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How real estate management solutions simplify complex projects into smart workflows

by Sjef van Vugt, on Mar 31, 2022 11:00:00 AM

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How Real Estate Management Solutions Simplify Complex Projects into Smart Workflows

Corporate real estate projects are becoming increasingly complex. The ‘perfect storm’ of shifts in how corporate real estate is utilised by end clients, and the changing regulations that are coming into force surrounding environment responsibility, are influencing the development of new projects. These projects are more complex - and more demanding on CREM team resources - than ever before.

And in this line of work, complexity is a problem. With growing complexity comes a reduction in visibility. When real estate and facilities managers are weighed down dealing with complicated tasks in the cost, performance, space utilisation, equipment maintenance, and resource and materials categories, they naturally focus their attention on each individual area in order to get the job done.

What they don’t get is the complete visibility of a project that would allow them to identify weaknesses, optimise approaches, and ultimately deliver an improved client experience.

It’s clear that, right now especially, corporate real estate managers need to make a change. And that change is to find a way to take these complex projects and turn them into smart, easy-to-set-up workflows that build smooth, streamlined processes.

That’s what real estate management software is for. In fact, most CREM leaders who use real estate management solutions begin using them for this exact purpose - creating smart workflows - before expanding to use other modules over time.

What is a ‘Smart Workflow’?

When it comes to corporate real estate projects, smart workflows are the natural choice.

A smart workflow is intended to bring all aspects of a project’s life cycle – including designing, monitoring, managing, and maintaining - into one single process. It’s about taking the ‘spider web’ approach to CREM and turning it into a more linear A-B journey, outlining everything that needs to be done (and when) to see success. 

Essentially, a smart workflow will combine lease documents, necessary facilities services, cost data, and performance information into a visual framework that instantly communicate what needs to be done in a way everyone can understand.

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How Does a CRE Project Smart Workflow Work?

There are two very clear ways that leading real estate management solutions can turn complex projects into smart workflows: transparency, and automation. 

Corporate real estate management solutions use both transparency and automation together not to make projects ‘simple’, but instead to empower CRE leaders and their teams to manage complexities in an easier, more efficient way than legacy asset systems.

1. Transparency

A good integral project management system should offer complete transparency over an entire project. It should make it easier for CREMs to identify bottlenecks and implement solutions that enable them to handle complexities with greater ease. In order to offer this level of transparency, the system needs to act as a ‘platform of platforms’. 

This means that, while a CREM may be using just one piece of software with one interface, what they actually have access to from that interface is a diverse collection of data spanning every aspect of the project. These solutions are essentially a ‘one stop shop’, providing CRE leaders with real time information from across multiple departments that turn complexities into easier-to-digest tasks.

2. Automation

Until now, CREMs have largely been using manual processes. And while these processes may work on a project-by-project level, they are not repeatable on a large scale, nor are they particularly scalable. The problem with this approach is that as projects become more complex, existing asset management processes aren’t able to adapt in the face of change.

A second way that corporate real estate management solutions can turn complex projects into smart workflows is by automating some of the more data-driven processes to standardise data collection and internal methods. This can result in a significant quality improvement, boost efficiency, and subsequently offer greater insight into how a complex project can best be managed for optimal results.

Give Yourself the Tools You Need to Succeed

Complexities exist. And they’re an everyday part of the job for 21st century corporate real estate managers. As the world continues to evolve, complexities won’t disappear.

They will be reshaped by the landscape. So, this isn’t a wave that CRE leaders can ride out; it’s essential to take action now to give yourself and your team the tools and support that’s needed to tackle project complexities head on. 

Trying to manage all of these complexities when you’re burdened with manual processes, when you can’t see what’s going on in all areas of the project, or when you’re struggling to gain access to the latest data, is a lost cause.

Instead, you need to ensure that you can see everything that’s been done, and everything that needs doing, in one simple, smart, visual workflow that makes complexities easy to handle.

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