By Dave Clifton
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.