Tesco: managing a major portfolio using Qube Horizon software
When Tesco looked for a system to help manage their £6 billion real estate portfolio they turned to a company with a reputation for providing reliable, flexible and high quality solutions: Qube Horizon.
Tesco currently manages a real estate portfolio with an approximate book value of £6 billion, and that doesn’t even include their various joint ventures. With a portfolio of this scale, Tesco has had to put great emphasis on the properties, as they, like many other businesses, know that the intelligent management of their real estate assets can play a major strategic role in the success of the company.
In the past, real estate management had been seen as a drain on resources and a diversion from the company’s core business. As a result, it was often given a secondary role and became something to be administered rather than managed as a strategic tool. However, Tesco has seen that in terms of overall cost to the business, real estate is second only to staff salaries. As such, management of their property portfolio receives ever increasing scrutiny at Board Level and has meant that the Tesco property team need to ensure they have the right tools to manage and report on their portfolio as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Looking to the Horizon
For a number of years Tesco relied heavily on an internally developed system to manage their portfolio. However, in the fast paced retail world, the only thing that is constant is change and these changes led to new demands being placed on the system. These demands soon began to outstrip the functionality and the system needed to be upgraded to take this into account.
A number of options were considered, including upgrading the existing system using in-house development, but due to its desire to focus on the core business, Tesco was unable to spend the time and resources required to ensure the needs of the business were met.
This was an important project at Tesco, not least because they needed a system which was compatible with their internal IT infrastructure, as well as one that would allow the various business units the ability to obtain and amend the real estate information relevant to them, regardless of geographic location. This geographic element was essential when you consider their numerous locations throughout the UK and Europe, all of which need to share and contribute to this information.
At the same time, the system was required to provide the property management team with a complete overview of the portfolio, together with the facility to produce comprehensive and understandable reports at the touch of a button. Tesco also needed to control the flow of information to ensure that users received information that was relevant and important.
With its browser based i-Views, Horizon could control and filter the flow of information to individual users, at the same time as ensuring that Tesco management could obtain key figures without having to plough through the entire database. The ease of using Horizon means that staff can work with the system immediately, limiting the need for any training or adjustment.
“It’s crucial to have a system which produces understandable reports. That’s why we chose Horizon.”
“I took the opportunity to work with Horizon in order to create a new process document.”
Horizon checks out
The consultative approach employed by Qube Global Software, together with the modular flexibility of Horizon real estate solutions, ensures that the system can be configured to meet the needs of any business. Tesco had some unique needs and Horizon was well positioned to deliver.
As a result of the introduction of Horizon, and the discipline and research required to migrate existing data into the new system, Tesco instantly identified a number of opportunities leading to an immediate improvement in revenues.
However, more important for Tesco were the business processes and disciplines brought in to run alongside Horizon.
“It’s crucial to have a system which produces understandable reports, but at the same time it is important that each report is used effectively to create Actionable Business Knowledge. With the introduction of Horizon, I took the opportunity to work with Horizon in order to create a new process document. This tells users which reports are produced, when, who they are distributed to and what the resulting actions will be.”
For Tesco, the production of the business document was one of the biggest wins resulting from implementing Horizon. “It has helped achieve buy-in to the system throughout the company and means that everyone works and records information in the same way. This has created consistency in the recording and storing of real estate information throughout the company, ensuring that future reporting will give an accurate and reliable picture of Tesco’s real estate portfolio.”
“Horizon have provided us with excellent support and backup throughout the implementation period.”
A new Horizon dawns
Tesco are enjoying measurable benefits from Horizon and have seen improvements not only in their ability to manage and control costs but also in the efficiencies delivered to the business, allowing them to gain even more of a strategic advantage over their competitors.
Tesco added: “Horizon have provided us with excellent support and backup throughout the implementation period. The Tesco project manager responsible for the implementation of Horizon was headhunted halfway through the process but Qube Global Software provided the resource and training needed to ensure that everything remained on track.”
As a result of the successful implementation of Horizon and the improvements it has given, Tesco are now considering rolling out Horizon to their operations in Hungary, Poland and the Czech and Slovak Republics.
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