15 November 2018

Managing the Experience of Place Today

Retailers understand the value of place better than almost any other industry. For example, Starbucks found that providing a European café-type ambience helped to sell their coffee, effectively creating a place where one could linger, write a homework assignment, or the next great novel. A place where the actual product was less relevant than the customer experience. An experience that gave them the edge over the competition; albeit their product still had to be one of the best on the market. 

Webinar - Effective space management: key elements to consider

In this co-hosted webinar, Verdantix addressed the importance of space management whereas Planon discussed its key elements and provided practical examples of how facility managers could make their space management practices more effective

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Another example is WeWork, selling Space as a Service. It treats the management of co-working places as scientific experiments, modelled by 3D BIM tools and monitored to increase revenue per square foot. And all the time ensuring maximum satisfaction for both their entrepreneurial and corporate community members while averaging only 50 square feet per person.

Verdantix Research: Space Management Gaining Momentum

With the war for talent, be it students or employees, the topic of “space management” is rising to the top of the agenda once again. This is why Planon partnered with the UK-based independent research and consulting firm Verdantix to go through the “basics” of why and how we can manage space today using an IWMS. An exciting takeaway from the recent joint webinar was that Verdantix is working on an interactive ROI tool for space management practices utilising IWMS, which will be an excellent tool for organisations looking build a business case around space management.

During the North American webinar, I explained how one of Planon’s most mature clients optimise space for their organisation. The 11 million square foot healthcare complex in a large urban environment began by understanding the mission of all of the diverse groups that inhabited the hospital, R&D and university buildings and then applied that to determine how they could create the right spatial environments, at the right cost at the right locations. It was clear from the beginning the space management team had to be able to clearly explain to each group why they were billed for not only the space they occupied, but shared space as well. They also had to create standard procedures for updating and reporting on space management.

They committed to having an accurate space inventory, which was coming from the latest BIM or CAD drawings (with the proper space IDs tied to the unique floor and building IDs). Move management went more smoothly with these procedures in place, and resulted in less time spent on what can often be unproductive turmoil during a change in location.

Enhancing the “Space Experience” is Universal

Key for this academic medical centre, as is also true for corporations, is not only space allocation to the various departments for charge-back purposes, but space utilisation too. Many pilots are being conducted where Planon clients are using sensors to measure real-time usage. This allows them to understand how the space is being occupied during a day, as well as being able to conduct analytics on occupancy for portfolio planning.

For me, it was interesting to see such a diverse audience for this space management webinar, which included Planon clients, universities, pharmaceuticals, consulting organisations, insurance firms, institutes, government agencies (local and county), technology vendors, religious organisations, and healthcare providers. It just confirmed what I mentioned at the beginning of the webinar; those responsible for any type of workplace care about the experience their inhabitants have. They care about how the space inside a building can contribute to productivity, while also providing occupants with the best and healthiest experience possible while inside.

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