, with three large businesses merging together on a global scale.

Wridgways has long been seen as the premium moving services provider in Australia and throughout the world, and was acquired by the Santa Fe Group in 2010. Santa Fe’s 35 years as the market leader in global mobility throughout the Asian market saw them well positioned to further strengthen their mobility resources by merging with Interdean Relocations, the global moving services leader for Europe. The result of these acquisitions was the formation of a professional relocation behemoth spanning 56 countries across six continents.

With over 3,000 employees globally and close to 500 in Australia, the Santa Fe Group now has offices throughout the United States, South Africa, Kenya, and the Middle East as well as an emerging market in Mongolia. The company’s revenue is €400 million per annum, according to Simpson.

Santa Fe’s wide range of services begins with managing visas and immigration for people moving anywhere around the world. The company also remains closely aligned with its original business model and excels in moving household goods, finding customers a place to live, finding schools for their children, and offering any cultural training they may need such as learning a new language.

“We’re looking to use both technology and also our people in order to make some efficiency gains in order to give our customer the best service at the lowest possible price,” said Simpson. 

People are the priority

People are at the forefront of Santa Fe’s core values and this is evident not only in the company’s dealings with its customers, but also in the way they treat their employees.

Santa Fe’s goal is to be customer-driven, and the culture across the organisation globally is one of absolute passion. As a result, Santa Fe’s top-level managers and executives have the pleasure of working with employees who are happy to do the right thing for the company and for its customers.

This commitment to service and promoting a positive work culture is embedded in each employee and becomes an automatic way of thinking for all who join the company.

“That’s a wonderful thing,” said Simpson. “It was instilled long before my time, and we’ve been fortunate enough to inherit that.

“Our challenge, of course, is to make sure that attitude is maintained and that we progress to be a company that is a winner across all of its requirements.”

Committed to new technology, not just people

As an industry leader in technologies designed to enhance customer experience, one of Santa Fe’s primary focal points is creating an interface and bringing collective data from all of its databases back to consumers from its legacy platforms.

The company’s new Santa Fe app allows customers to have immediate access to any information or updates they might need from the convenience of their mobile device. The app was launched in early 2015, and even those who aren’t Santa Fe customers can download it to use for its destination services.

“It’s all about having real-time, accurate information available to the customer,” said Simpson. “It includes anything you need at your new home, like the nearest café or a translator tool. Above that, it has personal details such as when you can expect household goods shipments to arrive, your personal flight times and any accommodation requirements you might have as well.

“Think about all the different apps you use when you travel, and the Santa Fe app has all of those in one place.”

“It’s simply an education process, as we’re taking customers on the journey of understanding that they can trust the information on the device,” said Simpson.

“We’re dealing with the challenge of having a whole bunch of disparate legacy platforms around the world. We’ve been very successful in being able to pull them together so the customer experiences one common location of information, and that is certainly a unique proposition for us. I highly recommend the app for anyone traveling around the world for the holidays.”

Five-year plan

The Santa Fe Group has what Simpson calls a “2020 strategy,” which is the five-year plan the company recently implemented. For 2015-2016, the company’s focus is reorganising its core moving services business, while strengthening its group skills technology and processes. Essentially, these two years will be used to build a platform for stronger growth.

For 2017-2018, the goal is to accelerate the company’s growth and increase its market share, resulting in true global market leadership by 2019-2020.

In the long term, Santa Fe wants to be able to explore consolidation opportunities across what is presently a very fragmented mobility industry.

“We’re moving from being very much a logistics provider to something that is far more about how we can make it easy for a person to settle into their new home, particularly when they work for a large corporation,” said Simpson. “We ask ourselves what we can do to help that corporation ensure that their new employee is fully effective at doing what the corporation wants them to do, and not have to worry about anything else.”

Andrew Simpson