Complex planning projects, such as campus and regional plans, mergers and reorganizations, and back-office and call-center realignments, can lead to some of an organization's most complex and consequential real estate decisions. Hundreds of millions of dollars are at risk and conflicting business priorities must be negotiated.
Core Planning helps real estate planners combine their expertise and insights with advanced analytics to make these complex projects faster and easier, delivering smarter and better decisions.
Faster and Easier
With Core Planning, planners can develop and evaluate complex, multi-facility, multi-business group (or department) plans in minutes, not the hours and days needed for manual, trial-fit spreadsheet and drag-and-drop approaches.
For a high-tech firm relocating business activities across its 40-building campus to meet new business needs, one person working a week and a half was able to complete the analysis that had required 6 people's time over 3 weeks.
Comprehensive and efficient "what-if" analysis gives decisions makers the information they need to evaluate key productivity, cost, and risk trade-offs and negotiate conflicting business priorities.
For a corporate headquarters consolidation following a merger, the Treasurer said he had never seen the CFO and his team approve a major decision so quickly and smoothly. The reason - we had the time and ability to prepare answers to "what-if" questions before meetings.
With Core Planning, planners can easily consider many more possibilities, often finding millions of dollars in additional cost savings and productivity improvements overlooked with traditional approaches.
For a financial services firm consolidating 23 back-office locations into 13, our plan reduced required lay-offs by one third and reduced total labor and real estate costs by an additional $20 million by identifying more opportunities to retrain existing workers.
Core Planning Approach
One of the primary challenges for planners is how to consider all of the different factors and personal priorities that can be important in planning decisions.
Core Planning includes a comprehensive database to capture and organize data from often disparate data sources, including lease administration, CAFM, capital budgeting and human resource systems, and management interviews. Data considered can include:
- Business group (or department) workers, space utilization, business requirements, adjacencies, shared workspaces and projected growth,
- Facility costs, configurations, and conditions, lease expirations and cancellation options, disposition alternatives, and market trends,
- Potential capital costs including building improvements, improvements for specific groups including lab, IT and telecommunications requirements, and reconfiguration and furniture costs, and
- Wages, salaries and benefits, skill availability, and severance, hiring and training costs.
The information can be evaluated for different financial measures, including net present value (NPV) of after-tax cash flow and accounting measures (GAAP / IFRS). Core Planning solutions can easily provide projections needed for new financial accounting standards.
Automatics reports describe facility strategies, occupancy plans, performance metrics, and financial reports for each solution, answering questions such as:
- Which business units to relocate and where they can grow, and
- Which locations to acquire, dispose, renew and renovate.
Core Planning solutions combine planners expertise and insights with the processing efficiency achieved with advanced analytics.
Using mathematical search algorithms, Core Planning automates the time-consuming, trial-fit process of fitting business groups into locations, taking into consideration both planners insights and quantitative information. With less time needed for tedious solution creation, planners and decision makers have more time to consider strategic priorities and subjective trade-offs.
Similar techniques have created hundreds of millions of dollars in added value and increased responsiveness in many other disciplines, include logistics, flight scheduling, capacity planning, and manufacturing and distribution site selection.
Because real estate planning for knowledge workers requires more subjective considerations than analytics in many other disciplines, Core Planning prioritizes the need to combine planners knowledge and insights with mathematical techniques.
In business literature, these techniques are called prescriptive analytics, operations research, and optimization modeling. Business school graduates often complete simple examples in Excel spreadsheets.
Multi-facility real estate planning projects are far too complex for Excel. We use one of the leading optimization modeling systems, IBM ILOG CPLEX Optimizer.
While our consulting projects have focused on corporate real estate planning, this approach can also be applied to medical and education campuses.