Executive summary

Dow Chemical Company boosted management of facilities around the globe and reduced overall costs

The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) is an enterprise composed of 30 units worldwide. With a decentralized business structure, it was difficult for the company to pinpoint each location’s needs and use of space. By implementing an integrated workplace management system, Dow gained a real-time view of each of those spaces and ultimately uncovered hidden savings by transforming their real estate management.

Introduction

Dow Chemical Company is a USD 60 billion international enterprise focusing on chemical manufacturing

Incorporated in 1897, Dow Chemical Company is an international chemical-manufacturing business headquartered in Midland, Michigan. Operating in more than 197 office locations across 36 countries worldwide, the company generates annual sales of approximately USD 60 billion. The company manufactures more than 5,000 products, including specialty chemicals, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics.

Challenge

Each of Dow Chemical’s 30 business units is independently operated creating a dispersed corporate structure

Employing more than 52,000 people in nearly 200 locations worldwide, Dow has 30 business units across 20 million square feet of lab and administrative office space. Each unit operates autonomously and manages its own facilities and projects. This decentralized corporate structure made it challenging for the company to increase space capacity use, improve capital planning, manage real estate leases, streamline operations, and reduce energy consumption in facilities throughout the enterprise.

Solution

An integrated workplace management system gave Dow Chemical a complete real-time view of their space capacity and use

Real estate can generate improvement for a corporation’s financial performance, whether it’s a new location providing capital to support revenue growth or underused locations that are consolidated to significantly reduce operating costs. That’s why Dow sees its real estate as a key strategic asset and uses an advanced integrated workplace management solution to gain tight control of its facilities worldwide. The solution seamlessly integrates space management, capital projects and facility maintenance, providing a single system to improve facilities-related operating and financial performance. The company not only gains a holistic and current view of its real estate performance but can also easily identify program funding priorities and analyze large-scale capital project risks and benefits with automatic project management controls within minutes versus several months. And integrated digital floor plans help capture previously inaccessible facilities space usage data for analysis, transforming space use and real estate management processes from reactive to proactive. Based on new insights, the company can redefine office standards and densifications, allowing it to accommodate growth without leasing more space. In one instance, it added 5,000 employees to an existing facility without incurring real estate costs.

Solution components

  • IBM® TRIRIGA® Capital Projects Manager
  • IBM TRIRIGA Facilities Manager
  • IBM TRIRIGA Real Estate Environmental Sustainability Manager
  • IBM TRIRIGA Workplace Operations Manager
  • IBM TRIRIGA CAD Integrator/Publisher
  • IBM TRIRIGA Connector for Esri Geographic Information System
  • IBM Business Partner Computerized Facility Integration, LLC
  • IBM Business Partner Esri

Results

By using a standardized format for worldwide facilities analysis Dow Chemical cut costs and optimized their use of space:

  • Increased facility use by 20 percent, saving approximately USD4 million a year
  • Identified savings of more than USD200 million in facility-related costs for a relocation project
  • Reduced facilities report compilation time from days to hours

“An integrated workplace management system proved to be a critical platform for improving performance throughout the real estate and facilities portfolio. We transformed the way we plan and manage projects and costs, resulting in large-scale savings.”

Frank Kayden,
Director of Global Portfolio Planning and Real Estate, Dow Chemical Co.

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