Once an apple, now a globe: The success story of pom+
pom+ was launched in 1996 as an ETH spin-off with the vision of combining real estate with computer science. Today, we offer services in six business units and manage real estate projects and consulting mandates throughout Switzerland and Germany.
The history of pom+ begins in 1992, four years before the company was founded. At that time, a research project funded by the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) was launched at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) on the topic of "Integration of tasks, data and processes in the construction industry". The project assumed that buildings could be virtually mapped during all development phases and that the planning, implementation and management of real estate could thus be optimized.
At that time, Dr. Peter Staub, a graduate civil engineer and later founder of pom+, decided to return to ETH after four years of professional experience and write his dissertation on this topic. After graduating, together with Prof. Hansruedi Schalcher and construction expert Martin Cremosnik he founded the two companies pom+Projektmanagement Ltd. and pom+Objektmanagement Ltd. as a spin-off of ETH Zurich. This laid the foundation for the company's success story.
In keeping with the brand name, the apple (French "pomme") in the box was chosen as the brand visual, with the box symbolizing the building. With this, pom+ set trends early on, as we can see today with the American tech giant Apple and its commitment to fallen fruit
Market entry and merger
Competence, determination, an extremely strong customer orientation and, of course, a bit of luck allow the two companies to quickly gain a foothold in the market. After the first two years of business, well-known companies such as Swiss Re, UBS, Helvetia, Inselspital and the federal government are already among pom+'s customers. With the expansion of the customer base, the number of employees is also continuously increasing. Giuseppe Bilottajoined the company in 1997 as the third member of the Executive Board.
Meanwhile, the two business areas are developing differently. Property management, which is characterised by a high potential for innovation and uniqueness in the Swiss market, is experiencing great demand. Project management, on the other hand, must hold its own in a highly competitive market. These developments - together with the rapid growth of the company - lead to the merger of the two divisions as pom+Consulting Ltd. three years after the company was founded.
The name pom+ is derived from project and object management, with the plus reflecting the added value of our services for the clientele.
The path to excellence
Soon the first move within the Technopark Zurich will be necessary. And at exactly the right time: In 2000, the tenth employee takes up her position. In addition, pom+ is the first consulting firm in Switzerland to be certified according to ISO 9001:2000. The fulfillment of this quality standard confirms that there are suitable processes in the organization to be able to provide high-quality products and services. Shortly thereafter, the first member of the Executive Board also undergoes training to become a Business Excellence Coach.
But that's not all: pom+ decides to apply for the ESPRIX Award. ESPRIX Excellence Suisse strengthens the performance and transformation capacity of organizations based on the EFQM model. In 2004, pom+, which now has 35 employees, undergoes the first ESPRIX assessment - and immediately wins the award for innovation and continuous learning! In 2008, pom+ even makes it into the top league and wins the Swiss ESPRIX Award. The award is presented every two years and is one of the most important national prizes for sustainable organizational development. pom+ becomes part of an illustrious circle of winners alongside large companies such as Zurich Insurance Company, Swiss Post and BMW.
Even though the ESPRIX project requires a lot of commitment and dedication, the innovation machine is still running at full speed in the meantime. For example, pom+ publishes the FM Monitor, Switzerland's first FM industry analysis. For this purpose, more than 170 property owners and users of commercial and residential properties as well as FM consulting firms are surveyed. The FM Monitor is still the largest FM data pool in Switzerland and forms the basis for area analyses and cost analyses. The opening of the first branch ever in the centre of Bern is also something to celebrate.
More prices, locations, and services
In 2009, Stéphane Mayebecomes the first French-speaking Swiss to join the Executive Board. He is given the task of establishing pom+ in the Western part of Switzerland to support customers in setting up national real estate portfolios. The location in Lausanne becomes a significant competitive advantage. Already in the first year, the new division leads two major projects in Geneva: pom+ supports the International Labour Organization (ILO) in the financing strategy for a conversion and renovation of the main building and shortly afterwards represents the World Trade Organization (WTO) in extending its headquarters.
In the same year, pom+ also celebrates its entry into the finals of the European EFQM Excellence Award as the only Swiss company. The 2009 finalists include 13 companies that submit a comprehensive dossier and answer the critical questions of the jury in a two-day assessment. On 9 October 2012, the team receives the EFQM Award for Leadership in Brussels, one of the highest European quality prizes in the field of corporate governance and development.
In 2011, pom+ develops the first sustainability check for portfolio holders and with that positions itself far ahead of the market. Together with the Coordination Conference of the Building and Real Estate Bodies of Public Builders (KBOB) and the Interest Group of Private Professional Builders (IPB), pom+ publishes a much-noticed white paper on the topic of "Sustainable Real Estate Management". In the years that follow, energy management, ESG and sustainability consulting become increasingly important. The demand for professional advice in real estate management is also continuously rising. pom+ opens another branch in Basel.
The turning point: Real Estate goes digital
At the same time, increasing digitalization is beginning to leave its mark. The real estate industry is approaching a turning point where it no longer depends solely on the economic situation, but also on technologies. In 2015, pom+ creates the Digital Real Estate sub-brand and launches the Digital Real Estate Summit,an annual event for up to 400 executives and specialists from the construction and real estate industry who deal with the consequences of the digital transformation. Shortly thereafter, the first Digital Real Estate Survey is published. Every year, it provides information on how to deal with digital transformation in the real estate industry, sheds light on the use and benefits of the relevant technologies and consolidates the industry's assessment of the digital maturity of the various roles. Digitalization is also gaining in importance from an organizational point of view: Simon Caspar becomes a new member of the Executive Board and takes over the Digital Solutions department.
In July 2018, pom+ finally ventures across the border. Rebekka Ruppel is established as CEO of the German subsidiary. In her first year, she helps well-known brands like Universal Investment, Freudenberg Real Estate, Lufthansa Real Estate Management, Berlin Brandenburg Airport and BuildingMinds, a proptech company of Schindler Elevators, in different real estate projects. In the meantime, the team has grown to over ten people with offices in Frankfurt and Berlin.
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Change at the top
During the continuous expansion and market entry in Germany, the internal organization and processes are becoming increasingly important. In 2020, Dennis Goedde joins the company as COO/CFO and member of the Executive Board. One year later, pom+ cracks the magic number of 100 employees and celebrates its 25th anniversary – but the Corona Pandemic unfortunately thwarts the big anniversary party. After the virus settles, the celebration is revived at a company outing to Mykonos.
The anniversary year holds further changes in store. After a quarter of a century at the helm as CEO, Peter Staub becomes the new Chairman of the Board of Directors. Stephanie Züllig a dedicated entrepreneur and board member of various companies with proven digital expertise, joins the board. pom+ continues in a managing partner model. At the beginning of 2023, the management team is expanded with Dr. Johannes Gantner. Together with his team, he has been supporting the real estate sector for several years in meeting ESG regulations and societal changes with innovative solutions and approaches that help to reduce the environmental footprint in a financially profitable way.
In autumn 2022, it is time to leave the Technopark and move pom+ headquarters to new office an der Limmatstrasse.
Off to the connected world
And today? We continue to pursue the approach of designing real estate in such a way that it is consistently oriented toward management and thus toward the needs of investors, property owners, users and the environment. This includes optimizing them on the basis of data as early as the development, planning and implementation phases. pom+ offers strategy, process and organizational consulting as well as real estate-related consulting in construction trust, sustainability and digitalization.
In doing so, we want to enable the construction and real estate industry to maximize its impact in the connected world of tomorrow and minimize its footprint. Our new brand visual thus represents a globe enclosed by data and joins the green apple as a brand symbol.
We look forward to continuing our story.
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