The past two years were marked by significant belt tightening.
Companies across the real estate landscape were faced with declining revenues and were forced to make very hard decisions (mostly relating to human resources) to reduce operating costs in order to maintain bottom-line performance. While the business cycle has not completely reversed itself, many companies have found new opportunities for revenue growth, but are wary about making the staffing moves necessary to realize those opportunities.
These resource limitations can be characterized as bandwidth constraints, and can be addressed in a number of ways, including:
- Focus resources on core functions – Recent staff reductions likely spread tactical responsibilities across remaining resources. Free-up these resources to do more strategic activities by leveraging outsource partners for tactical functions.
- Manage by exception – Develop information dashboards that provide access to property-level data and highlight significant risks and opportunities. Recast monthly reporting packages and performance metrics to focus on the exceptions.
- Eliminate unnecessary meetings – A culture that promotes endless meetings often evolves from insecurity and a lack of authority. Management silos often typify a “meeting-oriented” culture. It will take time to build confidence and assure people that there are many “right” decisions, and that it is better to choose one of them than to be paralyzed by indecision.
These approaches to increasing bandwidth are most successful when mandated by senior management and pushed down through an organization.
Cultural changes can be supported by certain technology that promotes collaboration and improve workflow. Business Process Management (“BPM”) tools are “game changers” when it comes to collaboration, improving cycle times, and streamlining operations. Sharepoint and other similar tools can help improve the availability of information and change the way that resources interact.