Jim Smith AI Quote

AI and Relocation: Harnessing AI for Our Approach to Global Mobility

Dwellworks Living Marketing and Jim Smith, CIO

In this blog, we share the AI strategy of Dwellworks, a leading provider of professional services for global mobility and business travel, as guided by our CIO, Jim Smith. Jim was named the ORBIE Awards Corporate CIO of the Year for Ohio in 2023.

Q: Let’s start with the framework. What is the big picture for AI at Dwellworks?

A: Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is not just a buzzword or a futuristic concept. It is a reality that is already reshaping how business gets done. It’s creating new opportunities for us in innovation, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. Our approach has been to create a Center of Excellence (COE) inside our company with team members who each contribute their particular expertise to help us build use cases and projects that will help us weave AI into our daily way of working.

And if you know Dwellworks, you know we are a ‘lean’ development shop. We develop minimum viable products (MVPs), that meet spec and are fully functional, but also are threshold solutions that we build upon using customer feedback. And we develop in sprints – so that we can quickly get to market and test ideas. We are always transparent with our stakeholders: sharing plans and stages. We won’t make statements that can’t be backed up with data or results and we acknowledge the limitations and challenges, as well as the promise of AI as we go down this path and learn together.

Q: Where do you start with potential uses for AI in Dwellworks relocation and travel services business?

A: We are looking at it from two perspectives. First, how can we incorporate AI into our internal day-to-day operations to be more efficient? The smarter, faster, better organized, and less administrative we are, the more time we’ll have for client and customer engagement ensuring an optimum customer experience. Second, where can we incorporate AI into our products/services and customer journey for increased customer satisfaction and further innovation in mobility services that differentiate Dwellworks in a competitive landscape?

We’re using Large Language Models such as GPT-3.5 to generate natural, easy-to-understand communications for various purposes and domains. We use these models, within a private and data-protected environment, to create documents such as meeting summaries, action plans and assignments, reports, and proposal drafts that speed our execution and get ideas out sooner for discussion, review, and action. We are also building AI into our underlying processes and product interfaces to improve the customer experience and satisfaction. From there, we’ll build use cases and project plans to transform the way we work and bring real value to our clients, customers, and partners.

Q: Before we get to those plans, can you walk us through the tech stack that makes all this possible?

A: Sure. Dwellworks is primarily a Microsoft shop. We run our business using all the familiar applications, Outlook, Excel, Power BI, Teams, etc. It makes sense for us to leverage the functionality of Microsoft’s Copilot suite to enhance our internal business processes and deepen our data analysis. We’re starting to use the OpenAI API along with Microsoft’s Copilot studio to implement AI throughout our service and customer journey. And we’re using Github Copilot on the development side to speed up our software development, reduce errors and bugs, and assist with testing.

Q: So, some fundamental uses of AI are already in use at Dwellworks. What’s next?

A: First, we’ll look at the data. We have lots of it - 15+ years’ worth from over half a million destination services and corporate housing customer service experiences. There are a lot of insights in that data. Our Operational Excellence leader, Jeff Wynes, is running that initiative and from it, we’re going to learn how to better anticipate customer expectations for many of the core transactional needs in destination services. Read his blog on our goals in this space here. And then we’ll automate essential but repetitive tasks, but with personalized communications and customer-specific updates. This is a likely area for exploring services like chatbots, but we’re going to be careful balancing what can be automated and standardized, and what experiences will be best delivered through personal contact with our local experts.

Within each of the tasks we do, there will be opportunities for intelligent automation for sure. We manage lots of documents for our customers – leases and local registrations and the like.

As the experts, our job is to guide smart decisions for transferring employees or business travelers, so we want to provide tools that transform valuable manual processes into valuable automated ones. There are literally hundreds of discoveries and improvements like these that we’ll identify in deploying AI tools with our team.

Down the road, we might look at a tool like Sora, the visualization application from Open AI. It’s in its early days but it has incredible capacity for describing experiences like neighborhood tours and property showings for destination services or property security and conditions for corporate housing. The point is, in these early days, we’re staying very informed on everything in the AI space and building our understanding of the uses that make the most sense for our company and our stakeholders.

Q: Tell us about data privacy and protection in the context of AI

A: There is nothing more important. Compliance and governance are bedrock fundamentals at Dwellworks. Before we even looked at AI applications for the business, our Corporate Counsel, Walter Dannemiller, dove in and established a clear framework for using AI in our operations. His thoughts on the safe and compliant use of AI were recently published in a blog from Worldwide ERC – the leading resource for talent on the move. Read the blog here.

We monitor the use of AI carefully, all across our business, everywhere in the world. The data that we use to train and run our AI models is accurate, reliable, secure, and private. We do not train models outside the Dwellworks application. We are intensely, proactively compliant with the data privacy and protection regulations of the countries and regions where we operate and spend as much time, effort, expertise, and investment on data privacy and security as we do on product development and technology initiatives.

Our first principle when it comes to information is risk management and we know that is not just automated controls. It’s training, awareness, and people.

We have a great, engaged team here at Dwellworks. They’re eager learners and it’s our job to make sure they get the training, feedback, and framework they need to adopt and use our AI tools effectively.

Q: Wrapping up, what do you want our stakeholders to know about AI at Dwellworks?

A: While AI is a game changer for streamlining, simplifying, and informing our business, it won’t change who we are: a values-driven company that leads with integrity, and whose other core values of teamwork, performance, innovation, and fun are perfectly aligned for the AI-era. Our people and their local expertise are what make our service valuable. AI is a toolkit to enrich a very human experience.

Dwellworks Living: Global Solutions for Corporate Accommodations  

Dwellworks Living is committed to providing our clients and their employees with the best possible corporate housing and serviced accommodations experience. With a global network of property partners, a tri-regional team of customer experience and supply chain professionals, and a wide range of services for global mobility and travel customers, Dwellworks Living can provide the perfect corporate housing solution for any need or budget. 

Dwellworks Living is the global corporate housing solution of Dwellworks, an award-winning, business-to-business provider of global mobility and business travel services. As a global leader in corporate housing and serviced accommodations solutions, Dwellworks Living is uniquely positioned to meet the temporary living needs of businesses and their employees who are relocating or traveling on short-, medium- or extended-stays. With 60,000 high-quality professionally managed properties in over 125 countries worldwide, Dwellworks Living is the preferred housing solutions partner of many Fortune 1000 and leading relocation management companies. 

Dwellworks Living's corporate housing and serviced accommodations solutions are designed to help businesses attract and retain top talent, support employee productivity, and ensure a smooth and successful relocation or business travel experience. In addition to our core global accommodations management services, Dwellworks Living, through our worldwide network of local experts, is uniquely capable of offering our clients expanded and related services, such as area orientations, group move assistance, destination services and intercultural training. 

Whether you have corporate housing needs for an individual employee or a large team, Dwellworks Living can provide the serviced accommodations solutions you need anywhere in the world to ensure a safe and successful stay. Please contact us to learn more or visit our Properties page to begin your search for global corporate housing accommodations.

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