The Need for Efficiency: How Real Estate Teams Are Putting Data and Software to Work
Workplace and facility managers are under increasing pressure to provide a workplace that attracts top performers and improves staff motivation, effectiveness and retention. Balancing this with the need to continually add value to your corporation and reduce costs is the ultimate goal.
The dramatic evolution of the digital workplace is changing the way CRE teams need to think about office space. Effective CRE management is even more important at a time of rapid technology change.
Fortunately, tools to capture the data you need and provide meaningful analytics are now available to deliver greater insight and control into the hands of corporate real estate teams. This allows businesses to make their property more efficient, and to improve their service levels for current and prospective employees.
In this blog post, we look at how companies can put data and software to work to achieve this dual goal.
Many corporate real estate teams we talk to estimate their vacancy level at around 20 percent, but in some cases this number is as high as 35-40 percent. In addition to noted vacancy, the actual number of desks being fully used is often surprisingly low. This results in significant cost that could be reduced by improved use of space or a reduction in the amount of space used.
A company with 1 million sq. feet that improves the efficiency of their space by 10 percent could save $4,000,000 per year (about £3.5m).
By combining this type of cost saving with a more enjoyable working environment that has the potential to improve productivity, boost motivation and make recruiting top talent easier, CRE leaders can have a significant impact on their company’s success.
Corporate real estate software provides all sizes and types of businesses with the opportunity to improve occupancy rates and the work environment. This can be achieved by:
- Using survey and other data capture tools to fully understand how the workplace is used
- Planning and agreeing move scenarios using visual representations
- Providing easily interpreted graphical representations of vacancy and occupancy data
- Providing staff with intuitive tools to interact with the workplace
- Effectively managing change
- Comparing total occupancy cost with space use data to make fully informed decisions
In addition, software enables CRE managers to view key metrics across the whole portfolio and to drill down into a building or even a single floor.
Armed with this level of information, the team can benchmark every aspect of a property against all others in the company’s global portfolio, and make occupancy and disposal decisions on accurate numbers. This leads to improved occupancy rates and lower costs, without sacrificing on service.
Workplace managers also need to better maintain their buildings to reduce maintenance costs.
There is a growing understanding that facilities management teams increasingly represent the ‘feet on the ground’ in their businesses. They are the people who handle planned and unplanned maintenance and look after the building at an operational level.
However, many businesses waste significant resources by operating inefficient facilities management systems and processes. This can result in equipment breaking down far more frequently than it should do, engineers being deployed inefficiently and assets not lasting. Corporate real estate software enables workplace management teams to:
- Extend the life cycle of their assets
- Maintain a high level of customer service
- Ensure appropriate safety standards
- Operate an effective helpdesk and reactive maintenance strategy
- Run an effective preventative maintenance schedule
- Ensure staff/engineers work as efficiently as possible
This not only helps cut occupancy costs, but also improve service levels to staff and visitors.
Examples like these show what can be achieved when real estate teams use the right tools to work to gain deeper insight into space usage, allocation and occupancy. Ultimately, this is the key to gaining the right balance between lower costs and satisfied staff.
- CRE managers have great pressure to reduce occupancy costs, but just squeezing budgets often ends up cutting service standards.
- Corporate real estate software can enable workplace managers to save money while maintaining a pleasant working environment.
- Occupancy rates can be lifted by efficient filling of space and keeping tenants and staff happy.
Digital and Big Data are changing the face of corporate real estate and facilities management. Find out more.
According to the 2016 Workplace Trends report by Sodexo, Big Data has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of FM services. However, the report warns that in order to use data effectively, FM professionals need to get better at establishing and implementing their KPIs.
I recently found myself discussing space management challenges with Realcomm attendees. Strikingly, I recall it was the Qube Space software screen – specifically a CAD drawing with heat map that clearly illustrates space usage – that most caught the attention of attendees. At a glance, they could see where office space was put to good […]