Balfour Beatty Develops Corporate Real Estate Strategy For U.S. Portfolio

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The Client

Balfour Beatty is an industry-leading provider in the U.S. of general contracting, at-risk construction management and design-build services for public and private sector clients across the nation. Performing heavy civil and vertical construction, our teams build the unique structures and infrastructure that play an important role in how people live, work, learn and play in our communities. Our teammates have an instinctive passion to innovate that is fueled by a relentless curiosity, a drive to employ Lean practices and processes and the determination to find a better way. Consistently ranked among the nation’s largest building contractors, by Engineering News-Record, our U.S. business is a subsidiary of London-based Balfour Beatty plc.

The Challenge

Before engaging our team, Balfour Beatty U.S. made corporate real estate decisions on a local level without any overall portfolio management. Consequentially, there was no consistency in space standards, utilization, or cost control. As a result, the average occupancy ratio of their U.S. portfolio exceeded 350 SF per person. Our team was challenged to work with their International Property Director to move from a decentralized to centralized real estate structure. The assignment included development of a 3-year CRE portfolio strategy and plan, institute processes, systems, and a technology plan to manage their CRE data. Key performance indicators aligned with their business objectives were developed to benchmark progress to the plan.

Our Approach

In order to best assist this client, our team took a three-part approach. First, we audited their U.S. portfolio analyzing their office and industrial properties throughout the U.S. for data inputs into the portfolio strategy. Next, we abstracted their leases to identify weaknesses and inconsistencies in their data set. Lastly, our team incorporated ePortfolio, a mobile technology and portfolio management tool, that provides a clear snapshot of their data including location intelligence, KPI tracking, and data layering to make it easier to view and manage their portfolio. Our team standardized the client’s corporate real estate process by creating a customized approval and reporting process to meet their needs.

The Outcome

After a thorough review, a three-year corporate real estate strategy was developed for the entire portfolio. Balfour Beatty’s U.S. corporate real estate lease data was consolidated and updated into one resource, ePortfolio, to track and view progress. Co-location and space efficiency projects were initiated immediately to help save the client money. A space standard of less than 230 square feet per employee was established. Our team coordinated the development and implementation of a design guide for space utilization and improvements. Overall, the client saw improved communication between corporate real estate and their business units, consistent project implementation, one-stop access to documents and data, resulting in decreased occupancy cost and occupancy ratios.