Aberdeen Asset Management PLC is an international investment management group, managing assets for both institutions and private investors from offices around the world. The company is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
AAM’s London office is at Bow Bells House in London with around 1,000 positions, in 2014 with the building apparently approaching capacity they began to look for a simple-to-use and affordable workspace management solution. Prior to this, they had been using a number of in-house methods based largely on Excel spread sheets. This included a map of all of the desks in the building constructed with great skill on a spread sheet complete with desk numbers, employee names and zone colours.
However this was largely under the control of a single individual and to keep it up to date required a lot of time and in-depth knowledge of the process. This made the task of knowing exactly which desks were free and when became increasingly difficult. The goal was to implement something that was still highly visual but that was quick and simple to update so that it could be kept up-to-date by a number of people and could be easily shared across the business.
In 2015, they chose the Accordant solution based on its simple interface, comprehensive reporting and competitive pricing. The implementation of the solution took place over the agreed four week period.
Since implementation, a lot of the main “wins” have arisen due to the amount of extra work that the system eliminates - specifically in producing documentation for moves and changes which now takes minutes rather than a full day for someone. Keeping desk records up to date has been delegated to others in the business and records from HR are fed automatically with new hires going straight into buses for positioning.
The business is now in far better control of desk and change management with a high degree of confidence in the quality of data plus the ability to share high quality data with the rest of the business on-demand.
Neuberger Berman has more than 75 years in investment management for global institutions and financial advisors. The firm has team members worldwide with an investment culture based on independent thinking and keen research & development.
When discussions began regarding office renovations and/or team relocations for its 500,000 sq ft New York City headquarters, they highlighted the clear need for a strategic software tool to aid in planning this process. They needed to find an optimal occupancy solution that minimised disruption and looked to Accordant to keep the professionals of NB doing what they do best…making money for their business partners.
Jessica Fay (AVP of Corporate Real Estate) was challenged by the existing CAFM system: an out dated semi-manual process that felt clunky to work with and was complicated to use. Just creating reports was difficult and painful for Fay who was the only user at the start of the project so she began to look for a cost effective, fast to implement, easy to use system that could grow with the firm.
Accordant was an obvious place to look as she had seen a presentation previously and remembered how enthusiastic she was with ease of use and functionality of the system - plus the test scenarios it could produce for a variety of moves. Via demonstration and actual trial usage, Fay realised the simplicity of doing required activities such as rent reporting and charge backs, capturing existing space, modifying floor plans, and planning moves. Simply put, Accordant far exceeded the capabilities of what was currently being used. The system was reasonably priced, simple to install, user friendly, and had the capability of allowing staff to serve as floor monitors and keep things up to date. Nobody needed AutoCAD except Jessica, and now the manual work was decreased through these assigned users.
Accordant was installed quickly and easily on NB’s own hardware and staff attended training sessions at CADM’s regular NYC classes. By early 2016, NB was in great shape for a proposed move across Manhattan in 2017; extensive scenarios had been created, tested and approved aiding in the selection of the right accommodation for over 1,200 NY-based staff. Fay remains encouraged that she can handle any pending move. “It was the bus that sold me. I can put folks in, drag and drop them to proposed locations, and easily produce reports for executives in the C suite.”