Outsourcing property management

Posted On Friday, 01 February 2002 02:00 Published by
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Businesses face a number of challenges to maintain and grow their profitability, not least of which is the state of flux that seems to be a permanent feature of the business environment.
Outsourcing the corporate property function

Businesses face a number of challenges to maintain and grow their profitability, not least of which is the state of flux that seems to be a permanent feature of the business environment. This dynamic and fluid business environment often contrasts heavily with the shape and form of the space in which most organisations operate. Outsourcing of the corporate real estate department, leading to increasing profits and reducing costs, is one area companies are looking at to improve profits.

The modern office as we know it originated when space was needed to house the people that dealt with the growing amounts of information, in a structured and manageable environment.

“A number of factors have changed since then such as, information technology - it had a fundamental impact on how people manage information; globalisation - altered work time frames from the traditional “9 to 5”; project-based teams are fluid when compared to traditional hierarchal structures; and improvements in telecoms has allowed remote management to become easier”, comments Stephen O’Raw, key accounts executive of JHI Real Estate.

“These changes have been felt by every organisation in various ways, with the more progressive ones embracing the “new ways of working” that have emerged from them, such as telecommuting, hot-desking and flexi-time. At the very least a substantial amount of investment in IT infrastructure has been the result”.

He adds that property is responding to respond to these changes at an accelerating pace. Reduced occupancy costs, increased flexibility and productivity are what organisations require from their workspaces.

“Ill-suited premises prevent an organisation from achieving full potential by limiting information flows, either because of fragmented spaces that exacerbate internal divisions or old management styles, or more directly by inadequate physical elements such as too few cable ducts, which limits the expansion of cable based networks”.

O’Raw believes that with this growing sophistication in property needs, the internal facilities manager can no longer rely on technical knowledge of the physical elements of the premises coupled with acquired knowledge of some of the legal and financial issues relating to property, to provide the organisation with the environment, best suited to maximize it’s productivity and profits. “A broader skill base is required, one which couples knowledge of international best practice and innovation with solid experience in the traditional property spheres”.

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