4tell Case Study – Real Estate Investment Trust

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The Challenge

The REIT was undergoing an evaluation of its overall portfolio and capital investment strategy. They had multiple sources of information, fed by vendors, in many formats in multiple global locations. They needed to gain control of how their data was collected and provided to them. They required accurate and up to date information about asset lifecycles, energy usage, budget requirements, space utilization and operational performance. They sought a global solution that provided comprehensive knowledge to enable strategic capital investment decisions.

The Solution

The client operates as a “Real Estate Investment Trust” (“REIT”) and manages a global portfolio of over 7,000 properties across five continents and over 30 countries.

The properties cover a range of classes including retail, office, warehouse and residential. The REIT has taken a capital appreciation approach to the management of the global portfolio to insure positive income- generating real-estate for its stakeholders and investors. To that end, operations for these properties include long term strategic financial planning, capital and expense funding for each property’s projects related to site, envelop, and infrastructure as well as maintenance and operations programs.

The REIT turned to 4tell™ to complete a global implementation of its iPlan™ Business Intelligence Solution in order to enable strategic capital investment planning decisions that optimize financial performance and align with key business objectives. 4tell™’s iPlan™ data-driven solution drives down both the immediate and longer term lifecycle cost of asset ownership. By streamlining and supporting the strategic capital and energy planning and budgeting processes, project and program development, and stakeholder reporting requirements, the REIT was able to prioritize, direct and deploy targeted financial resources to drive “bottom line” savings & efficiencies portfolio-wide.

With a global portfolio, the REIT was also challenged with centralizing all of its data for “true line of sight” into the business requirements, the conditions of assets and overall expenditures against its portfolio. iPlan™ serves as the central repository for all global assessment, operating and market data collected from a variety of 3rd party professional consultants and service providers – thereby standardizing all data globally for the REIT. 4tell™ provides robust technology-enabled data capture tools to keep information fresh and updated as part of the REIT’s ongoing business processes. Additionally, iPlan™ integrates data with the REIT’s CMMS application and replaced its legacy “in-house” capital asset investment system, which now provides the ability to compile operating data and with critical asset information empowering comprehensive life-cycle and total-cost-of-ownership analysis. 4tell™ also provides industry standard and its proprietary analytics and analysis capabilities for portfolio-wide sustainability, regulatory and compliance reporting requirements, as well as executive management reporting and dashboard tools.

The implementation of the iPlan™ Sustainable Financial Performance Solution empowered the REIT to take control of all critical portfolio data and to streamline the business process of prioritizing capital needs while enhancing and maintaining its portfolio investments. iPlan™ also enabled the proactive identification and management of financial and operational risks.

As a result, the REIT implemented real-time decision making – with knowledge derived through management reporting and analysis – aligned with organizational “acquire, divest and invest strategies” and the actions required to achieve and investor goals and objectives.

The REIT project comprises several complex technical requirements including:

  • Detailed data capture of asset lifecycle, condition and energy data, combined with operating data from external applications and processes. All compiled data is analyzed, presented within iPlan™ and delivered into comprehensive expenditure, condition, prioritization and management reports.
  • External data is also captured from energy management systems and is comprised of detailed utility consumption information for various fuels. Data is also obtained from CMMS systems and comprised of historic reactive works information, as well as multiple other electronic data sources (.i.e. spreadsheets), and all of the various data sources are consolidated within iPlan™ and presented to users seamlessly.
  • Strategic capital planning project data and detailed asset level data is structured into predefined file formats (i.e. XML) for data exchange with legacy systems (i.e. Maximo Business Objects). The data various integrations are accomplished using the iPlan™.connect framework through a custom DTO (Data Transformation Object) with configuration settings that map iPlan™ and the external sources, systems and/or applications.

The Results – Value

  • Cost Management – spending against properties is consistent with overall REIT strategy for each asset within the portfolio and material savings are being realized through improved procurement practices
  • Strategic Planning – insight is gained into all relevant financial & non-financial issues that drive optimal use of capital & natural resources for the entire portfolio
  • Risk Management – mitigate risk across operational sensitivities, asset performance and sustainability on a property-by- property basis
  • Investor Relations – ability to deliver Sustainable Financial Performance objectives while focusing on the REIT’s core business of optimizing ROI and the value of the portfolio