MHD sits down with Argon & Co’s Sean Mitchell, and Colliers’ Peter Evans and Gavin Bishop, to discuss the expanding and exciting opportunities afforded by the Colliers-Argon & Co strategic partnership to provide integrated property solutions to clients.
In the September 2021 issue of MHD, we covered the then-new strategic partnership between Colliers and Pollen Consulting Group.
The strategic partnership was formed because became convinced that the specialist advice Pollen provided – working exclusively for occupiers and not for landlords – was essential to the long-term reputation of Colliers. By involving a third-party partner that worked for occupiers, Colliers could be confident that its occupier clients knew there was a degree of separation between landlord and occupier interests. And for Colliers, an ethic of trust has always been key, and lays the groundwork for successful long-term relationships with its occupier clients.
Since forming the partnership, Pollen Group has radically extended its reach and capability by merging with Argon & Co – with the combined entity now operating under the latter name.
A NEW AND IMPROVED ARGON & CO
Sean Mitchell, Partner at Argon & Co ANZ (formerly Partner at Pollen) explains the range of services provided by Pollen, and how the merger expands the team’s capabilities.
“Pollen was set up to service the entire remit of the COO,” Sean says. “So, every part of operations: supply chain, manufacturing technology, academy training, capital works – a full suite offering”.
“Argon & Co was founded over 20 years ago with a focus on strategic transformation of operations and has grown to have a global presence. So, it was a logical step for Pollen and Argon & Co to join forces to become Argon & Co ANZ. Our client focus, breadth of offer, culture and DNA are very much aligned. In terms of reach, we now have a full presence on the ground in Sydney, Melbourne, and in Auckland.”
Sean adds that pre-merger, Pollen had grown from start-up to over a team of 40 in 5 years. Along with stronger growth and the joining of the local Argon & Co colleagues has the Argon & Co ANZ team at over 60 people – all focussed on operational strategy and transformation.
We are also part of a team of over 400 like-minded people globally across 15 cities with access to global insights across varying geographies.
WHAT ARGON & CO BRINGS TO COLLIERS
Peter Evans, National Director Industrial Advisory at Colliers, says that since forming the partnership Argon & Co has been able draw on Colliers extensive industrial property knowledge “at the start of the process rather than two thirds of the way through” with a client.
“We now have the ability to come and have business-to-business type discussions around assisting the occupier at the outset of the process,” Peter says. “The partnership with Argon & Co ANZ allows us to address what is the best supply chain and logistics solutions for our clients earlier on than would be possible operating alone. The partnership is of course still relatively new, and the timeframe for these client journeys is in the order of 18 months to two-and-a-half years to really see results come through. But, for me, the most important benefit we’ve seen from a Colliers perspective has been in forging and consolidating long term partnerships that will benefit our clients.”
“Argon & Co is a global player,” Peter says. “In joining them we are able to understand global trends which we weren’t able to before. Whether that be trends in automation or new technologies that are coming into place. The merger has meant, from a Colliers perspective, greater access to information, data, and resources that really add to the already sterling benefits we have derived since the beginning of the partnership pre-merger.
“Another thing I’d add is that – again with Argon & Co’s broader reach in APAC as well as globally – the strategic partnership allows the bandwidth to be able to draw on the right experts at the right time, no matter where they are in the world.”
LIVING THE COLLIERS VALUES
Sean is quick to add that the benefits to the Argon & Co-Colliers partnership do not just flow in one direction. In fact, he underscores that what Colliers has done in bringing on Argon & Co as its exclusive partner in this domain is in many respects selfless – and exemplifies Colliers’ integrity and strong values.
Sean provides a high-level assessment of how the relationship operates in practice by way of a hypothetical example.
“Let’s say that Peter and his team is talking to a client as an occupier and wants to provide the value-added service that is in the DNA of the Colliers offering,” Sean begins. “The client might turn to Peter and ask, ‘Who do you know that can help us with these particular supply chain challenges?’ Peter then introduces Argon & Co. What can often start out as property discussion (“we need to hold more stock due to current supply disruptions”) evolves into risk-based inventory optimisation, supplier performance framework, streamlining of logistics and new warehouse work methods mitigating the immediate need for additional space.
“For me, this really underscores how Colliers do really want to live out the value of helping their clients on a long-term basis because – transactionally speaking – there is nothing immediately tangible in terms of reward for Colliers in passing on a client to an independent third party such as ourselves to provide a service. Nothing, that is to say, other than knowing they’ve done the right thing by the client.”
AN INTEGRATED PROPERTY SOLUTION
Sean notes that what the Argon & Co-Colliers partnership provides is an “integrated property solution” for clients – something he says is increasingly common globally.
“People are looking for an integrated solution because invariably a supply chain solution begets a property solution, or a property solution needs a supply chain solution,” Sean says. “With Colliers we are able to complete the entire offering when talking to a client.”
“What Colliers brings is real time property knowledge to the consultancy process, which enables the right solutions to be put in place at the right time,” Peter adds.
Gavin Bishop, Managing Director, Industrial | Head of Industrial Capital Markets Australia at Colliers, concludes our interview by seconding Peter’s point.
“The leasing market has become very sophisticated – much more sophisticated than it has been over the last 10 years,” he says. “This partnership with Argon & Co really provides a point of difference for Colliers in that we can provide an end-to-end solution to our clients. Our corporate clients, our logistics customers, are looking for property solutions together with supply chain solutions, and what our partnership with an expanded Argon & Co does is bring both together. This is what makes our service offering different, and it’s something we’re excited to build on moving forward.”
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