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August 12, 2020

Delivering Coty Amsterdam during COVID-19

A transatlantic HQ relocation, a seven-month strategy, design, delivery and change management programme and during a global pandemic? We were thrown some curve-balls on our latest office project for COTY in Amsterdam. Thanks to preparation, planning and some good honest hard work we delivered on time and on budget.

When international beauty company, COTY, made the bold decision to move their global headquarters from New York City to Amsterdam in under seven months, we were up for the challenge.

Having partnered with them to design and build their offices in Paris, Geneva and London, we understood their ambitious visions for growth. They in turn trusted us to deliver a seamless transatlantic move so they could realise these goals.

It was all hands on deck from our team, with strategy, design and delivery teams working simultaneously to plan and prepare for an efficient program of works. Then our first challenge struck.

Delivering construction through COVID

After a successful strategy and design phase, our construction team was challenged when the Coronavirus pandemic hit, resulting in a global shut down.

This meant quickly adapting to new restrictions, observing social distancing rules and reduced trades on site each day. Additional PPE, hygiene safety and temperature checks became part of every-day routines. Our project managers implemented shift patterns to accommodate different trades being on site and we used an organised task-based workflow to reduce the risk of cross pollination of people and infection.

“Our main priority was keeping everyone safe and the measures we put in place meant we could remain operational and divide and conquer throughout the building” says Simon Pearson, Regional Principal – Delivery EMEA.

For our project team, communication became a key tool for achieving success. Consistent and clear communication is critical to achieving key milestones and budgeting, especially when crisis hits.

“While the whole COTY project team weren’t able to visit site due to travel restrictions, our virtual meetings and Procore project management software meant they stayed informed, with real-time insights, on the status of their project throughout.

“Delivering a positive experience is key to forming long-lasting relationships. So, we took the time to listen and understand the concerns and goals of the COTY team whenever they wanted to talk. And we work together to solve any problems we faced”, says Simon.

Our teams go the extra mile to ensure our clients are happy. Determined to get the job done as planned, our site manager walked nearly 30,000 steps a day for almost 18 weeks across the four levels – that’s around the distance it would take us to walk from our Amsterdam studio to London studio and back again, twice! Now that’s going the extra mile (or two).

The Coty office relocation result

The international relocation from New York to Amsterdam was planned well in advance of the COVID-19 lockdown and was able to continue due to our meticulous delivery planning, local presence and close relationships with in-market contractors. Our ways of working meant we were able to adapt quickly and our teams were able to complete the project safely, on time and on budget.

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