Biotech Space Planning

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator

Biotech companies need to run lean. Even those that have marketable products and stable revenue can quickly find themselves in a financial crunch due to the sheer cost of research and innovation. Simply put: biotech by its very nature is a high-cost industry to be in. That makes it imperative to reduce costs wherever possible, including through smarter biotech space planning.

As is the case with most industries, the cost of facilities looms large for biotechs. Yet, biotech doesn’t have the luxury of remote work or flex scheduling. Essential equipment and state-of-the-art facilities are often key to the success of the company. This means companies need to make the most of the space and capital assets they have to generate a higher ROI on the space they need. The answer to this balancing act comes in the form of space planning.

Better space planning ensures biotechs allocate space accordingly, to house the right personnel and equipment with efficiency. Moreover, it can reduce the total amount of space needed and shore up waste contributing to high overhead. Here’s how space planning fits within the biotech model.

What is biotech space planning?

Biotech companies need to stay mission-focused. That means planning ahead for space allocation in facilities, to support the segments of business that’ll help the company grow and become profitable. Whether it’s allocating lab space for innovation or setting up a sales office to sell that solution, space planning is central to future success. There’s no substitution for the right space—especially when it comes to activity-based work.

Space planning not only ensures everyone has enough space to do their part, it also improves company cost projections. Early stage biotechs have cash burn considerations and need to establish a hierarchy of needs for monthly operations. Facilities—and space specific to certain segments of business—are near the top of the pyramid. For example, lab space and sales. If you can’t continue to develop a product or sell that product, you starve the company. Space planning ensures space to innovate and sell to keep building the runway.

Benefits of space planning for the biotech industry

Space planning gives biotech companies control over one of their biggest costs: facilities. In choosing how to devote space to different segments of operations, biotechs can put themselves in the best position to capitalize on the investment in a workplace. Some of the many benefits that come with proactive space planning include:

  • Lab and research facilities become more accessible
  • Researchers have the space they need to use capital equipment
  • Reduction in the amount of space needed to conduct mission-critical operations
  • The cost to the company drops as facility efficiency lowers burn rate
  • Fewer overlaps and interruptions ensure smoother lab operations
  • Enhanced safety, security, and privacy in well-orchestrated spaces

In essence, space planning is about utilizing a capital resource in the best way possible. Like a biotech might invest in lab equipment or research talent, its investment in facilities is also key in its success. And, like those other assets, how they’re put to work matters in maximizing the ROI they offer.

How does biotech space planning software help?

Space planning for biotechs is nearly impossible without software to assist. There’s simply too much involved in orchestrating biotech operations to approach a coordinated layout without digital tools to visualize it. Biotechs that try to plan on-the-fly will find themselves continually adjusting to avoid friction. Instead, space planning demands a methodical approach. Digital floor plan tools built in much of the trial and error into a sandboxing strategy, so the finished result is a verifiable concept of facilities.

After orchestrating the workplace layout, space planning software is also useful in managing and adapting it. Again, sandboxing changes before making them prevents unnecessary disruption to the workplace. Moreover, data collected through facilities management practices is readily available in space planning software, which brings better context and oversight to adjustments and floor planning.

Finally, space planning software is instrumental in mapping the trajectory of a growing biotech company. It’s easy to see where vital operations take place and where there are opportunities to adjust the floor plan—whether to conserve costs or embrace growth. Biotechs can focus less on tiptoeing around mission-critical operations and instead, find targeted ways to support them through facility adjustments.

The path to more efficient innovation

For any biotech—no matter the specific area of focus—space and facilities are instrumental to success. By extension, that means efficient use of space is imperative. Biotechs need to engage in space planning to highlight areas of opportunity, to capitalize on space availability and reduce the cost of essential overhead.

Space planning software is a necessary investment for biotech companies that want to optimize facilities as a means to streamline the innovation that happens within them. By ensuring there’s enough room for capital equipment, a skilled workforce, and essential workflows, biotechs can make the most of facilities that enable success.

Keep reading: Office Space Planning Guidelines


Biotech Stack Planning

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist

Biotech facilities are some of the most complex in the world. Much of this complexity comes from the nature of the work and the workspaces required to drive innovation. Laboratories, sales departments, offices for legal teams, executive facilities, and more are just a small fraction of the diverse workspaces prevalent in biotech facilities. To get a handle on them all—and to ensure efficient utilization of facilities—takes an emphasis on biotech stack planning.

Stack planning allows biotech companies to visualize the many different types of workspaces present in facilities. More than that, it quantifies and contextualizes them in relation to a wide range of variables, from cost to utilization. Biotechs that have a handle on their stack plan understand the relationship between their facilities and different aspects of the business.

Stack planning is an important part of space orchestration and utilization. At a macro level, the stack plan for a biotech facility illuminates opportunities for efficiency improvements in where and how the company uses its space. And, with space being one of the most important commodities for a biotech, it’s not an overstatement to say that a stack plan can deliver invaluable insights.

What is biotech stack planning?

Modern biotechs aren’t sequestered to simple facilities. They’re spread out, either across different facilities or across different workspaces within facilities. In either case, they need a way to see how the company utilizes the cumulative space it occupies and pays for. Biotech stack planning enables this. It provides a 30,000-foot view of the company’s space and how it’s allocated across a different array of metrics.

How much of the total square footage of a building is research space? How many total desks does the sales team occupy? What is the cost to maintain executive facilities as an allocation of total available space? These questions are important in planning for everything from cash burn to company growth. Biotechs that turn to the stack plan for context about space are more-easily able to answer them—and to make decisions accordingly.

Benefits of stack planning for the biotech industry

A biotech stack plan affords the company numerous benefits specific to allocating space for maximum operational efficiency. It’s about understanding how to organize facilities and devote space accordingly, to drive innovation, revenue, and growth. Some of the benefits of stack planning for the biotech industry include:

  • More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
  • Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
  • Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of researchers
  • Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
  • Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
  • Smarter spatial layout of facilities to streamline accessibility

Stack plans put biotech companies in a position to better-understand space allocation in the context of not only facilities, but operations as a whole. For example, sales offices might account for 20% of facilities costs, but drive 90% of the company’s revenue. When it comes time to expand the sales team, it becomes easy to see the value in taking space from HR, which might occupy 20% of facilities, but only has a utilization rate of 50%.

How does biotech stack planning software help?

While understanding space allocation seems like a simple concept, stack planning software is imperative in truly recognizing the distribution of space for biotechs. It offers many lenses of comparison that provide unique and important context to different decision-making approaches. For example, a stack plan can instantly show allocation based on the following criteria:

  • Allocated square footage vs. total square footage
  • Cost of allocation and occupancy based on business segment
  • Utilization rates of space based on business segments
  • Location of space by allocation

Stack planning software brings perspective to space on a macro scale. It’s easy to select the criteria for observing space and understand how a specific allocation aligns with the broader facility goals or needs of the company.

Biotechs also need stack planning software to help break down cost. With cash burn such an important metric to track, it only makes sense to track the biggest contributor to cash burn: facility overhead. The ability to see what spaces are most responsible for generating ROI and what’s non-essential or underutilized is a game-changer when it comes time to crunch the numbers, whether for growth or contraction.

An essential, top-down look at biotech facilities

Biotech stack planning needs to be a cornerstone of space management for innovative companies. This all-important look at facilities factors into everything from the ability of different business units to succeed, to the cash burn of biotechs seeking to remain lean. It starts with an understanding of space allocation, from the top down.

How much space a business has to spread out matters, but what matters more is how the business allocates and utilizes that space. For biotechs, which have diverse operational needs and space expectations, it’s vital to have a top-down understanding of facilities. A stack plan provides this, and gives biotechnology companies the ability to rearrange and reallocate square footage as-needed, to become more efficient. The result is better use of facilities and stronger ROI from the different segments of the business.

Keep reading: Enterprise Stack Planning – Allocate Space Where It’s Needed


Biotech Space Utilization

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist

Biotech companies have long been on the cutting edge of several key industries—healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and even the food and beverage sector. Biotech is an industry rooted in innovation, and accomplishing big things on an often-small budget. For many companies in this space, facilities set the tone for innovation, yet also represent significant overhead. It’s why so many biotechnology companies have begun exploring the benefits of better biotech space utilization.

The concept of space utilization is one that’s proven across many industries. For biotech companies, however, it’s often novel. The reason? All energy and effort go into being mission-focused. Facilities are often an afterthought: the backdrop to the company’s imperatives. Many biotechs realize the importance of facilities, but don’t invest in them beyond what it takes to facilitate the science.

The high cost of facilities is pushing more and more biotech companies to see facilities themselves as an investment. Space utilization has the power to reduce costs, improve workflows, facilitate efficiency, and lengthen the runway of a biotech’s innovative work. Here’s how.

What is biotech space utilization?

Space utilization for biotech companies is all about maximizing facilities to drive productivity and results. How are you using 6,000sq/ft of lab space efficiently? How many of your 40 sales desks sit occupied vs. unoccupied? The goal is to not only use the space you’re paying for, but to use it effectively to drive results for the company.

To use space effectively takes two parts. First, the company needs to know how much space it has. Second, it needs a firm understanding of what operational demands require more space. For example, if you have 40 sales desks, but only staff 30 salespeople, that’s a 25% rate of unused space—space the company pays for, that effectively generates no ROI. Finding a productive way to utilize space can create ROI, which is paramount for biotech companies already striving to keep operations lean.

The benefits of space utilization for the biotech industry

Space is an asset for biotechs, and making the most of it is an integral part in keeping the business running efficiently. The ability of a biotech company to understand its spatial needs and optimize available space around them translates into a bevy of benefits that keep it lean and agile. Some of the biggest benefits of space utilization for the biotech industry include:

  • More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
  • Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
  • Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of researchers
  • Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
  • Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
  • Smarter spatial layout of labs and research facilities, to streamline accessibility

Biotechs that do a better job of utilizing their space will find themselves with more efficient operations and fewer operational challenges. More important, space utilization helps them make use of one of their biggest assets: facilities. That means access to lab space, sales offices, executive facilities, research space, and any other workplace necessary in fueling biotech success.

How can biotech space utilization software help?

Utilization is a tough metric to track without software on your side—especially for biotech companies that grow and change constantly. Space utilization software simplifies utilization into dashboard metrics that provide at-a-glance insights. It’s easy to see how what the ROI of space looks like based on simple utilization metrics.

Beyond showing space utilization, biotechs can rely on space utilization software to map out more efficient strategies to correct over- or under-utilized floor plans. There’s no need to rely on guessing—the software provides the utilization insights and space modeling tools show new projections before any physical change is actually made to the workplace. It’s a great way to adjust seating arrangements, space allocation, accessibility, and other workplace features and gauge the effect of those changes without disrupting vital operations.

On top of all this, space utilization shows a rolling metric over time. This is instrumental in understanding how employees use the space as the company evolves and grows. Maybe space trends shift away from research and more to sales after the product launches? Perhaps third-floor space utilization spikes after acquiring a new division? Utilization trends over time lend context to how the company’s growing and how to best-support that growth through facilities.

Spur innovation through better space utilization

Historically, the biotech sector is unforgiving. As many as 90% of drugs and therapies researched by biotechs never make it to market. But that doesn’t mean they’re not viable. In fact, the biggest challenge facing most biotechs is funding—eventually, the runway runs out. The inability to sustain facility costs means biotechs need to close up shop and shelve their innovations.

Space utilization can help biotechnology companies extend their runway by improving the ROI of essential facilities. Paying for less space and making more of it allows biotechs to remain mission-focused and lean, which increases the chance of producing a viable product before funding runs out.

Keep reading: 5 Space Utilization Metrics Every FM Needs to Know


Biotech Facilities Management

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator

Biotech facilities are extremely complex operations, housing everything from proprietary data and research to sales teams and executives. Such a complex environment demands oversight that’s both rigid and flexible—rigid in the sense of cost control, yet flexible in its ability to adapt to new challenges and operational demands. To do this takes a keen sense of biotech facilities management.

Facilities management encompasses the entirety of physical operations from space planning to coordination and utilization of diverse workspaces. It’s an arduous undertaking—not only because of the diversity and complexity of facilities, but because of the stringent budgeting that accompanies biotech operations. Facility managers need to balance operational demands with cost control, to slow the cash burn of biotechs and increase the ROI of the facilities they occupy.

In the biotech space, facilities management involves careful foresight to operational needs of the company and the costs that accompany it. If successful, operational demands for facilities will scale up. If the company encounters resistance and needs to be conservative, cost becomes the priority. Facilities management makes managing this balance simpler.

What is biotech facilities management?

A biotech has several key objectives, all taking place within the same facilities. It’s researching, developing, and innovating on a product. Then, it’s focused on marketing and selling that product. Meanwhile, executives and consultants need to secure funding from investors. And, of course, administrators need to ensure everyone’s working diligently and getting paid. All these actions and objectives need unique support from the same facilities, which is why facilities management is crucial.

Biotech facilities management involves creating facilities that support the varied operations of the company—and to do so in a cost-efficient way. It’s a constant equilibrium battle as the company grows. This quarter, cash is tight. Next quarter, the company might expand. The quarter after might see an acquisition that doubles the size (and demand) of the organization. Biotech facility management is all about ensuring the workplace responds to these changes and continues to support everyone affected by them.

Benefits of facilities management for the biotech industry

In any industry, good facilities management equates to everything from cost-efficiency in real estate to fluidity of operations. In biotech, it’s no different; however, it is more important. Biotechs need to stretch investor funds further and drive higher levels of efficiency from everyday operations. The benefits of facilities management for biotechs culminate in a variety of opportunities to stretch cash burn and improve prospects:

  • Safe and secure facilities that promote accessibility, yet safeguard access
  • Streamlined lab operations through better space efficiency and utilization
  • More affordable facilities and better budgeting for upkeep and maintenance
  • Better transparency when it comes to company operations and activities
  • Easier management, upkeep, and improvement for space across facilities
  • Better adaptability and more flexibility to accommodate changing demands

Facilities management doesn’t just help biotechs achieve efficiency; it also helps them stay agile under changing circumstances. Biotech companies need to adapt to change without disrupting delicate operations. A strategic approach to facilities management is an effective way to help the company grow, while reducing disruptions and sustaining facility ROI.

How does biotech facility management software help?

Facility management software is critical in managing biotech operations, and ensuring the various objectives of the company get their due support. It provides administrators and facility managers with a central series of controls and resources to understand facilities, adapt them, and capitalize on opportunities to improve them.

For example, facility management software is instrumental in coordinating acquisitions and mergers—both very common in biotech. Integrating two companies or acquiring talent and assets means upheaval in space allocation and utilization. Facility management software provides the context needed to put people and assets in the right place, and to give them the space and amenities they need to continue working toward success.

Everyday biotech operations benefit from strategic facilities management. Software provides the actionable data, resources, tools, and broad capabilities to help biotechs make the most of facilities at any point in the ebb and flow of the company’s life.

Facilities management enables biotech scalability

The ability of a biotech to remain both lean and agile sets the tone for its success as operational challenges change. Well-managed facilities can allow the company to scale as innovation ramps up. Likewise, cost-efficient facility oversight puts the company in a position to pivot to a conservative cost structure in the event of funding disruptions. In either case, it starts with the ability to control facilities: the single biggest (and often most important) expense of biotechs.

The key to good facilities management is a clear understanding of the relationship between facilities and operations. To see this takes biotech facility management software—which is also an essential resource in making changes that contribute to scalability. Orchestration and oversight of facilities needs to be central to every biotech—especially those that want to remain on the cutting edge of their area of focus.

Keep reading: Why is Facility Management Important for Productivity?

Workplace Thought Leadership

IWMS Technology and the Modern Workplace 

By Nick Stefanidakis
General Manager, Archibus

Rapid workplace changes and the emergence of cutting-edge technologies are ushering in new facilities management trends. They also are shedding light on the benefits of adopting Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) technology to scale and support both short-term transitions and long-term transformations.

The lasting impacts of the pandemic, demands for connectivity and collaboration, adoption of cloud-based applications, machine learning, and a focus on sustainability are sure to have far-reaching effects on workplaces worldwide. Businesses that find opportunities to embrace these trends will be better prepared to make data-driven decisions, improve performance, and achieve new standards of success in facilities management.

Planning for long-term workplace resilience

As agile work environments increasingly define the “new normal,” we will likely see substantial changes in workspace requirements.

The prospect of returning to physical workspaces has renewed attention on prioritizing employee health and safety. Things that employees and businesses may not have thought twice about before — air circulation, sanitization practices, access to communal spaces, traffic patterns — weigh more heavily as workforces reemerge from stay-at-home orders. New health and safety requirements will demand that organizations take these factors into account.

While some have deployed interim return-to-work solutions (hoteling and desk reservations, updated cleaning protocols, adopting remote management solutions, staggering schedules), others are reassessing overall workplace strategies as they shift from reactive to forward-thinking resiliency planning.

Organizations now need a long-term strategy for facility management, supported by workplace management technology that offers flexibility and scalability for remote, in-person, and hybrid work setups. A centralized, enterprise-wide IWMS enables teams to standardize workflows, reduce duplication, provide transparency with real-time information shared among teams (e.g., badging and health check-in data), and ultimately make more collaborative decisions.

A renewed focus on collaboration and employee engagement

Gone are the days where every employee comes to work, sits in the same seat, and leaves with coworkers at the end of the day. Now, more offices are refocusing workspaces as socialization and collaboration hubs. Employees, visitors, and others coming into the workplace need convenient, reliable ways to ensure they have the spaces needed to work in ways that are best for them. IWMS technology offers insights for businesses and building owners/operators into whether they need to increase hotel desk reservations or implement desk-sharing setups — all while providing safe and engaging spaces.

Hybrid work setups boost SaaS adoption

More hybrid workers mean people need anytime/anywhere access to critical systems and information. Stemming from this demand is an emerging trend: facilities management shifting from on-premises to SaaS-based implementation.

Organizations are investing more in cloud enterprise applications due to ease of deployment, configurability, and scalability. When COVID-19 forced many businesses to adopt remote work setups, real estate, and facilities teams with cloud applications already in place quickly adapted to changing conditions and seamlessly accessed critical business information. Others were left scrambling.

While it was a tough lesson, organizations can learn from such disruptions and invest in technology that helps predict change and evolves to meet new work structures. SaaS-based IWMS applications empower key stakeholders to make faster data-driven decisions, automate business processes, and deliver on mobile needs.

Look for trends in workspace usage patterns

Machine learning in building management has been gaining traction in recent years. It delivers efficiencies in predictive maintenance and real-time workplace management that help manage costs and provide optimal work environments.

Developments such as the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced analytics, and new wireless sensors are a few ways companies are creating smarter facilities management.

Smart building solutions use a range of sensors or actuators — light, motion, building occupancy — to collect data from connected devices. Information is then stored in an IWMS. Continuous monitoring lets facilities managers identify changes or inefficiencies in building usage, system performance or environmental conditions and establish triggers for maintenance or control systems.

When combined with an IWMS, massive amounts of IoT data can be aggregated into a dashboard for meaningful insights. This not only de-silos critical workplace data, but also highlights identifiable trends and patterns for strategic future workplace planning.

Using data to plan, design, construct, and manage facilities

Building information modeling (BIM) and its integration with IWMS technology is a new approach to managing the many phases of building design and workplace management. BIM centers around 3D modeling programs that provide a customized simulation of an actual facility. The rendering, when combined with IoT and Machine Learning represents a digital twin of the building, which allows users to virtually move through a space and observe its features, dimensions, and operating parameters — from anywhere. Such technology offers nearly infinite possibilities to help professionals plan, design, construct, and manage facilities. The volume of BIM data and the context of the data stored within an IWMS is so useful, and the more stakeholders leverage these insights, the more they’ll enable fully informed decision-making.

Optimizing building usage and consumption

It’s all too common to waste energy in a building in the form of incorrect setpoints, poor maintenance or simple oversights — not turning off lights in conference rooms after a meeting, keeping rarely used equipment plugged in, etc.

While steps like switching out light bulbs or installing new HVAC systems are necessary, they may not deliver the long-lasting results you’re hoping for.

A more impactful solution is using IWMS technology to optimize usage and consumption across building systems and real estate portfolios aligned to the actual, real-time conditions. This empowers building owners and facilities managers to anticipate, troubleshoot, and manage issues as they arise. An IWMS also enables smarter operations that can reconcile the entire range of optimal sustainability performance metrics.

Addressing long-term transformations

As the adoption of IWMS technology grows, so does its potential to play a critical role in supporting workplaces for years to come. Trends in IWMS are pointing toward a future that provides extensive and essential support to facilities managers, building occupiers, service providers, owners/operators, and real estate management companies to organize, centralize, and optimize workplace data at all levels — from individual workstations to entire real estate portfolios. It’s with such insights that they can make the best decisions to address current challenges and anticipate future needs. For more information, read our guide on Modern Workplace Platforms.

Keep reading: What is a Smart IWMS and What are its Features?

Workplace Thought Leadership

Improve Indoor Air Quality with Condition-Based HVAC Maintenance 

By Fred Kraus
Senior Director, Product, Archibus

Issues surrounding indoor air quality (IAQ) can typically be broken down into two categories: environmental safety factors and the risk of pathogen transmission. While indoor air safety has been a growing concern for several years, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the topic of pathogen transmission to the forefront of the IAQ conversation.

Since factors like indoor temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide levels can influence pathogen transmission, business owners are more concerned about optimizing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) maintenance than ever before. COVID-19 may be a driving force in the movement to optimize IAQ but boosting ventilation performance also improves safety and cuts costs.

Let’s take a look at how a streamlined operations and maintenance approach can improve indoor air safety.

Maintaining IAQ at scale: Is it possible?

The manual approach to preventive HVAC maintenance is highly ineffective on a larger scale. As an example, one college might have 53 buildings, 145 AHUs with IAQ issues, and 838 zones with IAQ issues. On this level, even simple HVAC fixes like stuck fire dampers or loose set screws would be challenging to keep up with.

Preventive maintenance best practices recommend making almost 1,000 HVAC checks per year. To accomplish this, facility managers would constantly need to check on parts such as cooling towers, chillers, boilers, etc. And this preventive maintenance would all be on top of other urgent, corrective maintenance requests submitted on a daily basis.

In reality, most organizations simply cannot handle this type of maintenance. From budget constraints to a lack of resources, there are countless challenges standing in the way of frequent preventive maintenance.

Typically, most HVAC systems are left unfixed until someone in the building complains about it. Without the right tools to help scale preventive maintenance, companies just can’t keep up.

Optimizing IAQ with fault detection and diagnostics

So, how can organizations overcome the challenges of HVAC preventive maintenance? Simply by switching from a manual approach to a smarter, software-driven approach.

Fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) software offered by companies like Clockworks Analytics allows organizations to run a daily analysis on HVAC systems, identifying any hidden issues across all equipment. Rather than falling behind on hundreds of annual preventive maintenance checks, companies can run thousands of automated checks every day and transition to a condition-based approach.

Detailed diagnostic reports eliminate the time-consuming investigation process. Instead, they deliver a straightforward list of HVAC issues to be resolved. These reports provide important information such as:

  • Equipment ID
  • Impacted tenants
  • Work orders
  • Part numbers
  • Assignees
  • Priority
  • Work history
  • Recommended tasks

Technology helps keep the air clean

An integrated workplace management system (IWMS) – like that offered by Archibus – can be integrated with a tool like Clockworks Analytics to aggregate and centralize data, making it easier and faster for facilities managers to schedule and track work orders.

This streamlined system replaces outdated spreadsheets and paper documents. It allows facilities managers to easily manage tasks like:

  • Replacing air filters and other consumable filtration equipment
  • Cleaning HVAC units
  • Inspecting for mold growth
  • Clearing condensation in drains
  • Examining registers and exchangers

The shift to real-time response

By shifting from a rigid, scheduled approach to a more natural, real-time response system, organizations will be better equipped to stay on top of HVAC preventive maintenance.

Here are a few reasons how an FDD and IWMS working together can enable a real-time response method:

  • Tackle multiple tasks at once. Facilities managers can view upcoming maintenance needs and tackle them while working on another task in the same area.
  • Match the right people with the right tasks. The software can align the type of issue with the best person fit to complete the task.
  • Prioritize tasks based on needs. Facilities managers can prioritize tasks based on categories like energy waste, comfort, or impact on maintenance.
  • Learn the true cost of unresolved maintenance tasks. The software highlights avoidable costs, allowing organizations to potentially save thousands of dollars each year.
  • Cut out manual investigations. Fault detection and diagnostics software doesn’t just deliver IAQ measurements – it points out potential root cause issues, too. This allows organizations to save time by skipping the manual investigation process.

Making the most of fault detection and diagnostics

Ultimately, switching to a highly intelligent, real-time response system doesn’t change the diagnostic data. What it does change is how that data is put into action. Whether an organization wants to focus on a specific HVAC zone, a particular type of equipment, or specific IAQ issues, an IWMS allows them to achieve their goal.

The cost of falling behind on HVAC maintenance is clear. Organizations put their employees’ health, safety, and comfort at risk. That leaves them vulnerable to pathogens like COVID-19.

Thankfully, when combined with an IWMS, an integrated fault detection and diagnostics system allow companies to protect employees, avoid unplanned downtime, and increase overall efficiency in HVAC preventive maintenance.

Keep reading: Get Familiar with a Facility Maintenance Plan


SMB Space Planning

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist

Growth is the objective of most small businesses. To grow takes foresight to the future and a forward-looking mindset as to what the next step up will be. For many, this mindful approach to growth starts with facilities. SMB space planning can help contextualize a small business’ plan for the future by establishing the physical space needed to grow. Whether it’s additional workspaces for a sales team or more room to package and ship product, how SMBs use space can dictate how they’ll grow.

While the approach to space planning will differ from company to company, SMBs often have the same objectives in mind: efficiency, cost-savings, productivity, and agility. These variables are essential for growth, and they hinge on the ability of facilities to support the everyday operations that allow the company to provide a product or service. Every company uses space differently, but the need for space planning is universal.

To plan space accordingly, SMBs need to look at current needs and future objectives. The goal is to bridge the two in a seamless capacity. How can you maximize facilities today, while setting yourself up for the next phase of growth? Targeted space planning is the answer.

What is small and midsize business (SMB) space planning?

Space planning is simply the act of identify need and allocating space. If your SMB was given 1,000 square feet of unused space tomorrow, how would you use it? Create more sales desks? Allocate breakout space? Designate meeting rooms? Blow up your entire office floor plan and start fresh with the new space included? Whatever decision you come to, space planning can help make sure it’s a fruitful solution.

Space planning encourages small businesses to understand their operational needs and the needs of staff, and forces them to create a workplace that meets those needs. Often, the result is a more productive workplace—one that’s also cost-efficient, organized, and accessible. All it takes is a little forethought to space and the demand for it.

The trouble with space planning for SMBs is that there’s often not enough space to go around. Real estate is expensive, and facilities are likely the largest overhead allocation on the balance sheet. Small and growing businesses rely on space planning to ensure they’re making the most of the limited space they have, and reaping maximum benefits from it.

Benefits of space planning for SMBs

Well-organized workplaces offer numerous benefits. They offer the potential for frictionless operation, increased employee productivity, and better ROI for facility spend. And that’s just the start. SMBs can realize a multitude of benefits through careful space planning, including:

  • Small business facilities become more accessible
  • Employees have the space they need to execute mission-critical tasks
  • Reduction in the amount of space needed to conduct operations
  • The cost to the company drops as facility efficiency lowers overhead expense
  • Fewer overlaps and interruptions ensure smoother operations
  • Enhanced safety, security, and privacy in well-orchestrated spaces

Above all else, space planning affords small businesses the ability to adapt their workspace to the ever-changing needs of employees. As operations change and grow, proper space planning allows the business to plan ahead, make adjustments, and be proactive. Planning is the precursor to adapting, which helps businesses stay agile when it comes to their workplaces.

How does SMB space planning software help?

Space planning takes foresight, which is only possible with good data to support decision-making. Companies need to understand the space available to them, demand for certain types of spaces, and trends governing the workplace to effectively coordinate and allocate space. To get this data, SMBs need to invest in space planning software.

Space planning software not only provides the data necessary to allocate and organize space in an optimal fashion, it also provides the tools to mock up new floor plans and changes to existing workplace layouts. By sandboxing floor plans, SMBs can make adjustments and better-understand space allocation in a way that allows them to be proactive in planning for current and future needs.

Space planning software for SMBs arms growing businesses with the technology they need to scale appropriately. As the business adds new employees, additional space, and new operational demands, space planning software becomes instrumental in coordinating them all into a workplace that drives growth and supports productivity.

Space planning lays the groundwork for SMB growth

The path to growth differs for every small business; however, the foundation for that growth often remains the same. For most SMBs, it starts with facilities. Facilities support people and operations, and allow the business to continue delivering a product or service as demand grows. With proper space planning, SMBs don’t need to worry about hitting roadblocks or setbacks in their ability to support growth. Instead, they’ll have a stable foundation that ensures scalability.

To plan space accordingly, SMBs need to look at the most important parts of their business and the role facilities play. Allocating space appropriately, recognizing current and future need for space, and examining facility costs against ROI are all vital. SMBs adept at space planning won’t be SMBs for long—they’ll grow into much larger companies.

Keep reading: How to Use a Space Planning App Effectively


What is SiQ?

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategist

For many companies, the workplace is their largest overhead expense outside of employee salaries. The question is, in the age of remote work and telecommuting, what exactly are you paying for when you choose to maintain a centralized workplace? The answer needs to be some form of competitive advantage and to achieve it takes a calculated approach to workplace design. That’s where SiQ comes in.

SiQ stands for “space IQ” and represents the concept behind the software. SiQ helps companies understand the workplace, the expectations of employees, and the financial impact of facilities, so that administrators can bring them all together in harmony. The software is a full Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) platform that enables everything from space utilization to real estate efficiency in an effort to ensure the workplace’s value outstrips its costs.

Here’s a look at what SiQ is, how it works, and why the concept of real estate management is such an important factor in the larger mission of a company.

SiQ overview

SiQ was formerly SpaceIQ, until the partnership with Archibus and Serraview, when the conglomerate adopted the latter as the umbrella’s moniker and renamed the existing software to SiQ. Despite the new name, the software has remained a powerful, intuitive, technological-driven staple for facility management professionals.

SiQ empowers workplace professionals to understand the space available to them, and to make the most of it at every level. From floor plans and desking concepts, to stack plans and portfolio insights, SiQ helps businesses own their facilities and leverage them into mission-driven operations. In short, SiQ is an intuitive, fast-to-implement workplace solution for mid-market companies that’s designed to make space management simple.

Using SiQ, companies gain access to foundational insights that drive more efficient use of space and an understanding of how best to leverage it into operational success.

SiQ features

Space insights need to happen at-scale. SiQ offers a robust range of features to help facility administrators and portfolio managers identify opportunities for efficiency at every level. Some of the essential features of the software include:

  • Space planning. Coordinate space and allocate it for maximum efficiency to unlock the true potential of the workplace. SiQ offers workplace administrators visual floor plans that make space planning simpler and more efficient, alongside contextual data about utilization rates, occupancy limits, and employee use trends.
  • Move management. Whether it’s a move to new facilities, a rearrangement of the workplace, or a temporary shift to meet a unique need, move management is imperative. SiQ offers a full suite of tools to manage moves and take the friction out of relocation including communication tools, checklists, ticketing integrations, and more.
  • Real estate insights. Is your workplace paying for itself? Real estate insight tools from SiQ help portfolio managers measure the ROI of each facility and the nuances of the workplace in a way that improves costing, allows for budgeting, and leverages workplaces into the company’s broader financial goals and mission.
  • Space forecasting. Growing companies need a way to forecast their need for space, and SiQ gives it to them. Space forecasting tools let workplace admins see utilization trends, occupancy metrics, and real estate costs—all alongside employment data that informs the future of facilities.
  • Floor plan visualization. From individual floor plans to stack plans and even intricate CAD and digital twin layouts, SiQ brings visual tools to floor plan design and modification. This, leveraged together with space planning tools, makes optimizing the workplace a visual process.
  • Hoteling and hot desking. For many companies, the best way to optimize space in the flex work era is through hoteling, hot desking, and other forms of space sharing. SiQ builds in desk and room reservation frameworks that let employees choose their workspace and style, without hampering space efficiency metrics.
  • Wayfinding. The workplace is for more than just employees. Visitors, collaborators, and craftspeople need to feel like they belong immediately, and to have no difficulty navigating facilities. SiQ wayfinding integrations make this possible, and unlock a seamless sense of navigation that promotes a better workplace experience.

From making space more accessible via wayfinding to forecasting and adapting for future changes to a real estate portfolio, SiQ empowers companies small and growing to understand and make the most of physical workplaces—even in an era when work has become distributed and decentralized.

How can SiQ help?

Real estate costs are continually on the rise. Now, in the age of remote work and alternative workplace opportunities, companies have begun to look closer at their own centralized workplaces. Is the cost of facilities worth the benefit they offer?

SiQ ensures that the answer to this question is a resounding “yes.” Through space planning, real estate insights, forecasting tools, hoteling software, wayfinding, and much more, SiQ helps companies optimize their workplace, to transform it from a cost center into a competitive advantage.

Keep reading: What is SpaceIQ?


What is Serraview?

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator

We’re living in an age when work can happen anywhere. That means maintaining a traditional workplace needs to offer incentive to employees beyond the alternatives: remote work or coworking. Employees need to feel like the workplace available to them is the best option for their productivity and comfort. To do this takes a lot of coordination behind-the-scenes, in the orchestration of a workplace that truly meets the needs of the people using it. It’s why more companies have turned to Serraview in the age of non-traditional working opportunities.

Serraview is software focused on two distinct yet connected goals. First, to create the best possible employee experience and second, to do it in a way that emphasizes the value of the workplace. In short, Serraview helps companies understand the way employees see and use the workplace, and gives them the tools and resources to shape the space around those needs and wants.

Here’s a look at Serraview’s role in creating the modern workplace, and how doing so leads to everything from better company culture to enhanced productivity from employees.

Serraview overview

Serraview was one of the early disruptors in the facility management software space and has continued to evolve with the dynamic demands of the industry. As work remains an ever-changing modality, Serraview helps companies understand the needs of employees and how facilities and operations can better-support them.

What makes Serraview special is its fully cloud-based approach to workplace modeling and management. As the workplace becomes a more and more decentralized concept, Serraview keeps employees and employers connected, and allows the latter to make informed decisions about the needs of the former. Whether that’s desk booking through a workplace app or changing the workplace to support the types of desks people use based on those very same booking analytics, Serraview is at the heart of ensuring employees jive with their workplace.

Serraview’s simplicity makes it easy for any company of any size to use. And, scalable tools and resources ensure that even as the needs of employees change, companies have the ability to understand those changes and affect workplace shifts conducive to productivity and comfort.

Serraview features

Serraview’s focus on the workplace’s impact on employees and employee sentiment itself manifests in a wide range of features. Here’s a look at some of the many tools and resources Serraview offers, and how they contribute to workplace design, management, and adaptation:

  • Space optimization. Using space effectively is a cornerstone of providing a workplace that’s conducive to employee need and it sets the tone for a frictionless work experience. Serraview offers tools to visualize and allocate space, and to set the parameters for who has access to that space, when, and how they’ll use it.
  • Workplace enablement. Employees want convenience from their workplace. Serraview’s workplace enablement tools offer it. From desk availability and booking, to workplace mobile applications, to smart building integration, it’s easy for employees to interact with their workplace—not just use it.
  • Hoteling and reservations. In the era of flex work and non-traditional workplaces, employees still demand sureties. Serraview helps employers give it to them via hoteling and reservation frameworks. From desk booking, room booking, or collaborative space reservations, it’s easy to use more of the workplace when everything is accessible through a convenient reservation system.
  • Workplace analytics. To understand what employees want from their workplace, employers need a way to gauge sentiment, activity, and insights. Serraview’s workplace analytics integrations tracks space usage, wayfinding trends, and myriad other data that workplace administrators can use to shape a workplace more conducive to the needs of employees.
  • Scenario planning. Workplaces are dynamic environments and need to stay as agile as the people using them. Serraview’s scenario planning features allow workplace admins to create visual floor plans and experiment with different workplace changes before enacting them, to account for all variables.
  • Employee insights. Serraview Engage is a workplace application that allows for direct communication with employees. It’s a great tool for understanding employee needs, relaying essential information, and collecting feedback—especially in flex work environments where decentralized communication is routine.

Everything about the workplace is always in flux—from space demands to how employees feel about certain aspects of their work. Serraview’s suite of tools helps companies stay agile, to adapt to these changing needs on a day-by-day basis.

How can Serraview help?

The modern workplace needs to be many things to many people. It’s not only a place to facilitate company operations—it also needs to support individual employees and set the tone for a positive working experience, day after day. To accomplish this takes a coordinate effort: one that understands employee needs and merges them with workplace design. Serraview facilitates this collaboration by giving facility managers capabilities on both sides. It’s the key the creating a workplace employees want to work in, and a place where they can get work done.

Keep reading: What is SiQ?