Exterior of brick medical office building
Digital Transformation

How Fresenius Took Control of Their Healthcare Real Estate Portfolio

Written By: Joe Demski
September 19, 2022
6 min read

Traditionally, a complex project relies on disconnected systems, workflows, and applications across different teams. This conventional method, however, spells disaster for complex corporate real estate projects and businesses.

How do you perform effectively, let alone grow exponentially as a business, when your overall efficiency is dependent on outdated processes (many of them manual) and wasteful workflows? This is where no-code technology proves its merit. The commercial real estate (CRE) industry can benefit from customizable, easy-to-navigate platforms to improve building management and maintenance workflows, especially for multiplex projects and expansive businesses.

Fresenius Discovers the Benefits of a No-Code Platform

Manual, paper-based workflows, outdated, static spreadsheets, and disparate systems are impossible to keep up if you’re building, managing, and maintaining over 2,700 medical facilities, as was the case with Fresenius, a leading healthcare company with a wide real estate portfolio. The solution was to implement a no-code technology platform that improved efficiency, reduced waste, and enhanced visibility and communication across different teams and portfolios.

To get a medical facility running, Fresenius must oversee and manage all the building life cycle stages: obtaining approval, creating the initial financial model, capital and planning, site research, design, negotiation, government approval, contractor bids and preliminary designs, document management, construction, schedule plotting, legal medical certifications procurement, and then maintenance.

Other ventures like relocating, refurbishing or acquiring properties present a different set of challenges. In any case, every step requires different workflows and processes. When you have 2,700+ facilities to manage, standardized processes and automatic workflows can make a great impact.

How Quickbase helps improve efficiency in corporate real estate

Fresenius’ Rainer Schmiedt recalls the days before the company adopted Quickbase when project management meant sending stacks of paper through snail mail, slowing down progress and wasting resources (time, money, materials) in the process.

For Fresenius, a custom-made platform has led to more efficient structures in project review, approval, and management, helping leaders tackle the work that comes with the identification, development, renovation, or relocation of new medical centers.

This is the hallmark of Quickbase—applications, workflows, and systems that integrate seamlessly into existing critical systems. We work around and with your current setup to build a platform that can evolve with your business, even if it’s as tricky as fixing a plane while it’s flying. In the corporate real estate industry, this helps reduce the time between conception and completion of a project, ultimately increasing its speed to market.

One of the main benefits? Reduced waste. Quickbase enabled Fresenius to fulfill its Operations and Analytics department’s mission of connecting people, systems, and data. More importantly, Fresenius was empowered to communicate, coordinate, and collaborate across all teams.

Benefits of Automated Workflows

With no-code technology platforms, automated workflows are a key feature. Most businesses use a handful of software programs to manage workflows, which is a cause of wasted time, money, and resources. As a result, projects are often delayed and over budget. Automated workflows lead to three important benefits.

Data is always accurate and available in real-time

Construction projects require and generate large amounts of data—from all the different contractors you’re working with to the financial analysis sheets you might need (e.g. cost estimates, planning and design drafts, and vendor contracts). When you have access to all this data in real time, you can make educated business decisions.

Additionally, integrated systems mean less time spent by employees searching for vital information they need to make informed decisions. This transparency not only improves efficiency but allows employees insight into how to perform their best through connected systems and data overviews.

This applies to the vendors, contractors, and designers you’re working with, too. Whether you’re acquiring, managing, refurbishing, or relocating a property, automated workflows can help you deliver the project to the best of your and your organization’s ability.

Improve efficiency in key departments

When one of your targets is delivering a construction project on time and on budget, efficiency is your main priority. If you’re still relying heavily on manual and outmoded processes like paperwork, SOPs, Excel sheets, and checklists, you have an opportunity to improve efficiency throughout the company.

Project management areas where automated workflows can help are the bidding, budgeting, documentation, scheduling, resource management, and reporting departments. A centralized platform allows you to manage property build-outs and construction projects without referring to dozens of different spreadsheets and systems owned by individual vendors, contractors, and designers.

Grow with your business

Corporate real estate is evolving, and its tools need to evolve with it. While the real estate industry is slow to adopt technological advancements, corporate real estate can benefit from the no-code platforms available. You can take on more projects, no matter how complex, without being bogged down with manual paperwork and time-consuming spreadsheets.

Tech Challenges Facing Real Estate

There are various issues surrounding technology and real estate, whether it’s the reluctance to adopt it or the difficulty employees find in using it. Some common challenges include:

  • Supply chain disruptions (Materials shortages and staff shortages)

  • Slow implementation and adoption of technology

  • Minimal dedicated IT resources

  • Clients who use paper-based processes

  • Inability to extract CRE insights

A custom platform that requires no coding experience and little technological experience solves most of these issues. In particular, businesses can use data from integrated systems to better prepare for supply chain disruptions and other progress deterrents, making sure that the building life cycle is smooth for everyone involved.

Benefits of adopting tech in CRE

All the data in one place means leaders can extract CRE findings to plan for the future and to better manage existing projects. Since a no-code platform with an intuitive interface is inherently easy to use, even remote workers, employees, and clients who are hesitant about adopting new technology workflows can transition more easily. Employee training is lessened and reliance on a robust IT department is no longer necessary.

Plus, client and vendor interactions don’t have to happen face-to-face with everything online and in one place. For remote or hybrid workplaces, technology makes it possible to address staff shortages with remote opportunities, at least for office positions. Teams can collaborate in person and online, making it easier for everyone to fulfill their roles no matter their geographical location.

Paving the Way Forward in CRE

According to JLL, most corporate real estate decision-makers globally hope to “redefine their workplaces strategies and to create flexible, tech-enabled, future-proof real estate portfolios,” with systems like hybrid working and intelligent technology investments. The way CRE does business has long needed an overhaul, and the pandemic has only shown us that seamless, user-friendly platforms have the power to transform companies. Whether you’re looking to improve processes for your remote workers or looking to improve processes with your clients, a custom, no-code platform may be the best foundation for your initiative.

Written By: Joe Demski

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