Global Financial Services Firm

Pcubed helped a leading global financial services firm build the capability to optimize their global corporate real estate assets and drive upwards of $200MM in additional value to the bottom line.    

The Client

The corporate real estate group of a leading financial services firm who manages a portfolio of properties that span the globe; supporting their strong presence worldwide in investment, commercial, and retail banking.  Their facilities support more than 100,000 employees across 72 countries with over 3000 buildings making up approximately 30MM sq/ft of space.  Their annual real estate spend on facilities portfolio is approximately 2 billion USD.

“Without Pcubed, there would be no Space Management.”
~ Director, Global Financial Services Firm

The Challenge

The client projected that almost 10% of the cost for their real estate assets could easily be reduced if they just had the visibility to manage them appropriately.  For many global companies real estate is the second largest expense after personnel costs, yet it was estimated that as much as 20% of the bank’s total $2 billion real estate holdings were vacant at any one time. Management established a conservative target of reducing these to 10% to drive greater value to the bottom line. 

Obtaining the information to make informed space management decisions was a challenge. The firm had grown significantly through acquisitions over the years and as a result there were silos of information housed in autonomous systems. In addition, there were a diverse array of processes, roles and responsibilities across the firm with multiple manual work-arounds for management reporting.  The result made it nearly impossible to effectively manage the real estate portfolio due to poor data quality and limited enterprise visibility from which to understand current usage, plan future forecasts or manage vendors.
It was clear that a single real estate management system with globally aligned processes was required to overcome these serious issues, but previous efforts to transition to a more consolidated solution had failed due to cultural challenges caused by organizational silos and a lack of dedicated support. Pcubed was brought in to help program manage this major corporate change process and to improve the client’s transparency, organizational maturity and focus on successful delivery - especially since previous internal attempts had failed.

The Pcubed Solution

Implementing any change program carries the risk of decreasing productivity due to its disruptive nature, Pcubed along with the client knew that a well thought out program of change initiatives would be needed to gain wide spread adoption and minimize operational impact. 

The Pcubed team began with an assessment of the current culture, understanding specifically how the change would impact the environment and planning

to minimize the risks. The team’s assessment captured data, stakeholder, process and change management issues.  Combining Pcubed’s methodology with insight gathered from business requirements, the team worked with executive leadership to establish a shared vision for the program that defined success and a high level program plan to achieve it.  Once the vision and imperative for change (potentially $200MM in underutilized assets) wasestablished, it was communicated effectively to ensure complete stakeholder buy-in, with senior leaders backing the program from the outset. 

To drive successful execution Pcubed utilized its global reach to work closely with regional subject matter experts to formalize standards and to define aligned processes.  In turn, this drove the design and technical specifications for the new system. The program was rolled out in a manner designed to minimize impact to business performance during transition activities and enable lessons learned along the change journey to be integrated into the approach. Important program components that drove success included: 

  • Creating a strong imperative for change driven by senior sponsorship
  • Engaging network of local SMEs to help create a realistic roadmap for the program and drive local implementation with Pcubed.
  • Identifying risks early and having planned ways to mitigate them - ensuring focus and momentum was maintained for success.
  • Developing a strategic communications and change management program to drive buy-in and support was critical given the autonomous organizations globally.
  • Understanding and adapting country by country requirements into the overall program including security processes to safeguard human resources data and data privacy requirements.
  • Holding facilitated workshops multiple times a week to identify key improvements and decide on their implementation
  •  Investing in training, new performance metrics and standard practice handbooks to embed change and consistency
  • Managing vendor relationships closely by Pcubed to ensure business requirements were appropriately incorporated into system, and testing was monitored, and roll-out implementation and training was successful.
  • Offering enhanced training and setting up communities of practice to help users come to a better understanding of the system

 Business Results

The program successfully provided management with real-time accurate insight from which to plan and manage their second largest expense item – effectively providing the capability to target the $200MM in assets that weren’t driving value for the firm. In addition, the success of the global standardization program provided a case study for how to approach similar circumstances in other areas of the firm with strong pockets of cultural resistance to change. Other important benefits included:

  • Improved vendor management as contracts and costs can be compared globally
  • Access to real-time real estate related data and documents from a desk-top, iPad and iPhone in office or on the move
  • Quicker fulfilling of new, different or bespoke reporting requirements with reduced resources needed to manually generate reports and integrate/update disparate systems
  • Improved future space planning as senior management now has the analytics to support informed product and client decision making
  • Ability to use data for basic low-frequency forecasting to high-frequency now casting by adjusting business levers just in time