A new offering joining expertise across the supply chain, architecture and property sectors has formed to increase transparency; help organisations operate more efficiently and deliver the best outcome for the client every step of the way. MHD finds out more.
With the supply chain becoming increasingly complex and more emphasis placed on speed and convenience, there is an increased need for retailers and logistics providers to be able to operate from flexible, well-located and efficient warehouses.
According to Peter Jones, Managing Director and Founder of Prological, a supply chain consultancy based in New South Wales, the pace of change in logistics and supply chain has been accelerating rapidly over the past five years. The result is an ever-increasing requirement for an industrial property to be designed with operational efficiency in mind from the get-go.
“This accelerated pace of change is down to several different things. Largely, it’s about supply chain capabilities and understanding starting to make its way up into the board room and C-suite. It’s also related to the cost of automation significantly decreasing and e-commerce consumers placing more pressure on our global and national supply chain networks,” he says.
Recognising that there was a way for all facets of the supply chain to work together more closely when it comes to designing and delivering a new facility for an organisation, three specialist organisations have formed a partnership to offer an end-to-end solution.
From the supply chain capabilities area, Prological heads up the project. For architectural and building design purposes, Pedavoli Architects is the advising consultancy as well as project managers for the tendering and construction. From a property strategy perspective, ResolveXO secures the property on the best terms possible.
A new way to do business
Historically, in industrial property, many projects would start with the site selection and acquisition. Following this, a building would be designed and built to fit this specification. But for Peter Jones and his partners, success begins and ends with the supply chain.
“The problem with the old process is how the building will function, and its detailed operational aspects are often not built into the design. For example, suppose you haven’t considered the business case for automation in the early stages. In that case, you might think you need a 10,000sqm facility when, in fact, you only need 6,000sqm after you have considered the case for automation,” Peter says.
These mistakes or lack of consideration at the beginning can lead to significant costs down the track for the client, which Peter wants to avoid.
“If you start with site acquisition, instead of detailed consideration of the operations of your warehouse, you can end up with something too big or too small, unfit for purpose down the track, or even unsuitable for the vehicles you need to move in and out of the warehouse,” he says.
Peter and his experienced team at Prological consider what their clients need now, and well into the future. “We work on three, five and ten-year horizons. We then build as much flexibility into the modelling and design options as possible,” he says.
Starting with the end in mind drives a better outcome for the client and allows for flexibility and changes in business over time. “A little bit of investment upfront will save our clients a significant amount of money over time,” Peter says.
The Prological supply chain team leads the project the entire way. “Once we have a brief, we produce a high-level design of what the warehouse operation looks like and then establish what a building envelope should be. Then we work with the architects at Pedavoli to make sure that all the minor operational and functional details of the warehouse are properly considered. From there, we produce a very detailed brief for the industrial property strategists at ResolveXO so they can find the right space for our client,” Peter says.
The benefit of working with Prological is that they have expertise across all facets of the supply chain. “We understand all the systems in this area. We have expertise in international and domestic freight, warehouse design and layout, warehouse management systems, materials handling, automation, transport management systems and the integration of all of these systems,” Peter says.
Driving better outcomes through partnerships
For Sam Rigoli, Partner at Pedavoli Architects, this proposition aligns closely with the way they historically do business.
“We like to be at the forefront with our clients and be involved as early as possible so that we can bring value to the design. We get involved at the feasibility stage to make sure that the building supports the function of the business,” Sam says.
Efficiency is a driving factor for Sam and the clients he works within the industrial sector. “We focus on design efficiency across the entire project from the macro down to the individual elements that make up a project, which is why we want to work closely with the client from the start of the process. We find the outcomes of this approach lead to significant savings that a client can then invest back into their bottom line. By offering this end-to-end approach, we can really make these efficiency gains provide a great outcome for our clients,” he says.
Sam recognises that a suitable building is just one piece of the puzzle and being able to offer added expertise around the site and supply chain is only going to drive a better outcome.
“We can bring our expertise in design and architecture to the table and work with subject matter experts in supply chain and real estate to generate the best overall outcome for the business,” he says.
That is evident in Pedavoli’s commitment to sustainability. “Traditionally, industrial is a high energy consumption area, but we are passionate about driving better sustainability outcomes for the environment. We work with our clients to establish ways that not only reduce carbon emissions but also result in significant efficiency gains,” Sam says.
With regards to the real estate part of the puzzle, Brendan Jordan, Principal and Industrial Property Strategist at Resolve XO, says the same kind of rigour applied to every other part of the supply chain is needed. “If you invest the proper time and resources and get the strategy right at the start, you are in a much better position to get a good property deal for your business. It’s important to be well-organised and understand the market, so you negotiate on an “apples for apples” basis. That way landlords are likely to be more responsive, and you get a better deal,”
Brendan speaks very highly of the expertise across the partners and says there are huge benefits in knowing precisely what kind of facility you are going to build when you go to market for the site. But he also warns that, when it comes to real estate, it’s essential to ensure your agent is acting in your best interests at all times.
“One of our differences is that we are completely transparent in our fees and costs. We don’t have any association with landlords and only act for occupiers, so we can act and negotiate on behalf of our clients without any conflicts of interest,” he says.
Between them, Prological, Pedavoli Architects and ResolveXO offer a well thought out, co-ordinated and knowledgeable approach that drives a better outcome for the tenant, which is the fundamental driving factor for every party across this partnership.
As Peter Jones says, “For us, it’s about being upfront and honest with our client so that we can give them the best possible outcome available to them – both now and into the future.”