Streamlining the supply chain process.
Before coming to JLL, Denver Clark and Jonathan Tucker worked for another commercial real estate firm. Both worked closely with supplier partners to source an endless stream of products, but the process wasn’t standardized. They couldn't take advantage of their scale and networks, so some clients missed out on discounts and invoices piled up.
Denver admits “we knew it was inefficient, and we had this crazy idea of what if we owned the supply chain completely?”
Jonathan Tucker and Denver Clark present at JLL's 2017 Da Vinci Awards.
In 2015, Denver accepted a position at JLL and met with a friend and business partner who was leaving a supplier to work for a technology firm. Over lunch, they conspired to make JLL Marketplace real. “With our combined experience and his new technology ties, we dreamt up our ideal supply chain scenario,” says Denver.
Meanwhile, Jonathan was still working at a competitor, dreaming of something similar. “I knew the level of innovation needed couldn’t happen there, so I started doing the strategy work in my head. I just needed to be at the right place to support it.” Shortly after, Denver recruited Jonathan to launch JLL Marketplace.
In 30 days, they built a working prototype. Within 60 days, the technology partner completed the integration. Inventories of all major suppliers were now searchable on a single site. By day 90, JLL Marketplace successfully served its first client.
The team pitched the concept to suppliers, who in an unprecedented move, would sell side-by-side with competitors under a unified JLL brand. Jonathan says they were laser-focused on supplier relations and invested a lot of time making sure their partners were comfortable. “JLL Marketplace challenged them to create a business model they’d never seen before. Many were unsure and we wanted them to be completely on board before going full scale.”
In January 2016, JLL Marketplace officially launched and users grew 40 percent month-over-month. They now hold 110 corporate accounts, 150 managed sites and 4,000 properties total. “Suppliers were converted,” says Jonathan. “They’d never seen a program roll out like this.”
Users can now shop for any product from any supplier on a single platform and pay with a single invoice—removing tens of thousands of invoices from the system and saving teams thousands of hours.
Denver says the culture at JLL is what allowed them to take reasonable risks, build JLL Marketplace and bring it to fruition. “Innovation and entrepreneurship are encouraged. You don't get punished if something doesn't work. More than likely, people will help you figure out how to fix it.”
“The whole ceremony is fun,” adds Jonathan. “I was excited about how the judges reacted and then speechless when we won. But it shows what you can do with support from the organization. We wouldn’t have been able to do this elsewhere. We tried.”
Having flirted with the idea for so long, the Da Vinci win validates the potential for JLL Marketplace to be a true market disruptor.
The team already has their sights set on the future. “The judges believed in it and want to see its full capacity,” says Denver. “We’ve already started working out how to accelerate our plan to grow the platform.”
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