Businesses both shape and respond to changes in the competitive environment. In the early 1980s, the impact of information technology was changing the nature of commercial life. At the same time, major improvements were being made to the UK’s transport infrastructure and people began to place a greater emphasis on maximising efficiency through high quality working environments. Arlington Securities responded to these changes by recognising the need to develop a new kind of location in which all kinds of businesses could thrive – the business park.
Arlington Securities Plc is now the recognised leader in the business park sector and has created the largest network of business parks throughout the United Kingdom, providing accommodation for 360 organisations which employ almost 30,000 people. Organisations must continue to monitor the market environment in which they operate in order to survive. To understand how Arlington Securities should continue to respond effectively to environmental changes, it is important to know what factors have made it what it is today.
This case study outlines the need for organisations to develop strategies which respond to changes in the external environment, not only to become successful but to remain so. It examines the strategic rationale behind Arlington Securities’ decision to reposition its property business from being solely a developer/trader to a full service provider
demonstrating total commitment to customers. Arlington business parks offer organisations:
- optimum access to transport systems
- an out of town location in an attractive environment
- a full range of support services
- a range of occupational options from a finished building to land sales
- buildings that can be occupied on either a leasehold or freehold basis
- land purchase for organisations to develop their own premises.
The business park concept offers flexibility to occupiers. Businesses choosing a leasehold option will value the advantages of releasing or retaining core business capital previously tied up in the property. Alternatively, businesses choosing a freehold option will have made a sound property investment. Business park developers can, to some extent, control the rate of supply of their product and in doing so, bring some stability to their prices. The sheer scale and scope of Arlington’s development programme across seventeen business park locations allow it to provide services that other developers cannot supply at an affordable price, giving Arlington Securities a distinct competitive advantage within its market sector.