CTFD Group, a specialist solutions provider when it comes to corporate headquarters and warehouse delivery, has been working with transport and logistics related customers since it was founded in 2004.
The boutique development group offers a comprehensive service with early intervention on behalf of its clients through the process of property procurement, location development, construction, design and other necessary forward-thinking requirements.
This includes taking into account the road network that surrounds the proposed site, zonings and all applicable industrial operational requirements according to statuary guidelines.
As it compiles a detailed brief from the client, usually in close collaboration with the Chief Executive Officer or Chief Operating Officer, CTFD commences the first phase of the project by drafting up a wish list accounting for warehouse spatial considerations such as warehouse height, point load requirements, cubic capacity, truck and trailer combination allowance including vehicle swept paths, turning circles, loading docks and even future growth of the business.
Consulting with real estate agencies is at once an involved and time-consuming task.
As most commercial road transport companies don’t have a dedicated property manager, CTFD is in the unique position to handle the process of scouting sites and handling the ins and outs of securing property to specification without involvement of an unnecessary third party.
CTFD then works closely through the process of meetings, draft drawings and presentations with the client’s executive team, to demonstrate how the facility, on the proposed block, will function.
Headed up by Managing Director David Cameron for the last near 15 years, CTFD Group has completed projects on behalf of Vawdrey Trailers, Bridgestone Australia Truck Centre, PalmTrans Sydney Depot, Visy, Fosters Warehouse and other blue chip businesses.
“We effectively hold the steering wheel for companies when it comes to the development of new sites and navigate them through the process,” he says.
“A real estate agent can’t offer the expertise we can of working in the industry. We understand the requirements of transport and logistics businesses and this informs the comprehensive solution we offer our clients.”
Earlier this year CTFD helped deliver new state-of-the-art facilities for the Asics Oceania Corporate Headquarters and Warehouse facility located within the Sydney Business Park in western Sydney’s Marsden Park.
The 56,000 sqm site footprint features a 25,000 sqm warehouse, with a 4,500 sqm corporate office and 1500 sqm retail floor.
The two-year project cost circa $70 million.
Twice the size of its previous location in Eastern Creek, the Marsden Park site was chosen by Asics as its new head office and warehouse office to service the Australian market. Office space would need to accommodate a team of 140 staff.
The site also had to be large enough to create a warehouse space to service the future growth of the business.
Asics were also looking for a site located at a reasonable distance from Eastern Creek so that it could minimise disruption to its teams.
Other major factors of note for selecting the property included accessing major roads for the team and distribution; having close proxity to other services like food and shopping; and zoning so they could offer retail without restriction.
Future development in the precinct and local area was a crucial part of the criteria according to Mark Brunton Asics Oceania CEO.
“The main service we were after was end to end project management,” he says. “We had some experience internally, but we wanted a dedicated resource who understood the requirements around a major project like this.”
The solution sought by Asics Oceania, under these parameters according to Mark, meant that they would need someone not just to manage the process but also with an extensive experience they could draw upon to guide the decision-making for Asics. This is where David came in.
“So many get it wrong with not having the right amount of space or poorly planning the design which fails to factor in operational considerations down the track,” says David. “It’s about getting it right with the client day one and then enacting the due diligence over progressive steps.”
As key requirements can get lost early in the process, it’s crucial CTFD, the client and stakeholders are all on the same page.
From the moment CTFD were engaged by Asics as its project manager, the executive team worked closely with Dave on managing the process of finding the right site, the involved design phase, in addition to understanding and adopting input alongside its architects, engineers and builders to ensure Asics received the right facility for its business and national headquarters.
Draft designs were approved according to their best operational fit and incorporated a warehouse layout not excluding hardstand and dock requirements.
“CTFD organised and managed our tender process and helped us objectively asses our requirements through to being physically on site to ensure we were getting what we paid for and problem solving on the fly with the various parties to ensure things stayed on track and we avoided any rework,” Mark says.
That involved both applying knowhow when it was needed and the ability to anticipate challenges so that Asics was able to address these during the natural flow of the project rather than having to double back. Avoiding expensive rework is critical.
Having David on site continually ensured that everyone’s commitments were being met.
“Overseeing the variations with all parties is critical and if not managed carefully can definitely blow out,” Mark says. “Dave’s knowhow helped us avoid unnecessary costs.”
Although the warehouse was completed close to the original design, the office space transitioned from the base build layout to a new design when the interior design company was appointed. Some significant changes ensued.
To name one, it was now necessary for Asics to create a void at the entrance. With multiple stakeholders involved at this stage in the project, partner management was key says Mark.
“To have someone who could manage the project but also have the experience and knowhow to bring practical insights to the table, look ahead in the delivery of the project and anticipate challenges and opportunities which can either avoid costs or create savings is invaluable,” he says.
“Dave’s presence on site was also valuable building a rapport with the key people delivering the build through to ensuring we are getting what we were paying for. He took ownership for the delivery of the project like it was his own and integrated himself into the team getting to know stakeholders quickly and engaging throughout.”