Faster Sourcing, While Keeping Quality High & Costs Competitive
Standard Life Aberdeen plc is one of the world’s largest investment companies, created in 2017 from the merger of Standard Life plc and Aberdeen Asset Management PLC. Operating under the brand Aberdeen Standard Investments, the investment arm manages $735.5 bn* of assets, making it the largest active manager in the UK and the second largest in Europe. Aberdeen Standard Investments uses furnished apartments worldwide for secondees, Graduate Business Analysts, and extended stay guests.
Prior to using Urbandoor, the company had two main challenges when it came to furnished apartments: 1) sourcing in new markets and 2) sourcing when inventory was tight. These situations took a lot of internal time to source for the company.
As a global marketplace for furnished apartments, Urbandoor was able to drastically improve the sourcing process for the firm in both new markets and when inventory was tight, while keeping quality high. Urbandoor currently has more than 250K apartments in 1300+ markets from 200+ professional service providers.
“Urbandoor has made my life a lot easier. It’s quick, transparent, and intuitive to use. We’ve discovered some really amazing properties through Urbandoor that our travellers love. We also have the benefit of being able to pick up the phone and talk to someone when we need it. Their Account Management team is fantastic.”
— Maureen Crocker, Travel Manager
BEFORE & THE CHALLENGE
The firm most commonly uses furnished apartments in their corporate headquarters in Philadelphia, PA and in New York City. In these locations, they have preferred providers which are fairly reliable and consistent. Boston, however, was a new market and the firm’s existing provider network had little to no inventory. They place travelers worldwide for up to two years. In new markets, it could take the travel team many hours researching new properties and providers, sometimes even traveling to do onsite inspections and meet teams.
When inventory is tight, it can be hard finding any place at all, causing stress and frustration for travelers. Because the safety and comfort of their employees is the company’s primary concern when it comes to housing, the quality of the properties and the service providers are of the utmost importance.
With Urbandoor, the discovery process for travel managers went from days to seconds. Now, they can instantly see what’s available, the price range, and type of properties. They also have the ability to drill down into specifics themselves through the web-based platform, instead of a game of email and phone tag. This helps travel managers be able to respond to their people much faster, increasing employee satisfaction and nipping stress in the bud.
While travel managers still might take the time to walk a new property, knowing that Urbandoor vets properties and providers helps travel managers get started in the right place and increases the chances of a successful tour.
In the words of Crocker:
“The quickness of responses from providers is very unusual in this niche. My providers typically take a day or two, but with Urbandoor it can be instantaneous. You just don’t find that elsewhere. It’s a game changer. Our team members have been delighted with the Boston property we booked through Urbandoor. They love living there.”
Urbandoor and Aberdeen Standard Investments look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship. Thanks for reading this Urbandoor corporate housing case study!
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