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Suncorp Saves $90M by Transitioning to Flexible, Agile Workplace

Suncorp nearly doubles building capacity through Activity Based Work (ABW) spaces

Ian Morely

By Ian Morley

Executive Summary

 

♦ $95 billion in assets

♦ Top 25 ASX listed company

♦ 15,000 employees

♦ 450 users

♦ 650 sites employees

♦ Streamlined moves

♦ Moved to a flexible environment

♦ Saved over $30M per annum

 

Suncorp saw the potential for large reductions in real-estate costs, but required accurate data to implement a proactive property strategy. The implementation of Serraview’s Workplace Management system provided them with a single portal that accurately displayed all of their property data, and track flexible work spaces with higher capacity than traditional models of one seat per person. This combination enabled Suncorp to accurately identify underused spaces, increase occupancy by 40%, and stretch their overall portfolio capacity, and ultimately deploy a more productive and modern workplace for their people.

Suncorp can now easily share property information amongst multiple departments and service providers. This provides the system with live knowledge of vacancies, locations and costs providing the organisation with a true 360-degree view of employee occupancy.

Buy-in to property strategy has improved immensely, as executives are now confident that decisions are based on accurate forecasts. Suncorp's ROI on the Serraview solution has been rapid, and is borne out by improvements in portfolio performance. 

"The real success story for Suncorp has been the ability to manage and optimise our portfolio, allowing us to move to a flexible work environment which has significantly reduced annual costs. Serraview's powerful graphical representations have handed proactive engagement back to the business and increased executive buy-in. We can now clearly identify vacant work points and see how long these vacancies have existed." - Chris Sutcliffe, Executive Manager Workplace Delivery 

Client Overview

Suncorp Group comprises leading general insurance, banking, life insurance, superannuation and investment brands in Australia and New Zealand. The Group has over 15,000 employees and interfaces with nine million customers. It is a Top 25 ASX listed company with over $95 billion in assets.

Suncorp has five core businesses: Personal Insurance; Commercial Insurance; Vero New Zealand; Suncorp Bank and Suncorp Life. Corporate and shared services divisions support all of these businesses.

Suncorp’s business strategy is to realise the marketing benefits of a portfolio of leading brands at the same time as the economy of scale benefits associated with operating a single group structure. Suncorp are the largest general insurance group in Australia and the second largest in New Zealand. Suncorp Bank is Australia’s leading regional bank. Suncorp Life specialises in life insurance, and also operates leading superannuation and investment business.

"We are now confident doing large moves. Previously, moving 700 people in one move without Serraview would have been logistically monumental." - Chris Sutcliffe 

Business Challenges

With more than 15,000 employees, 650 buildings and widespread use of traditional systems such as paper plans and Excel spreadsheets, Suncorp faced significant challenges managing their property portfolio.

Their issues included:

The lack of a single, accurate view of occupancy - caused by isolated silos of data and manual processes.

Tedious strategic planning - manual spreadsheets lacked links between people, workstations, and vacancies. Planning was slow and reworking often had unforseen impacts on other data sets.

Limited executive buy-in - no automated tools existed to facilitate proactive strategy, causing difficulties in clearly demonstrating strategy to management. 

Solution

Suncorp saw Serraview's solution as a compelling proposition, due to its ability to enhance strategy and increase the bottom line.

The three main benefits achieved so far are:

  • A single portal - providing a full understanding of the portfolio. The solution provides powerful visual representations of occupancy data, enabling effective communication with the business.
  • Potential for enormous savings - increased visibility of occupancy, along with clarity of vacancy and moving costs, allows Suncorp to make better use of space.
  • Improved strategic planning - thanks to access to accurate and timely data. The system is now well positioned to facilitate complex utilisation decisions. 

"The Serraview team has the attitude that nothing is too hard and is keen to learn from clients. Serraview works collaboratively with Suncorp and with a shared purpose - to get feedback, build functionality, and achieve innovation."

Derived Value

Suncorp has enjoyed significant financial savings and operational benefits as a result of implementing Serraview's solution. 

These include:

Significant property savings - The Serraview solution has provided Suncorp with enterprisewide visibility of vacancies and underutilised work points. The portal includes automated accuracy controls. Suncorp was able to leverage existing space to optimise the financial performance of their portfolio.

A streamlined move process - Suncorp needed to streamline their moves and complete them in less time to reduce costs.

Improved strategic planning and executive buy-in - Suncorp's National Restack Consolidation project involves a continual review of their three major geographical areas in order to constantly optimise their portfolio.

"With Serraview, it's quick and simple to restack and monitor the portfolio. We often link strategy with leasing for early exit, or sublet unused space. We are now able to look at what decision is best for the business, rather than waiting for a lease to expire."

More accurate chargeback - Suncorp found it beneficial to incorporate both corporate and retail bank sites into the Serraview system. This facilitated accurate chargeback based on business unit allocations. Business units are now motivated to hand back their underutilised space, creating an opportunity for more savings.

A cost reduction of $90M due to the move to a flexible environment -  By eliminating wasted space and increasing capacity, Suncorp was able to save $30M a year over a three year period, equivalent to a 30% reduction of total costs. Suncorp now uses Serraview to operate with a ratio of 8 desks to 10 flexible staff in flexible working environments. With 1,200 people currently operating in flexible environments, major savings have been realized by moving from 80% to 120% occupancy. 

Moving Forward

Suncorp has a productive engagement model with Serraview. Over the past 12 months, developments in new tools and innovations have been key to maximising Suncorp's utilisation & performance. 

"With Serraview' software, we were able to make a strategic decision to move 700 people from an underutilised property to elsewhere in our portfolio. This allowed us to save the full cost of that building. Without Serraview, we wouldn't have had the visibility of that vacancy level or even known that it existed. Having confidence in the data allowed us to save this money."

Chris Sutcliffe, Executive Manager Workplace Delivery 

700

People moved out of an underutilised building.

40%

Increase in occupancy.

$90M

Savings from moving to a flexible environment.

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