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Challenges and trends in the return to the workspace: how the purchasing sector is assisting customers in this process


No crisis is pre-announced. It comes by surprise. The spark of a potential disaster can come from inside or outside companies, as is the case with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is at this moment that the performance of a crisis committee is fundamental to coordinate and direct the actions of the corporation in the face of this new scenario.

Cushman & Wakefield has a Crisis Management Committee formed by a group of senior leadership from all areas of the company to discuss possible problems arising from a crisis scenario. Each leadership brings its experience (technology, supply chain, legal, communication, operation, etc.) which, added to the protocols and guidelines of reference organizations, provide technical support for the elaboration of procedures and action plans to solve problems.

Earlier this year, when identifying the risk potential of COVID-19, the Cushman & Wakefield Crisis Committee quickly selected key people to make up the Resumption Committee and discussed possible contingency plans for managing the Coronavirus crisis. During the weekly meetings of the committee, possible risk situations that may affect the company well with stakeholders, employees, customers, suppliers and society are analyzed. In this scenario, the group acts proactively in managing the impacts of COVID-19 and its consequences, minimizing the effects of the crisis and mitigating possible risks.

Hands-on Operations Pulse Concept

To strengthen the work of the teams allocated to customers, the Purchasing department created the concept Hand on the Pulse of Operations, in which the team works in partnership with Operations to check the supply of fundamental inputs, the partner companies, as well as the contingencies of most critical categories. For Mariana Coianagui, Head of Procurement for South America, the concept reinforces the importance of working together, one of the values that guide the company's actions ”More than being close to the Operation, this new joint action reinforces our commitment to support employees who, even in complex situations like this, dedicate themselves hard to keep the assets we manage working. This action was essential for everyone to understand that they are not alone, and that they can count on the Purchasing areas as necessary. Undoubtedly, the commitment on all sides was enhanced, getting even better and empathy was paramount in this process ”.

Always being prepared for a risk scenario is part of the routine of the Purchasing department, which periodically conducts crisis simulations, maintaining a contingency plan prepared for numerous scenarios. Although the simulation of a pandemic scenario was not part of the training carried out by the Purchasing area, the fact that the team carried out crisis simulations and worked as a task force made a difference in facing the current scenario. Mariana highlights the importance of communication and psychological preparation to deal with challenging situations “I do mentoring work with my team, doing mental preparation for resilience, antifragility, control and emotional intelligence through meditations and other techniques. The purpose of mentoring is to keep the team prepared for challenging scenarios. So when quarantine started, this preparation had a very positive impact, intensifying the team's commitment and focus, bringing even more results during this very delicate moment. ”

The added value of a partnership with Cushman & Wakefield

Cushman & Wakefield's relationship with our customers goes beyond the expectation of analyzing possible budget saving points and reporting monthly results. The direction of all areas of the company, business or back office, is to bring new ideas and solutions to the business, be it innovative, technological or operational. More than a partnership relationship, Cushman & Wakefield understands that it is necessary to go beyond part of its business.

In this way, the Purchasing area created the COVID-19 by Procurement Solutions Menu, which is constantly updated with solutions and services such as:

  • Facial Recognition Service (with and without face mask)
  • Temperature Measurement Camera
  • Table Booking System
  • Finger cleaner for touches on self-sanitizing surfaces
  • Handrail sterilizers with photolytic effect

Daily, other solutions are studied by the Purchasing area in conjunction with the working subgroup COVID-19.

All the solutions mentioned here went through a rigorous approval process carried out by the Registration and Compliance areas, which perform a thorough reputational analysis, checking the company's restriction lists, sanctions and negative media. Due diligence monitoring on suppliers is daily, thus ensuring the high level of approved companies.

After the approval of the approval process, the Purchasing area carries out the negotiation of values and commercial conditions, together with a multidisciplinary committee to validate the product or service in relation to the technical part. Approved suppliers have a promotional code Cushman & Wakefied, which is available to everyone, bringing benefits such as progressive discounts for scheduling by volume, in addition to the guarantee of having already passed a rigorous approval process.


About Cushman & Wakefield 

Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) is a leading global real estate services firm that delivers exceptional value for real estate occupiers and owners. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest real estate services firms with approximately 52,000 employees in over 400 offices and approximately 60 countries. In 2022, the firm had revenue of $10.1 billion across core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, and valuation and other services. To learn more, visit or follow @CushWake External Link on Twitter.


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