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Edrington approached ECA for an end-to-end review of the company's global mobility programme, to implement a standardised approach and support international growth.

We have been hugely impressed by the quality of advice, the responsiveness of the consultants, and appetite of all at ECA to really understand and support our business priorities.

- Chris Laughlin, Head of Reward, Edrington

Introduction to Edrington

Edrington is an independent spirits company, with Scotch whiskies such as The Macallan, The Famous Grouse, The Glenrothes, Highland Park and Cutty Sark, as well as Brugal rum and Snow Leopard Vodka included in its portfolio of brands.

Headquartered in Scotland, over 60% of Edrington's staff are based overseas and international growth is key for the company.

What Edrington needed

Having seen exponential growth in international assignments in recent years, Edrington wanted a full review of their global mobility (GM) programme to ensure that:

  • Assignment policies were fit for purpose and aligned to Edrington's strategic ambition
  • The GM programme continued to serve as a key talent development programme
  • The GM programme was adequately resourced, with the right processes in place to support assignees and stakeholders
  • Their approach to compliance was fully robust
  • Terms & conditions forming the 'assignment deal' were appropriate and aligned to industry practice

What ECA and Edrington did

Working closely together, the project involved:

  • A review of all existing mobility policies, processes and documentation;
  • A benchmark study comparing Edrington’s GM programme with others'
  • One-to-one interviews to capture the Executive Board's perspectives as to what the GM programme was and needed to be
  • A stakeholder questionnaire circulated to key individuals involved in the day-to-day management of the GM programme
  • An opinion survey of current and former assignees to help define necessary improvements
  • A demographic analysis of the assignee population, including a review to identify the most suitable expatriate pay model for Edrington
  • A quantitative analysis of average net take home pay for an assignee in each assignment location
  • Design and implementation of a policy framework  
  • Creation of corresponding assignment letter templates
  • Development of detailed process flows to provide clarity within the organisation

What Edrington achieved

As a consequence of the review, Edrington achieved over £1million overhead cost savings through the identification and cessation of long-standing legacy assignments.

The refreshed global mobility programme:

  • Is aligned to Edrington’s strategic ambition and priorities
  • Incorporates a suite of standardised and more flexible policies within a structured framework, providing clarity and enabling consistent and transparent application
  • Serves as a talent development programme, creating opportunities for high potential employees to flourish
  • Offers market-competitive support to employees and their families when relocating abroad
  • Ensures their approach to compliance remains fully robust
  • Is supported by a clear governance structure so that roles and responsibilities of all parties, both internal and external, are clearly defined and understood
  • Maximises ROI for the business with a clear understanding of all mobility-related costs

A better future begins

Praised by Edrington’s Board, stakeholders and assignees in terms of communications, approach and execution, the project drove out the three key fundamentals that Edrington now works to on every Reward project - transparency, consistency and fairness.

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