Getting a new HQ open on time and within budget

Occumen helps a financial services player fit out its new office and procure the necessary hard and soft facilities management services to make it run like clockwork.

The challenge

The UK arm of a major financial services company asked Occumen to undertake all the procurement associated with the fit-out of its brand new 850 seat UK headquarters building. The company had grown rapidly and was accommodated in two rather uninspiring buildings nearby. The workload of this project was too high for the in-house procurement team alone, and in addition, some specialist skills were required.

The solution

Occumen, a procurement focussed management consultancy, initially developed a timeline and resource plan, detailing each contract that needed to be put in place to complete the building. We then provided a team of facilities management procurement experts to deliver the plan and ensure that the new office could open on the appointed date.

Occumen managed the procurement of FM services such as security, engineering maintenance, landscaping, car parking and front of house; catering; audio-visual; IT infrastructure; soft furnishings; furniture (desks, tables and chairs); and occupational health services. Although there was a tight timeframe, our approach was to ensure that as part of a structured process, all stakeholders had their say in terms of specifying requirements. A variety of procurement approaches were used to tender the various packages from e-auctions to full RFPs with presentations to groups of stakeholders. Although Occumen did the ‘leg-work’ the client made all the decisions, in many cases choosing to reinvest savings to provide better facilities for staff or add to the ‘wow-factor’ of the building.

The benefits

Firstly, the building was ready for occupation on the planned date – something that did not look likely at the beginning of the project.  

Secondly, substantial savings were made relative to the first quotes provided by prospective suppliers: for example 23% on facilities management over 3 years; 90% on catering over the same period; 17% on furniture; 37% on IT and 28% on the provision of occupational health services over 3 years. Some of these savings were ‘banked’ and others were reinvested.

Thirdly, the client could be confident that robust contracts were in place with all suppliers ensuring that no unexpected risks or liabilities would come to light in later years. This included helping the client negotiate an appropriate final payment with the main building contractor where there had been some earlier issues with the initial build.

As a result of this work, the client asked Occumen to help refurbish one of the two old buildings and deliver a ‘wow’ factor to match the new building (the new building being full as soon as it was completed). We ran a series of workshops with stakeholders and staff to understand their requirements, and then worked with architects and quantity surveyors to turn this into a specification. First quotes from the tender process came in 25% over budget, so we ran cost-engineering sessions with suppliers and clients to re-specify the requirements to better match the budget. The cost engineering and the final tender process resulted in savings of £1.9m (29%) compared to the first quotations. 

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