Businesses are striving harder than ever to hold on to a sustainable competitive advantage, and attract customers and staff – often while reducing cost.
For most UK businesses buildings are the second biggest expense after staff and present a huge cost saving potential, as confirmed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Any savings from reduced building running costs will drop straight to the bottom line.
Many businesses fail to recognise the tremendous impact – positive or negative – that buildings have on their efficiency, competitive positioning and growth. Businesses that have configured their buildings to align with a robust overall strategy have seen dramatic improvements to their competitive advantage, cost base, finances and environmental sustainability. These benefits may take some time to realise, but can be deep and transformational.
Ignore at your peril the need for a clear plan to optimise your buildings and estate to support your business.
Businesses taking this path should begin by considering the most relevant drivers of change, such as:
Competition and productivity: businesses compete fiercely to attract, impress and inspire customers and staff and stay ahead of their competition. Buildings are often an overlooked and untapped resource that can deliver competitive and productivity improvements.
Increased expectations: customers are increasingly demanding, and businesses should identify how buildings can help them meet and exceed these demands.
Cost advantage: the cost of acquiring and operating real estate continues to rise, with operational and energy costs increasing faster than the rate of inflation. Implementing approaches to deliver better value for money will help a business be more cost competitive.
Rapid pace of change: the pace of technological change in markets and businesses means there’s an opportunity to use buildings and technologies much more imaginatively to support operations and objectives.
LCMB Building Performance specialists, CE national members, have published a guide that provides businesses with a structured framework for improving businesses overall performance through estates management. Their aim is to help ensure that buildings and associated budgets deliver the best possible impact for business, their customers and their staff.
John O’Brien is chair of Constructing Excellence’s asset management group, Founder and MD of LCMB.