Optimizing Procurement: Mid-Size Multifamily Company's $3B Real Estate Portfolio Finds Strategic Success with OMNIA Partners

Mar 13, 2024   |   OMNIA Partners

Established in 1984, this fully integrated real estate investment firm manages a diverse portfolio exceeding $3B in real estate assets for its own account and institutional partners. Mark Chaplin, who formerly served as the Vice President of Supply Chain, contributed nearly two years to this organization, playing a key role in developing efficient processes and procedures in procurement. 

Challenge: Decentralized Vendor Management

Navigating the centralization of procurement presents challenges in catering to the diverse needs of various operations. Nonetheless, Chaplin embraced this complexity by formulating policies, procedures, and essential technologies for efficient contracting, data management, and vendor oversight. Despite being relatively new to this industry, drawing from a diverse procurement and supply chain background across different sectors, he acknowledges vendor management's unique and decentralized nature in construction and real estate. Still, he continues to steer them toward a streamlined process.   

Real estate and construction typically focus on their relationships when sourcing goods and services, and his team was initially reluctant to accept a new process. 

"If a long time vendor is charging 25% more than market and business is granted solely based on the historical relationship alone, then you're overlooking the facts and that's the issue that we're up against."

Chaplin went into this role looking to take a step back and holistically examine how the organization was purchasing and evaluate areas where he could better optimize the process based on data and facts. 

Solution: Group Purchasing Organization (GPO)

In a prior role, Chaplin discovered group purchasing organizations (GPOs) and uncovered many value adds, including savings and streamlined processes. His initial interaction with a GPO required a hefty membership fee. While he did see savings through this partnership, he happened upon OMNIA Partners, then known as Corporate United. Chaplin learned membership was free, and he could still utilize some of the same suppliers he was already using – it was a no-brainer. "We were part of something that was bigger where we could leverage the other members’ total spend to help us reduce our costs, it blew my mind. I couldn't believe that there was no cost to us,” says Chaplin.

Mark Chaplin

Since discovering OMNIA Partners many years ago, Mark has since implemented the program at every organization he has been with because of the membership benefits. Mark has been with OMNIA Partners for 10 years at 3 different organizations and he continues to find more value in the partnership every day. 

The Power of Partnership

Speaking of the partnership, Mark shared with us some of the other benefits he gains from being a member of OMNIA Partners: 

He emphasized the invaluable support provided by OMNIA Partners in addressing service gaps with vendors and obtaining assistance when needed. Mark also acknowledged the strategic advantage of leveraging OMNIA Partners' expertise for comprehensive analyses, eliminating the necessity for internal resources and ensuring efficient outcomes. 

"On rare occasions, we don’t receive the service we expect or need from a particular vendor; however, I know I can always rely on my OMNIA Partners representative to nudge the vendor or provide the assistance required."

Additionally, he discussed the influence of OMNIA Partners' collective weight in expediting resolutions and proactive actions. The extensive portfolio of agreements, covering various categories like plumbing, HVAC, electrical, flooring, and paint, allows for substantial cost reductions achievable through collaborative buying power. 

Mark also appreciates having a dedicated team member at OMNIA Partners, essentially serving as an extension of the team, ensuring smooth operations and prioritizing their best interests. 

"OMNIA Partners acts as an extension of headcount on one end of the spectrum, as your [OMNIA Partners] account manager represents the best interest of your organization and doesn’t  force or pressure a particular agenda.”

The access to additional resources for data analysis and real-time comparison with potential pricing demonstrates the tangible value that OMNIA Partners brings to Buckingham.  

All in all, the partnership with OMNIA Partners has proven to be a strategic asset for Chaplin and his organization, offering comprehensive support, cost efficiencies, and a collaborative approach to procurement challenges. While Chaplin is no longer with the company, he plans to continue utilizing OMNIA Partners no matter what industry or organization he is working in.

Are you curious if your real estate organization could benefit as well? Contact our team today to get started: 

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