Interview with Stefan Schneider, Member of the Executive Board and Head of Business Unit Future Lab.

Easy Engineering: A brief description of the company and its activities.

Stefan Schneider: pom+ advises all companies and organizations in the public and private sectors that own, construct, develop, operate, manage or simply use buildings to meet their business needs – so basically no industry or niche is off limits for our business model. And that’s what makes our work so fascinating: since we all spend a large part of our lives in buildings, it’s imperative that we ensure they provide us and our employees with a sense of security, promote health, improve our efficiency and inspire us.

Within the last 25 years our company has grown to more than 80 employees at six locations including a subsidiary in Germany and has implemented 6’000 projects for 600 customers internationally.

E.E: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

S.S: Our core competencies comprise performance measurement, strategy and organizational development, workplace management, resource optimization, sustainability consulting and CO2 footprint reduction, technology deployment, digitalization strategies and solutions as well as consulting for building owners and operational concepts. Common to all these activities is our in-depth understanding of the building life cycle and the corresponding life cycle data management.

E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products services?

S.S: We have two major goals for the end of 2022, which we are driving forward with great commitment. First, we want to make it widely understood that climate-neutral buildings are financially profitable. To this end, we have developed a digital sustainability cockpit that helps large property owners improve their CO2 emissions and show the impact on profitability. Among other things, our cockpit helps them achieve their individual and statutory sustainability targets by automatically calculating CO2 emissions at property level, displaying limit values per building, and simulating reduction paths across the entire real estate portfolio. It covers all process steps, from data preparation and plausibility checks to standardized sustainability reports.

As a second milestone, we have developed a standard procedure for real estate companies of all kinds to quickly implement the new requirements of the Swiss Data Protection Act together with the data protection experts from Blum&Grob Attorneys at Law. The topic is very important, as new regulations will give individuals more control over their personal data. This puts the real estate industry under particular obligation.

E.E: What are the ranges of products services?

S.S: We offer consulting services both on the property and portfolio scale as well as on the strategic and operational level. Some of our business units therefore work more with a focus on buildings, e.g. on issues in occupancy management or BIM consulting, while other departments are more involved with organizations, e.g. in workplace management or data science.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

S.S: The real estate industry contributes 11% to Switzerland’s economic output and is correspondingly active, of course not only in Switzerland. What is new is that the industry has been striking unusual tones for a year or two and the will to change is slowly becoming tangible. Digitization and sustainability are the two most important topics that will continue to preoccupy the industry in the coming years. All lifecycle phases as well as all suppliers, real estate owners and even tenants are affected by the technical and technological upgrade – exciting times!

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

S.S: The real estate industry is subject to so many trends that listing them is simply beyond the scope. But what might certainly interest you are the results of our recent study concerning this year’s Digitalization Index in Switzerland and Germany. It showed that the degree of digitalization between the various roles is becoming more closely aligned with property managers and FM service providers marking significant gains. Solutions such as tenant portals, the introduction of digital tenant files, the automation of the leasing process, but also new possibilities in building operations have certainly contributed to this improvement. Meanwhile, real estate owners and investors are the least advanced in terms of digitalization – their index is even slightly lower than in 2020.

Of course, the covid pandamic has greatly influenced the industry as well. We expect to see an considerable increase in new working models and the associated conversion and redesign of office spaces, combined with innovative digital solutions.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

S.S: Currently, we’re going all out on our data analytics cockpit for sustainability management of property portfolios called energyGIDO.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021?

S.S: The motto so far has been full throttle and we are very grateful that we made it well through the past challenging year. Currently, we are working on a new service range surrounding the topics of circular economy and Cradle to Cradle – we hope to be able to make the first waves by the end of the year.

Our Future Lab, i.e. our innovation laboratory for trends and technologies, is also experiencing a major revival this year in order to support our costumers even better in their innovation process.

Last but not least, we currently develop several prototypes in co-creation with various industry partners for Swissbau in January 2022 and can’t wait to pitch against our competitors in the 280 degree iRoom show.

Clearly, we have big plans business-wise but most importantly, we celebrate our 25 years anniversary this year. Our upcoming birthday bash will be one for the books!