Who Needs an Office? 3 Steps to Successful Consolidation

Today, a business site strategy is critical. Here’s a proven site consolidation strategy model built on facts and analytics.

Data-Driven Site Consolidation Strategy for Your Business

The new normal is old news. It’s time to think about what really works for your business. While emerging from the pandemic, many financial institutions evolved their workforce model and are now asking if they need as much office space. Some FIs continue to have staff work from home. While others adopted a hybrid model with staff in the office two to three days a week.

If you are looking to rationalize your bricks-and-mortar footprint, we can help. A business site strategy is critical. Here, Bridgeforce shares a site consolidation strategy model designed to help make decisions based on facts and analytics.

A Site Consolidation Strategy Based on Facts, Not Feelings

Decisions on which sites to keep and which sites to exit are prone to emotional evaluations. Site closures ultimately affect people, and making dispassionate decisions is impossible without agreeing on a strategy.

Our model breaks decision-making into three main categories: stakeholders, analytics and forecasts. These assessment categories uncover necessary trade-offs, remove emotional barriers and help you make decisions based on facts.

3 Steps to Successful Consolidation

1. Remove Emotions with Analytical Ranking

You must highlight key data elements to be part of the analytics used to rank sites and determine core site strategy. Below you will find a sampling of questions to ask, so you can identify ranking methodology.

  • Functional Coverage: How many different functions are performed at the site?
  • Facility Ownership: Is the building owned by your company? If it is leased, when does the current lease expire?
  • Diversity: How diverse is the workforce at each site?
  • Cost per Available Seat: What is the cost per seat allocated at the site?
  • Available Talent in the Market: Are you going to be able to attract the talent you need in your selection of remaining markets?
  • Staff Tenure and Turnover: Does the competitive landscape around the site improve or diminish your ability to retain that same talent?


2. Gather Stakeholder Priorities to Gain Buy-in

Stakeholders will come to the table with different priorities. You need to understand and balance competing priorities to strike an optimal strategy and agreeable outcomes. Identify company stakeholders and invite them to engage on this journey. This helps to understand their key considerations for site strategies.

Ask the stakeholders to define the analytics that are most critical to them, as outlined in this matrix.

Role Stakeholder Priorities
Operations Managers Tenure and experience of the staff at each site, leadership strength at each site, site productivity statistics
Recruiters Available talent in the market
Facilities Whether the facility is leased or owned, expense to maintain the site and whether the remaining footprint will support expansion
Finance The costs associated with expenses, staff and cost per seat in each market
Human Resources Ensuring that decisions don’t disproportionately impact certain demographic groups, employee well-being and knowledge sharing
Executive Leadership Strategic presence in certain locations to support future target operating model


3. Validate Site Selections with Forecasts

Make sure your site selections do not create gaps or inefficiencies by using your business forecasts, such as:

  • Functional Coverage: will you have enough room for each of the functions after consolidation?
  • Time Zone Coverage: will your resulting footprint optimize staff to adequately support where your customers are located?
  • Site Growth Potential: will your resulting footprint support your short- to medium-term growth requirements?

You can plan for the moment, but should be conscious of how the decisions that you make today affect future strategic growth. Bridgeforce can help use your forecasts to validate your selections and help you understand any resulting trade-offs.


Our Site Strategy Framework

Develop a site strategy that pulls together stakeholder priorities, ranking tools and forecasting. This way your plan will balance consideration for staff, efficiency and effectiveness of the resulting ongoing operations and cost savings.

These four elements provide the framework to follow when planning a site consolidation.

  1. Confirm Key Site Ranking Factors and ensure that you have access to supporting data that can help you refine your ranking. Some site ranking factors include Diversity, Costs, Market Differential, and Functional Coverage.
  2. Develop Site Scoring and Ranking Model weighing the site ranking factors that are most important to your overall business objectives.
  3. Capture data at the Site Level to provide a holistic view at the site level, incorporating site, staff, and function profiles.
  4. Develop ranking strategy through analytics to develop criteria to determine which sites to keep, which to exit and identify new markets to establish.

Guiding Principles

Stay true to your culture while achieving your objectives during a consolidation with guiding principles that reinforce the desired corporate culture, growth and business optimization.  When building the strategy and making decisions, refer back to your principles regularly to ensure you have not gone astray and to keep emotional decision-making at bay.


Got Data? Bridgeforce Has the Rest

Bridgeforce can help you move with speed. Our experience in defining a realistic site strategy to meet organizational goals runs deep. We’ve done it ourselves when we were in your shoes, and we’ve helped multiple clients do it. We bring our proprietary model and experience to guide you through the necessary foundational work, model development, decision-making and execution. Bridgeforce will:

  • Lead you through exercises to define foundational principles
  • Agree the data elements most important to you
  • Harvest your data (no matter how disjointed it may be)
  • Create, design and run the model with you to formulate your plan
  • Provide model-based scenarios to choose and execute your optimal site strategy

Our model is interactive for real-time change and scope adjustments. The scenario-based model adapts to changing business needs. By being grounded in the guiding principles that we’re establishing up front, will enable you to monitor outcomes of executing your strategy. Changes that impact your guiding principles are tracked, this enables you to see if you are on plan or straying from the established foundational principles.

We understand that change is constant. If a key element of your business changes, real time adjustments to our model will reflect the impact to constant change. Our proprietary model is not static. Together, we can reduce your operating costs, intelligently plan site vacancy, and understand operational complexity. Call us. We can move as fast as you can. You bring the data – we have everything else.


[Editor’s note: this article has been updated and republished from it’s original publish date in 2020]

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