By Dave Clifton
Why do people visit the bank? In today’s digital environment, it’s not generally for everyday transactions. With digital deposit and the move toward cashless payments, people go to the bank for more complex financial matters: applying for a loan, debt counseling, financial planning, and more. These activities all require a different level of involvement and emphasis on bank space planning to ensure customers’ needs are met.
Without the right type of space and facilities structured to support various activities, banks risk losing the confidence, trust and comfort of the customers visiting them. Would you rather discuss a $400,000 mortgage in the privacy and comfort of a closed office or in a conference room right next to the employee break room? Bank space planning ensures the former, instead of the latter. It’s something that’s easy to appreciate within the context of the bank environment.
There’s a lot that goes into bank space planning, beyond setting space aside for different activities. Where, how, and when employees and customers have access to that space matters. Banks need to deploy space in an intelligent capacity, and it starts with planning.
What is bank space planning?
Bank space planning is about coordinating space for different business operations within the context of facilities. Whether it’s personal loans, mortgages, investment products, or something else entirely, banks need to devote space to different operations.
Space planning ensures they not only create space that meets these needs, but also that it’s coordinated within facilities. Visitors shouldn’t go to the third floor to visit tellers. Likewise, not just anyone should have access to the mortgage officers on the fifth floor. Organizing space within facilities is second only to delegating it to different applications.
Ultimately, bank space planning culminates in a floor plan that meets the needs of the bank’s operations. No matter why someone visits, they’ll find a space suited to their needs, positioned within facilities in a way that makes sense.
Benefits of space planning for banks
Space planning takes foresight and understanding. Assessment of operations and facilities tells administrators how to best-use space. It’s up to managers to choreograph a floor plan that allocates enough square footage to each line of business. Within the context of the right floor plan, space planning offers numerous benefits:
- 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
Everything from facility efficiency to atmosphere and ambiance factors into space planning. Well-planned facilities are easily navigable, secure, helpful, and accommodating. Conversely, uncoordinated or properly proportioned facilities can be confining, constraining, and generally hindering to employees and customers alike.
Facility managers need to take a clear look at available space and demand for space. This mindful distribution of square footage ensures a frictionless environment that’s also more flexible, agile, and accountable.
How does bank space planning software help?
To coordinate banks according to modern-day customer demands, facility managers need to account for numerous variables. The only true way to organize space with all variables in mind is through bank space planning software. Space planning software brings together the variables, criteria, and digital tools facility managers need to execute on a well-formulated floor plan.
For example, it’s easy to model facilities digitally and use drag-and-drop tools when iterating a floor plan. Administrators can see exactly how facilities shake out during the planning process. This, combined with built-in rules and standards, ensures facilities designed with accountability and efficiency equally top-of-mind. Software tracks iterations and changes, and makes designing even the most complex floor plans simpler.
It’s also nearly impossible to consider effective space planning without the data behind where and how allocated space performs. Software brings data and decision-making together within a single platform, which allows administrators to identify needs, address obstacles, and plan effectively, all at the same time.
What do bank customers expect?
As we think about why people visit the bank, the need for space planning becomes immediately evident. There are important meetings about sensitive information happening daily, between financial professionals and customers who need to feel comfortable in the space where they’re interacting. Customers expect a space that accommodates them and bank employees need to feel supported by facilities as they seek to deliver service.
Bank space planning is part of cultivating facilities that support customers. While it’s vital to offer people robust online banking tools in this digital age, equally as important is the ability to welcome them into an office to talk about their investments or discuss an upcoming loan. Curated facilities set the tone and help banks deliver solutions best-suited to an in-person visit.
Keep reading: Bank Space Utilization