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By Dave Clifton
Enterprise-level companies do everything on a grand scale. Yet, even something as large as enterprise stack planning for a campus with thousands of workspaces needs a refined level of attention to ensure it’s done right. This is because often, enterprise success comes from the sum of the contributing parts. That means space efficiency, utilization, and optimization all hinge on the ability of facility managers to create a cohesive stack plan.
Stack planning at the enterprise level is a daunting task that takes tremendous foresight to the variables involved. What types of workspaces are available to you? How many employees are there in each business unit? What’s the breakdown of space by floor, building, or location? Figuring out these variables is a significant effort in and of itself—and putting them together in a stack plan can be even more arduous.
Why go through all the trouble? Because enterprise-level companies rely heavily on their facilities as an asset. When employees can interact with each other and the workplace in an effortless way, their results have the potential to be exceptional.
What is enterprise stack planning?
Enterprise companies have multiple business lines, each requiring space to ensure they’re able to contribute to the company’s operations. Accounting, Legal, Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, Executive, and dozens of other teams need space to call their own—and each department needs different space for different purposes. Stack planning offers a top-down view of the entire enterprise’s space allocation.
Enterprise stack planning is the simplest way for facility managers to understand space at a high level. 30% of space belongs to the sales team. Marketing’s facilities span floors three and five. There are nine shared conference rooms across three floors in Building C. These broad types of insights lend themselves to everything from operations planning to decision-making about how to best-use facilities. Facility managers have access to macro information at a glance, which allows them to make specific decisions about space in context.
The benefits of enterprise stack planning
Stack planning for enterprise companies offers significant benefits when approached correctly. On the surface, it translates into providing each business unit with the space it needs to function effectively. Beneath the surface is where the true benefits emerge. Some of the most prevalent 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 employees
- 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
Consider that the largest overhead expense for many enterprise companies is facilities and it quickly becomes apparent how beneficial stack planning is. Not only can efficient stack planning maximize the capability of facilities for bottom-line savings, it can also promote more efficient work for top-line growth.
Finally, one of the intangible benefits of effective stack planning is the effect it has on company culture. When employees in each business unit have space to work and be productive they’re more apt and able to collaborate—and to enjoy their time in the office. This translates to a better standard of work and a reduction of friction between employees, workplace, and the work itself.
How does enterprise stack planning software help?
The sheer scope of work associated with enterprise stack planning makes orchestrating space a monumental task. Enterprise stack planning software makes it easier. Software provides readymade analytics and integrations that bring together relevant information to promote useful insights. For example, software can provide utilization rates against different space allocations, allowing managers to see where space is underutilized, or where there’s demand for more.
Stack plan software also helps provide a truly macro view of enterprise space allocation. This means being able to see space distribution across a building, campus, or even multiple locations, for a complete and comprehensive picture of how space pans out. This drives better decision-making from portfolio managers as well—it’s easy to see where space efficiency can lead to cost savings through better portfolio management.
The ability to quickly assess and understand space is also a boon for facility managers. This aids in preparation of reports for executives, coordinate facility costs across different cost centers, and orchestrating facility operations around space constraints. Initiatives like hoteling or expansion/consolidation of facilities need a data-driven approach, and enterprise stack planning offers context for important decision-making about space.
A top-down view of commercial space allocation
Looking at the big picture is extremely important for enterprise companies. Yet, it’s also important to have a clear visual of the individual parts and pieces that make up that bigger picture. This is why stack planning is so important. At a grand scale, facility managers have a clear representation of the total space allocation of the company. In probing deeper, they can see the details necessary to orchestrate that space to meet demand.
Enterprise companies rely on their offices, buildings, campuses, and global locations to give them the competitive edge. To live up to this expectation, it’s vital to distinguish demand for space and allocate it accordingly.
Keep reading: Do You Need Enterprise Facility Management Software?