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What is Space Management?

Space management is the management of an organisation’s physical space inventory. Think about accurate tracking of how much space an organisation has, managing occupancy information, and creating strategic spatial plans.

Live webinar - Effective Space Management: key elements to consider

In this webinar, Susan Clarke, Principal Analyst at Verdantix explains why space management has become one of Facility and Space Managers’ main priorities.

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Whether a government organisation, university, industrial factory, retail chain or financial institution, every organisation needs space to support its core business. And while space can relate to a room with one or two desks, it can also relate to an entire department, a whole floor, multiple floors within one building, or several floors within a large portfolio of buildings across the globe. On top of that spaces can be assigned, such as a workspace dedicated to a specific employee – or shared, such as a meeting or concentration room. Space can be many things and be used in many ways. One thing is certain: every organisation needs to deal with space.

The development of space management

Space management has developed considerably over the years. In the beginning, organisations did not have the tools or solutions to deal with their space challenges. If a room was being misused, or resources were being allocated poorly, there was not much an organisation could do. They simply lacked the resources they needed to gather insights and make intelligent decisions.

These days innovative software solutions are available, but there are still organisations that try to manage their space manually. Think about a simple paper and pencil diagram that shows the floor layout and room occupants, or an Excel sheet that contains the details about each individual space including occupants and resource usage. This makes it extremely challenging to maintain accurate records, share accurate and real-time data and to analyse this data to make strategic decisions to support the organisation’s business needs.

On the other hand, more organisations now realise that manual methods of space management are not future proof as the need to cut costs, improve efficiency and increase productivity rises. Manual methods are simply not agile enough to cope with and adjust to a fast changing space portfolio. Therefore, Facility Managers and Space Managers are increasingly looking for intelligent software solutions, such as an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) to coordinate the management of spaces.

The importance of effective space management

Having a clear understanding of spaces is a critical component of effective facility management. Space management is the basis for many other activities; think about occupancy management as well as move management, room reservations, maintenance management and property management

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Webinars & videos | 23/10/2018
Live webinar - Effective Space Management: key elements to consider

In this webinar, Susan Clarke, Principal Analyst at Verdantix explains why space management has become one of Facility and Space Managers’ main priorities. This webinar will be presented in English and is being held at 10:00 AM BST / 5:00 PM SGT. 

Learn more
All webinars & videos
Articles & White Papers | 11/10/2018
Model - Space Management Maturity Model

Do you want to discover which steps you can take to improve the maturity level of your space management? Then please download Planon’s ‘Space Management Maturity Model’. 

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All articles & white papers
Articles & White Papers | 11/10/2018
White Paper - Why effective Space Management is fundamental to a successful working experience

This white paper addresses the importance of creating an optimal working experience and explains which elements of space management contribute to it. 

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All articles & white papers

Benefits of space management software

Using an innovative software solution to successfully manage an organisation’s space, offers a number of benefits. For example:

1. Identify space and lower portfolio costs

It is commonly known that the biggest part of an organisation’s expenses is made up of personnel costs and accommodation costs. Effective space management has a direct impact on both cost centres, and therefore is a critical component which can directly affect the bottom line of the business. 

In an ideal situation, every organisation would use every millimetre of their space for the intended purpose, whether those spaces are meeting rooms, storage spaces or restaurants. Using a space management software solution provides the accurate and real-time data that is needed to see if spaces could be used more efficiently to reduce costs. This means that organisations can negate the need for expansion and no longer pay for space that they do not use. With real-time, accurate data to hand, making the right decisions can drastically cut portfolio costs.

2. Create a pleasant working environment and improve productivity

While the demand for getting the right people with the right skills at the right place – the War for Talent – is higher than ever before, the focus of space management is shifting from reducing space costs towards creating a working environment that helps to attract and retain that talent. This does not mean that reducing space costs is no longer high on the priority list of Facility and Space Managers, but finding the right balance is becoming more important.

To keep employees satisfied and engaged, Facility and Space Managers need to provide employees with work spaces that meet their needs. Enough physical space to be able to complete daily tasks in a comfortable and effective way, but not so much that the organisation pays for space that is not needed. It is also about different kinds of spaces for different purposes. Think about silent rooms for employees who do not want to be disturbed, or relaxation spaces with comfortable chairs to take a break.

An innovative software solution for space management provides clear insights into, for example, space occupancy and space utilisation. Based upon this data, space management decisions can be made to fulfil the employee needs. When the data, for example, shows that certain spaces, such as concentration rooms, are continuously occupied and thus frequently used, this could be a reason to question if there is a greater need for these types of spaces compared to other types. Seeing that the occupancy rate of open-plan offices is extremely high, could indicate that employees are feeling cramped and thus action might be needed to improve this. Naturally, these are only assumptions and you need to do more before you actually take action. Space data gives you the insights to start investigate in further. You could for instance ask employees whether they find these open-plan offices unsatisfying and if yes, why. You could also use space data to make it easier for your employees to access the available space, for instance by letting them book their own office space or meeting room using kiosk or mobile solutions.

In the end, happy employees perform better, stay with an organisation longer and are more productive. A win-win situation for everyone.

3. Generate reports to develop strategic space plans

Without having software for space management in place, it becomes difficult and time consuming to run reports on real-time and accurate space data as the data is simply not centralised in one system. Moreover, when space data is spread out and stored at different locations, redundancy can occur, making your data less trustworthy. An innovative software solution for space management, ideally integrated into an IWMS, centralises all data into one system. And because it is in real-time, it is always up-to-date and accurate. This way Facility and Space Managers can run reports such as chargeback reports and utilisation reports, and use scenario planning for future space allocation. Based upon these reports, Facility and Space Managers are able to monitor and analyse their space management data and plan for future improvement.

There are some excellent space management systems on the market, but organisations will get the most out of their space management when using an IWMS solution. With an IWMS, fragmented data belongs in the past because all facility and property management data is stored in one system, one source of truth. Think about data on maintenance management, property and lease management, services management and sustainability management. This creates process efficiencies as well as better services.

4. Space management maturity level

To help organisations discover the current and desired maturity level of their space management, Planon has developed the ‘Space Management Maturity Model’. Do you want to know what steps you can take to evolve and to close the gap between the current and desired maturity level of your space management? Please download the model.

Global success stories

Case Study - Singapore Management University

Haslinda Shamsudin, Project Manager, Office of Campus Development: “Planon’s IWMS provided us with an efficient, real-time solution to overcome our workplace and facilities challenges.”

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Case Study - Danfoss

Martin Hansgaard, Consultant Portfolio: "With the Planon solution, we have a consistent and high quality worldwide repository of all real estate master data."

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Case Study - Bayer Real Estate

Michael Müller, Managing Director Bayer Real Estate: "Successful RE and FM with Planon."

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