STORES Magazine - July 2010 - (Page 44)

NUTS AND BOLTS / NETWORKING Easy Call One-stop solution takes static out of real estate decisions for Verizon Wireless BY FIONA SOLTES he very thing that makes real estate successful – location, location, location – can also make it difficult to manage. Any retailer with multiple properties knows that lease administration, program management, percent rent calculations, audits, construction, compliance and other disparate pieces of data would be tough enough to handle with just one location, much less dozens, hundreds or even thousands. T An SaaS offering from Virtual Premise, however – including an updated version for retailers with greater analytics capabilities – provides a virtual onestop shop for all things real estate. Virtual Premise Retail Edition, a vertical offering of the Virtual Premise Global Real Estate Management System, helps retailers look at real estate as not just a cost item, but as a means to increase profits through strategic use of data. “The key thing we’ve focused on is that retailers are first and foremost about increasing profits,” says Andy Thomas, Virtual Premise’s president and COO. “That can come from lot of sources. They can increase profits based on their supply chain, or they can increase profits by having higher-margin goods and matching them successfully from a merchandising perspective. But what we’ve really seen is that when you 44 STORES / JULY 2010 put yourself in a position to exit poorperforming stores based upon real estate alternatives that exist, or you have the components necessary within your leases to be able to renegotiate if sales targets aren’t hitting proper levels or lock in longer-term leases where you have particularly strong stores. There are lots of alternatives in and around the management of real estate that can have a dramatic effect on a company’s profitability.” ‘It’s all right there’ In 2004, Verizon Wireless was juggling “a lot of conference calls, spreadsheets and reports” concerning real estate, and the data wasn’t kept in any common structure. It investigated several potential solutions and found that Virtual Premise’s management system was a clear leader, even though the company had yet to develop an edition specifically for retail. The implementation in Verizon’s southern region was so successful that it was rolled out nationwide within two years. “The main thing is that it gave us a collaborative environment to work in, where the entire real estate organization can pull up Virtual Premise and use it as a look-up tool for lease information,” says Joe Flenniken, an area manager for retail development with Verizon Wireless. “Before, we’d have copies of the leases in different offices in different places and we’d have to FedEx a lot of things around. Everything is now 100 percent in Virtual Premise, and right off the bat it was a big win to have access to everything we do. “The other side of that is that we do all of our project management tracking in Virtual Premise, too — activities we try to plan out for new stores, the moving of WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - July 2010

STORES Magazine
Editor's Page
President's Page
Retail People
Corporate Leadership
Top 100 Retailers
Location Apps
Food Safety
Risk Management
ARTS Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES Magazine - July 2010