Customer Led Development: Streamlining the Build-to-Suit Process
Demand is up for build-to-suit facilities that meet the evolving needs of today’s logistics customers. Prologis’ Customer Led Development (CLD) program streamlines the BTS process, in turn helping brokers secure multimarket development opportunities as they arise. We sat down with Prologis CLD managing director Jason Bennett to learn more.
What prompted CLD?
Jason: CLD is based on direct feedback from our customers and has since evolved from our customer-centric approach and core business strategy. It merges our successful BTS focus with the unique advantages of our scale to ensure that our customers get a consistent and streamlined process. We can take what we’ve done for a customer—building documentation, for example—and replicate (i.e., streamline) that capability and experience across their future BTS projects.
What’s increasingly driving customers toward build-to-suits?
Jason: We see three primary drivers of BTS demand. First, many markets lack adequate supply. Spec development has been healthy during the recovery but it’s also been very disciplined—so it hasn’t fully kept up with customers who need to expand or upgrade their operations.
Second, the logistics business is continuously innovating, which is driving the evolution of building concepts: size, site configuration, parking layouts, locations and other critical elements that define the modern logistics facility. Our infill developments are a great example of this trend.
Third, logistics customers are retooling their end-to-end supply chains—creating unique needs that are often best met with a BTS solution.
How has the role of the customer changed with these BTS trends?
Jason: Customer roles have evolved more than they have changed. We continue to see increasing interest from customers engaged in e-commerce and other last-mile activity. The growth and evolution of those businesses, and the specific needs of customers and how they use their space, has fueled BTS growth.
To illustrate, e-commerce customers need larger parking areas to accommodate their employees. Also, last-mile delivery facilities, by definition, are in infill locations where it’s difficult to find available space, let alone developable sites with reasonable entitlement processes. Prologis’ strategy to invest in these locations fills a critical gap.
Is CLD limited to certain markets?
No. We can replicate CLD in any location where a customer needs a BTS facility.
How does Prologis CLD differ from BTS services provided by other companies?
A clear differentiator is the unique combination of the breadth of our scale and the depth of our resources, including our team of development experts across our global platform. The vast experience that we’ve gained in successfully developing logistics facilities for customers around the world is critical to CLD.
Another differentiator is our long-term view toward our investments. Those investments focus not just on physical assets but also our customer relationships—some of which span multiple countries and have decades of history behind them.
How does Prologis CLD provide opportunities for brokers?
CLD is embedded into our focus on customer centricity and, for us, the brokers we partner with are also considered valued customers.
In the past, brokers often had to work with multiple real estate developers to serve a large, multimarket customer. But with Prologis CLD, brokers can offer their customer a complete solution from a single development partner. Our capacity to take what we learned from a successful BTS project that met a customer’s unique business need and then replicate that experience with their future projects provides a great opportunity for brokers.
See how Prologis’ build-to-suit logistics real estate facilities create competitive advantage for some of the world’s best brands by visiting Prologis Build-to-Suit Solutions.