The challenges that come with rapid expansion are ones most companies welcome.
Adding more employees means spending more on things like space, equipment and maintenance, but it also means more potential profit.
Although the challenges of enterprise facilities management are “good” problems to have, they still demand solutions.
While every enterprise is unique, many of the problems they face are preventable. Here are the seven challenges we see most often and how previous organizations have tackled them.
For large enterprises, poor space utilization can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
Yet many facilities managers and corporate real estate leaders have no idea how much space is actually being wasted across their portfolio. One big reason is a lack of standard space classifications across locations. Another is lack of visibility due to insufficient or disparate space management software systems.
With more than 55 global offices, Adobe’s facilities leaders were having a difficult time finding a single source of trusted space utilization data. Leaders defined terms like “occupiable space” and “mobile space” differently from one site to the next, so it was hard to tell how much space was actually available if they needed to make changes.
As those leaders learned, taking the time to establish standard space classifications is the first step to developing a useful space management strategy.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to adopt a single space management software that will be used consistently across your organization.
Without a single platform, it’s impossible to see the full picture of your real estate portfolio and identify opportunities for cost savings.
(Want to see how our enterprise facility management software can save your enterprise money? Schedule a free 15-minute consultation today.)
As many companies grow, so does their array of workplace technology. Without previously established standards, facilities leaders at each location or region will likely choose technology according to personal preference or the recommendation of others.
And before you know it, you have three different software systems for managing space, seven different systems for service requests and dozens of other disparate solutions. Each one has different terms, capabilities, user interfaces, logins and monthly invoices.
Not only is this a frustrating experience for enterprise facilities managers, it can also result in a lot of duplication and waste. The only way to avoid these wasted technology costs is to conduct an enterprise-wide inventory and appoint one person (or more likely, a committee) to review them all.
Look for areas where a single technology platform can replace multiple solutions, saving time, money and the frustration of toggling back and forth.
The larger your organization, the more meetings you’re going to have at any given time—and the more meeting rooms you’ll need to manage. But just because your company is growing doesn’t mean scrambling to find an available room or hosting conference calls in closets should become the norm.
Room reservation software and digital conference room panels are two simple solutions that make it easy for employees to see which rooms are available and book them immediately, even as they’re walking by.
Managing maintenance for multiple properties is difficult enough. And it’s even more challenging if you have numerous ticketing systems for different types of service requests and different buildings.
Fortunately, the right facility maintenance software makes this easy. Enterprise facilities managers can see all service requests from a single, mobile-friendly platform. They can also assign actions to their team, check the status and receive automatic alerts when it’s time for preventative maintenance.
When your organization is growing fast, you have to be able to plan for long-term growth but also make office moves quickly.
Many enterprises struggle with this because their size makes them slower to respond.
Consider what moving was like for one massive healthcare organization responsible for managing 165 hospitals and 115 surgery centers. Before implementing iOFFICE’s space and move management software, this organization worked with a drawing management company that would come to their offices once a year to map their facilities for move and space management purposes. This process took six weeks and produced drawings that were often inaccessible or ignored by facilities leaders.
The healthcare enterprise’s space consultant and FM team worked for 18 months to renovate and rebrand the workplace, but ultimately, the drawing management company couldn’t keep up with the healthcare organization’s expansion.
Now, with space and move software, the team can easily see what space is available and plan moves in a matter of days or even hours using drag-and-drop functionality.
They can then generate move tickets and service requests to further streamline the process.
Along with having the right information at the right time, it’s important for employees to be able to quickly and easily navigate a huge corporate campus. For enterprise organizations, this is a huge challenge.
Wayfinding software, digital signage and workplace apps make it easy for employees to find people and get turn-by-turn directions to their next meeting.
This removes friction and stress from their day so they can focus on the task at hand.
No matter the size of your organization, creating an exceptional employee experience should be a high priority. In this employee-centric economy, attracting and retaining top talent is becoming more and more difficult.
That’s why many enterprise organizations are establishing strategies to improve employee engagement and the overall experience. This often starts with a directive from senior leadership, followed by employee surveys that measure how employees actually feel about their workplace. Ultimately, leaders need to see those scores improve. And although many factors impact the employee experience, the most important ones you can influence are your physical workplace, your technology and your culture, according to author Jacob Morgan.
Addressing the facilities management challenges we just mentioned will go a long way to improve the employee experience at your organization. But how do you know where to start?
This is another big benefit of employee surveys. If your organization takes the time to ask for feedback (both formally and informally), you’ll start to notice some common themes.
For instance, you might see that a high percentage of employees have a difficult time finding meeting rooms when they need them, connecting with colleagues or even finding their way around because your organization has grown so much. Once you have a better idea of the most pressing challenges facing your enterprise, it will be easier to find the right technology to address them.
James McDonald is a sports enthusiast, brother in Christ and once swam in a tank with the infamous TV sharks.