Best Mobile Workforce Innovation
Kristy Bloom, Rheinmetall Defence Australia

Rheinmetall Defence Australia (RDA) is a subsidiary of Rheinmetall Group, an integrated technology group headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany. RDA is the entity representing Rheinmetall’s range of products and services in Australia and New Zealand, and is a trusted partner to the Australian Defence Force and New Zealand Defence Force.

In 2023, compliance risks (immigration, tax, payroll, and permanent establishment risks) associated with tracking and assessing the business traveller population were enhanced.  Innovative new compliance-focused, scalable and global processes and policies were implemented to mitigate these risks.

Highlights included:

  • Operational efficiency: The creation of clear business traveller processes and policies streamlined operations, making it easier for various departments to manage business travel and for travellers to understand their obligations. The transformation also clarified when a business traveller became a short-term assignee and should be treated as such. A new corporate travel vendor was incorporated, to assist with processes and reporting, enhancing the employee experience.
  • Improved risk management: The new processes and policies mitigated the risks and liabilities associated with business travel, including immigration, tax, payroll, and permanent establishment risks, reducing exposure to potential legal and financial penalties. The project highlighted the company’s duty of care responsibilities and initiated a side project related to this.
  • Enhanced compliance: Despite initial resistance due to increased rigor in the travel process, with education and training, employees and stakeholders now understand and respect the new processes and policies, leading to better preparation and adherence.
  • Cultural shift: The innovation led to a cultural shift within the organisation, where accountability for duty of care was strengthened and business travel was no longer an ad-hoc activity but a well-managed aspect of the business, with clear oversight and procedures to manage complexities and risk. Significant stakeholder engagement, underpinned by strong communication throughout the project, also served to improve employee experience.
  • Elevation of the Mobility Team’s role within the organisation: The global mobility team’s role within the company has been elevated, with team members positioned as trusted advisors and integral to the company’s business plan, with strong support and ongoing engagement from the leadership team.

Overall, the new processes and policies have had a significant positive impact on the business, by improving operational efficiency, risk management and compliance, promoting a culture of safety and stakeholder engagement, while also optimising the global mobility program and enhancing the company’s duty of care for its employees.