Choose your weapon - as long as its data

Straw, Nail or Sword – whatever the weapon or implement that finally puts a debate to bed, we saw them all at a Property Breakfast Briefing we held on Wednesday 5 April.

Straw, Nail or Sword?

CDS, together with Faithful+Gould and our joint client, Royal Mail Group, held a breakfast briefing to share a case study. The study showed how our client had a Strategic Asset Management need and engaged with two organisations to help.

Faithful+Gould to define a strategy and apply the brain power, and CDS, who harnessed that strategy and deployed our automated technology solution – Asset Factory.

So, the client established the context, Supplier #1 described the approach, and supplier #2 showed the #PropTech solution in anger. All Good….right?

Not Quite…during the briefing, as was our want, we polled the audience to collect our own data right there and then, using The poll results from a representative collection of clients, suppliers, independents and journalists were enlightening and frustrating in equal measure.

The questions were all associated with Strategic Asset Management and its use within the Property Industry.

Observations and conclusions

Below are some observations and conclusions taken from the poll results:

  • Only 10% of those polled considered the Property Industry to be using a best practice, standards based approach to Strategic Asset Management based on real data solutions – no wonder it’s the Cinderella profession.
  • Supporting this, less than 15% of those polled considered that the FM function was highly valued in their organisation. Perhaps it’s because it demonstrates limited value?
  • …and to reinforce this – over one third of those polled saw FM data collected to only manage contractual obligations. No additional insight was sought or produced from the data.

So on the matter of putting a debate to bed, is it too much of a leap in thinking to say that without better systems and processes in place and a desire + instinct to sweat the data, then FM, or CRE or Surveying will never, appeal to the C-Suite. Never.

In every example where data is instinctively (culturally) analysed, then a business case can be made by lowering costs, increasing value, mitigating risk or improving the performance of property assets. Especially in an increasingly VUCA world (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity).

There seems to be a significant gap opening between the growth in the technical art of the possible (#PropTech or the supply) and what’s happening in reality (the demand) – why? It would be great to hear back from people and organisations who recognise the findings above and can rationalise it. For example:

  1. Are the consumers driving Property Asset Strategy and hence our traditional ‘clients’ are now in reactive mode and are increasingly unsighted on their requirements?
  2. …or, is the effort to make the ROI/business case for technology too difficult because it requires up front capital?
  3. …or, is the demand side choosing to make and not buy – but then end up at the back of a long list of internal IT projects?
  4. …or, are property people naturally conservative and unwilling to innovate?
  5. …or, as Guy Grainger from JLL states, has the industry become passive and too comfortable/entrenched in established practices?

Lots of questions…

It’s approaching the end of the second decade in the 21st Century, and it appears that strategic decisions are still being made on a gut feel and cost basis only. That’s the same way decisions were made 30 years ago, but like I said – please enlighten me…

I for one will never give up my instinct to innovate and help.

Speak to our Asset Factory™ expert

For more insight and information from the Breakfast Briefing and other useful articles, please go to the CDS Asset Factory webpages.

To get in touch with Michael Stephens, Head of Asset Intelligence at CDS Digital: call +44 (0)78 0325 9672 or email via our contact form.

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