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Jim Lob: Easing Relocation Fears

Jim Lob

I can’t tell you how many times, even today, after so many advances in the process, I hear something along these lines from corporate clients; especially those who have been in the same spot for 15 or more years: “I would love to be in a new building, with new space finished as I need it today, and all those amenities. But I cannot imagine the headache it would be. My IT needs, my lost productivity, etc., etc.” Under all of those words lies this fear: “How can I know—and measure—if the relocation is worth it?”

I have found the biggest hurdle is often the “unfamiliar ordeal” of the finish out. I am here to tell you a solid project manager representing the interests of my client helps ensure satisfied customers. There are numerous slippery slopes where the tenant improvement money can either be used efficiently—or lost to landlord profit. And the actual physical move? Coordination can be the determining factor if it all went well or not, from a clients/ perspective.

After that, some good benchmarks to measure success, outside of a reduced occupancy cost, include:

• Return on Investment: Sources of benefits can come from a variety of measures, including contribution to profit, savings of costs, and increase in quantity of output.

• Productivity: A straightforward way to normalize productivity measurement across organizations is to use revenue per employee as the key metric. Dividing revenue per employee by the average fully burdened salary per employee yields a ratio.

• Cost Performance: The ability to accurately forecast cost performance allows organizations to confidently allocate capital reducing financial risk.

• Schedule Performance: The ability to accurately forecast schedule and budget helps meet time-to-market windows.

• Customer Satisfaction: Index hard measures of customer buying/use behavior and soft measures of customer opinions or feelings.

Using some of these concepts/values can help management make good decisions that will improve overall employee performance and satisfaction. If you can also reduce rent and the square footage per employee—it’s a home run!

As senior vice president of UGL Services, Jim Lob co-manages the firm’s brokerage operations in Dallas. He specializes in large corporate headquarters relocations and build-to-suit projects. Contact him at jim.lob@na.ugllimited.com.

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