Company restructure leads to appointment of new Chief Operating Officer
South Africa's largest logistics park operator, Inospace, has announced the appointment of Inospace executive Jacques Weber as its new Chief Operating Officer.
Weber’s appointment forms part of a group restructure that has merged the company's two operating regions into one national operational team. Weber will now lead all initiatives nationally, ensuring leasing, property management and refurbishment projects are all handled with operational excellence that drives customer service.
"As a business, we were looking at improving the customer journey and reducing our touch points throughout the leasing process. By integrating leasing, operations and property management nationally we can achieve this goal,” says Weber.
Many real estate companies outsource property management and leasing functions – the day-to-day customer touch points. In contrast, Inospace retains control of the full customer interface, which is an integral part of its customer offering.
"We have not only created a consolidated national operating platform, but have moved all our finance functions under the group's Chief Financial Officer, Bruce Sneddon. Together with our new Chief Operating Officer, we are now well positioned to continue providing the excellence at scale," says Inospace Founder and Chief Executive Officer Rael Levitt.
According to Weber, consolidating the company's operational platform means it is far more scalable, allowing Inospace to grow its portfolio of assets without incurring significant operating cost growth.
By way of example, Weber cites the recent acquisition of Creation Works logistics park in Cape Town. “We took on a 20,000 square metre property without employing more people. At the same time, we integrated 50 new tenants onto our platform.”
Before joining the company, Weber was a well-known city councillor actively involved in various community services, including being Chairman of the Sea Point City Improvement District.
Growing demand for Inospace Offering
Inospace, which now owns 45 logistics parks measuring almost half a million square metres, has doubled its portfolio of assets in the last eighteen months.
Levitt said that the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent supply chain disruption had fuelled strong demand for Inospace's warehousing and last-mile logistics spaces.
"The pandemic drove record demand for the past two years, translating into all-time low vacancies and rental growth for the company", says Levitt. "As interest rates rise and inflation put pressure on our customers and ourselves", we needed to cost-effectively streamline our operations while providing world-class service to our 1,500 SME tenants".
Inospace believes its platform holds a major competitive strength thanks to it being built over many years with important historical data and insight gained into South Africa's SME market.
"Today's commercial real estate customers are informed, tech-savvy and vocal. If they don't get what they want from their working space, there will be alternative short-term lease options elsewhere. Far from four walls and a roof, today's real estate providers can offer space as a service. We have adopted the hospitality model to focus on becoming more customer-centric by turning all client interactions into positive experiences. Each interaction with a customer is an opportunity to build loyalty to our brand,” says Weber.