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The Future of IWMS: Demand for Facility Tools on the Rise as Workplaces Digitize  

With the growing number of point solutions in the market, some may think that an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) is no longer necessary. But, having one central tool to house all facility and asset data does have its benefits—and it’s becoming even more important when thinking about the future. Specifically, an IWMS is a key component when integrating building information modeling (BIM) and building management system (BMS) data to create a digital twin.

Analysts agree: An IWMS is becoming more important with each passing year. A Verdantix research report projects the market for IWMS solutions to reach $737 million by 2024, with a billion-dollar opportunity encompassing computer-aided facility management (CAFM) and computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) solutions in the periphery. The key driver behind the growing smart building software market? Digital twins and the potential for data-driven insights that empower more cost-efficient facility operations.

Archibus, by iOFFICE + SpaceIQ stands as an IWMS market leader. The platform offers comprehensive systems for optimizing built environments—whether you’re keeping up with growth, reducing portfolio costs, or optimizing the workplace to bring out the best in employees. Start simple, and evolve into a system that keeps your organization at the forefront of innovation.

Here’s a look at some of the ways Archibus sets the standard for IWMS and why companies across the world have made it their de facto platform for centralizing digital facility operations.

Manage data in one place for quick decision making

Point solutions are great for fixing a specific problem or bridging a unique gap in a data ecosystem. Unfortunately, they do little outside of what they’re intended to. As workplaces become increasingly digitized ecosystems, point solutions can’t keep up with synergistic demands. Businesses need a centralized platform for data aggregation and integration: a backbone for their digital ops.

Archibus enables a holistic view of your built environment by quickly integrating data with any platform, software, sensors, or other technologies in your tech stack. More important, it’s easy to add on and expand the workplace datasphere in the future with an open platform.

Meets your organization’s global and local needs

Business isn’t defined by borders anymore, and even small companies can have a global presence. The ability to meet global objectives while streamlining local operations is imperative to success. Archibus enables data-driven solutions at both macro and micro levels.

Adapt your built environment based on industry trends and best practices, as well as local, state, and federal regulations, and any other needs specific to your business. Archibus also leverages an experienced Global Partner Network that understands the market and your business, to provide unique solutions, tailored to enabling success at-scale.

Easily perform daily tasks

Whether in a traditional office format, a hub for flex work, or a coworking model, workplaces and broader facilities require everyday oversight. The scope of that oversight depends on the model and the needs of employees. Whatever the demands, Archibus empowers facility managers to realize and meet them.

Archibus’ IWMS platform leverages a more efficient and simpler user interface (UI), while delivering the full functionality and powerful user experience (UX) needed to execute a full range of essential tasks. From simple upkeep by internal staff to managing a team of third-party vendors, everyday tasks happen through Archibus.

Quickly launch across the organization

Easy implementation of the Archibus platform assists with a straightforward deployment and rapid adoption, from data entry to business outcomes. From facility managers to executive management teams, key stakeholders have instant access to powerful insights and performance-driven tools. It’s easy to get everyone on the same page with a cloud-based system that serves as a single source of truth for facilities data.

Best of all, Archibus offers help as you grow. Whatever or whenever the need arises, Archibus provides unmatched support and services backed by 35+ years of experience and a deep understanding of the global IWMS market. Archibus is even available out-of-the-box in seven languages, and easily configured for others.

Enhance your data

Integrated workplaces and smart building ecosystems are only getting bigger, more complex, and more important. The data they yield has the potential to drive key decision-making for organizations at every level of operation. Archibus brings it all together in one place, through unparalleled data aggregation capabilities.

Improve your energy, asset lifecycle, strategic space planning, and more with existing BIM data via a seamless bi-directional integration with Autodesk. Add GIS data for even more context. No matter how many inputs you have or the prevalence of the data itself, Archibus paves the way for building an advanced digital twin—and all the capabilities that come with it.

The IWMS era is only beginning

Point solutions are popular right now as companies begin to dabble in digitizing their facility operations. But, according to a report by IDC, they’re a far cry from the solutions these companies actually need.

Too many organizations are missing the point of having an integrated workplace management system and are using an assorted collection of applications,” said Juliana Beauvais, research manager, Enterprise Applications at IDC. “Fully leverage all the capabilities of an IWMS to create a long-term strategy for your organization’s workplaces, campuses, facilities, and retail stores.”

Archibus is leading the charge into a future where digital facilities management is the norm. Our open platform allows organizations to manage their entire built environment, with integrations that support BIM, BMS, HR, and IT systems. Archibus centralizes key facility management components to help organizations manage their workspace, facilities, asset performance, and portfolio—all in one place.

Bottom line? Archibus makes workplaces good for business and great for people by providing an easy-to-implement, flexible, and scalable platform. The IWMS platform helps businesses manage their entire built environment and integrated data, no matter the size or scope of their operations.

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

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Blog Workplace Thought Leadership

Leverage the CLEAN Future and LIFT America Acts with an IWMS

By Fred Kraus
Sr. Director Product, Archibus
iOFFICE + SpaceIQ

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce recently introduced two bills—the CLEAN Future Act and LIFT America Act—that are focused on clean energy and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in America by 2050.

What does that mean for U.S. workplaces? A lot. The impacts on businesses and organizations of all types are substantial. Managing the nuances of each act will require powerful technologies – such as an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) – to meet the stringent requirements geared toward sustainability.

What is the CLEAN Future Act?

The Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act is legislation designed to ensure the U.S. achieves net-zero greenhouse gas pollution no later than 2050. The policy also includes an interim target of reducing 2005 levels of pollution by 50 percent no later than 2030.

These targets have been set by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a global group that believes that all nations must work together to aggressively cut carbon pollution. The panel said achieving net-zero greenhouse gas pollution by 2050 will help the world avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change.

What is the LIFT America Act?

The Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s (LIFT) America Act is legislation aimed at reducing energy and water usage in U.S. facilities, including hospitals, community drinking water plants, and schools.

These changes are meant to modernize infrastructure, fight the effects of climate change, and improve public health standards. The policy is designed to improve:

  • Energy efficiency and clean energy
  • Electric vehicle infrastructure
  • Drinking water
  • Broadband internet access
  • Public health infrastructure

Impacts on U.S. Businesses and Organizations

The CLEAN Future and LIFT America acts will directly impact businesses and organizations by alternating building requirements and energy standards across the country. If passed, the CLEAN Future Act would require building owners to:

  • Benchmark annual energy and water usage via the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® – this applies to buildings greater than 50,000 square feet and buildings already in compliance with local benchmarking ordinances are exempt
  • Develop a model building energy code using ASHRAE 90.1
  • Increase building energy performance standards

The LIFT America Act will place additional requirements on federally owned structures, including:

  • Reduce average facility energy intensity by 2.5 percent each year (relative to their 2018 baseline)
  • Reduce potable water consumption by 3 percent each year (relative to their 2007 baseline), for a total of 54 percent reduction by 2030

Increasing Sustainability with an IWMS

Many organizations struggle to find cost-effective ways to reduce their carbon footprint and ensure employee safety and wellness. Technology can streamline processes to effectively track and measure sustainability goals.

An integrated workplace management system (IWMS) platform, including one offered by Archibus, an iOFFICE + SpaceIQ product, makes it easier for organizations to comply with the more aggressive standards outlined by the CLEAN Future and LIFT America acts. A web-based IWMS platform can track key processes like energy and waste management, which helps organizations better understand the impact they have on the environment.

Organizations can utilize Archibus apps to align with their unique business needs, including:

  • Sustainability Assessments: Regular sustainability assessments allow organizations to measure performance indicators, mitigate risk, and reduce their carbon footprint
  • Energy Management: Many organizations have inefficient energy management practices that are difficult to find and cost them thousands of dollars each year – benchmarking, tracking, and management tools help control costs and increase sustainability
  • Green Building: Whether companies must meet new legislation requirements for individual buildings or across their portfolio, the green building app will help them achieve those goals
  • Waste Management: Efficient waste management systems allow organizations to improve health practices and minimize risks
  • Emergency Preparedness: The right IWMS tools overlap with business continuity planning, helping organizations recover quickly in emergency situations
  • Hazard Abatement: Identifying and abating indoor environmental hazards can be time-consuming, but this feature streamlines the process and keeps organizations safer
  • Health & Safety: From workplace safety accidents to PPE, organizations can gain greater control over health and safety protocols
  • Hazardous Materials: Quickly retrieving material safety information helps to protect building occupants and cut compliance costs

Where to start: Sustainability Assessments and Energy Management

Businesses and organizations don’t need to wait for the CLEAN Future and LIFT America acts to launch sustainability measures. IWMS technology makes the concept of environmental sustainability a reality by tracking, ranking, and documenting details on the condition and use of physical assets.

Manual evaluation using spreadsheets and other archaic methods are replaced by objective and systematic ways to identify and prioritize facility replacements, upgrades, and renovations based on environmental sustainability criteria.

Using data from a central repository in Archibus, building owners/managers can:

  • Establish proactive sustainability processes that can improve operational efficiencies, enhance stakeholder work environments, and boost asset value
  • Identify which assets should be repaired, renovated or replaced to achieve environmental efficiency goals or support an existing LEED™ or BREEAM® rating program
  • Improve capital budgeting and planning capabilities by tracking costs and budgets associated with environmental deficiencies
  • Increase efficiency of sustainability efforts by integrating assessments with work order management and by using a unified data repository

An energy management solution is also easy to implement in order to aggregate, evaluate, and optimize energy and utility spending decisions and reduce unnecessary consumption and costs. With Archibus, organizations can:

  • Evaluate consumption patterns to help renegotiate rates and consolidate energy providers
  • Reduce business risk and exposure to changes in energy costs or carbon emissions regulation thought what-if analyses
  • Track energy expenditures against a business plan or objective benchmarks

For more information on sustainability assessments and using IWMS technology to set the stage for compliance with the CLEAN Future and LIFT America acts, visit www.archibus.com.

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Blog

Manage the Three Phases of Commercial Leasing 

By Danielle Moore
Director, Channel Marketing
iOFFICE + SpaceIQ

When it comes to commercial leasing, there are three key phases to consider: onboarding, operation, and termination. Organizations with extensive portfolios face the daunting task of tracking numerous leases in varying phases of their lifecycles and variable terms of tenancy. No two buildings are the same, which requires flexibility in a company’s approach to lease management.

An integrated workplace management system (IWMS), such as Archibus, by iOFFICE + SpaceIQ, provides a centralized repository, flexible dashboards, automated alerts, and other critical tools for efficient and effective portfolio management. The application helps portfolio managers streamline data entry, automate lease information-gathering and management, and improve analytic capabilities—all at a high service level.

Lease oversight at every phase

Lease administration is a different animal depending on where in the cycle a particular lease is. Portfolio managers need to be keenly aware of each phase and the duties that come with it:

  • Onboarding: The acceptance, setup, and activation of an asset
  • Operation: The payment, accrual, management, servicing, and maintenance of an asset
  • Termination: The formal close-out of an asset contract

Proper management throughout the lease lifecycle helps companies stay on top of their biggest overhead expenses. From negotiating terms and signing the best possible lease contract, to proper cost accrual and depreciation tracking, to archival of real estate asset data after lease termination, it’s critical to have a centralized system of management.

How Archibus Leases assists portfolio managers

Archibus Leases allows organizations to manage their entire portfolio—whether they lease or own properties. Portfolio managers gain access to a variety of tools and data resources necessary to handle every phase of the corporate lease lifecycle and approach each phase with tact.

Whether it’s automating lease administration tasks from the get-go or contextualizing lease costs into easy-to-identify trends and forward-looking budgets, Archibus enables a better standard of commercial lease management. Here’s how:

Onboarding

Onboarding is a crucial first step in the lease lifecycle. It establishes the asset and unlocks growth opportunities for the business—but only if portfolio managers are able to control overhead and optimize lease admin. Archibus brings broad visibility to onboarding, to ensure every lease contract gets off on the right terms.

  • Eliminate time wasted locating and reviewing leases and specific responsibility clauses
  • Confirm landlord vs. tenant responsibilities to avoid delivery and payment confusion

Operation

Whether for a one-, three-, five-year term or longer, real estate managers need to optimize the asset for the life of the lease. This means relying on data-driven insights pertaining to cost, performance, and budget, while also ensuring proper asset maintenance and compliance standards. Archibus brings critical data to the forefront, to enable a higher standard of lease oversight during the operational phase.

  • Provide immediate online access to lease details, to easily validate invoices
  • Monitor leases, options coming due, alerts and more from a single screen
  • Assign three levels of urgency to alerts, personalized for all portfolio types
  • Summarize monthly recurring costs across the lease portfolio for an entire year
  • Sort costs according to user preferences, such as geography, cost category, or year

Termination

Just because a lease is coming to an end doesn’t mean there aren’t important decisions surrounding how to handle termination. Real estate managers need insights and records to ensure they’re able to offload the asset smoothly and with full transparency for accounting and tax purposes. Archibus brings enhanced visibility to lease termination proceedings and ensures accurate, accessible, thorough records beyond the lease end date.

  • Ensure all necessary documentation is accessible to properly terminate a lease
  • Track all terminated assets for the purpose of transparent record keeping

Optimize commercial lease management

Overhead costs are the most burdensome for a business—but also among the most necessary when it comes to enabling growth. It’s important to find a tool to assist in lease management across your entire portfolio, no matter what phase of the lifecycle they’re in.

Archibus Leases helps real estate managers see every phase of the lease lifecycle as an opportunity to leverage an asset for maximum ROI. It’s a tool that keeps lease data in one place, to make it easier to track and manage your entire portfolio.

At a time when the cost of commercial real estate is high and demand for centralized workplaces is shifting, it’s never been more important to clamp down on commercial lease management with software that enables a better standard of oversight across all three phases: from onboarding, to operation, to termination.

Keep reading: What Can You Do with Real Estate Analytics?

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Blog

Archibus OnSite Makes Fielding Work Orders Simpler 

Maintaining facilities takes an organized, concerted effort. There are so many facets of property upkeep to consider, each demanding its own approach to maintenance, repair, and improvement. Businesses need a tool on their side that enables not only visibility into these tasks, but also streamlined management of them. It’s why iOFFICE + SpaceIQ created Archibus OnSite.

Archibus OnSite is a new mobile solution that helps organizations efficiently manage preventive and corrective maintenance work orders, assets, and compliance. It’s designed with total facilities in mind, to enable groups and teams charged with keeping them up and running right.

Companies are taking a closer look at overhead

In the era of flex work, companies are paying more attention to the cost of overhead. What they’re finding are opportunities to cut back—not necessarily on space, but on the cost of maintaining that space. It’s all about cost optimization through better workplace efficiency.

Organizations are wasting too much time on administrative overhead: completing work orders in the office and planning work routes ahead of time. Instead, they need to efficiently maintain facilities and assets in a manner that optimizes for availability, uptime, good working order, compliance, and cost. They’re turning to Archibus OnSite to help them take a smarter approach to broad facility upkeep, and reaping the benefits that come with it.

How Archibus OnSite helps maximize overhead ROI

Archibus OnSite is built on a modern, mobile framework that makes facility teams and field workers more efficient. From fielding and sorting work orders, to built-in compliance checklists—Archibus OnSite puts critical resources in the hands of craftspeople charged with vital facilities tasks. Additional core features planned for the app include:

  • Location awareness for easy work planning and routing
  • Push notifications for instant reminders of what’s important
  • Questionnaire framework for regulatory compliance maintenance checklists

Unlike other maintenance solutions that focus solely on ticket management, Archibus OnSite takes a holistic approach to facilities management. It connects asset, compliance, and maintenance management with floor plans and maps to optimize the management of tasks—including locating and planning work.

Archibus OnSite optimizes maintenance operations by bringing visibility and flexibility to the actions that enable them. Beyond realizing the need for maintenance, upkeep, or repair, Archibus OnSite helps facility teams execute with purpose, to get the job done more efficiently and at a lower cost to the organization.

Archibus OnSite is part of a full-featured IWMS

Archibus OnSite works seamlessly with other Archibus modules to enable an even more streamlined approach to facility upkeep. The Archibus integrated workplace management system (IWMS) delivers a full profile of relevant data to Archibus OnSite users, giving them even more capabilities in the field, so they can do their job better. Over time, core synergies will include:

  • Connect to assets for a complete asset inventory and maintenance history to inform lifecycle decisions.
  • Extend to compliance and condition assessment solutions for a comprehensive view of assets under management.
  • Connect to space data and GIS to include floor plans, campus plans, and maps for wayfinding, planning, and locating.

Archibus OnSite allows facility teams to do more, faster. Robust integrations provide immediate, relevant data for an informed response to any support ticket, no matter where it originates or what the scope of work is.

Archibus OnSite as a comprehensive maintenance solution

As overhead costs loom large over organizations, Archibus OnSite ensures a higher standard of upkeep and quicker responsiveness that reduces asset maintenance costs and maximizes the ROI of the workplace using:

  • Robust and configurable workflows (approvals, estimating, scheduling, checklists, etc.)
  • Labor scheduling and workforce management and coordination tools
  • Part inventory management for simplified inventories and better cost control
  • Asset lists, maintenance history, reference documents, and compliance sheets

Archibus OnSite brings a broader level of oversight to facility upkeep and puts organizations more in-control of their response to everyday facilities tasks. No matter where or when maintenance demands arise, Archibus OnSite ensures a well-coordinated response.

The time for smarter asset management is now

Overhead costs may seem like a burden, but it’s vital to remember that real estate is an asset. To maximize asset ROI and more than justify the overhead costs that come with it, companies need to focus on the variables they can control—namely, their response to facilities maintenance.

Archibus OnSite is a ready-to-deploy, easy-to-integrate, versatile app that transforms the way an organization manages its largest asset. With seamless connectivity to other Archibus solutions, availability in seven languages, and the full support of iOFFICE + SpaceIQ behind it, Archibus OnSite will change the way companies think about and approach facility maintenance.

To learn more, check out our webinar or request a demo.

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Stay on Top of Day-to-Day Operations 

By Danielle Moore
Director, Channel Marketing
iOFFICE + SpaceIQ

When you think about the traits that make a business successful, you might consider financial prowess, passion, and patience as crucial attributes. However, an oft-neglected trait has become increasingly crucial to defining success in a post-pandemic world: flexibility.

The ability to adapt to changing situations is extremely underrated yet extremely important. If the changing rules and regulations over the past year in reaction to Covid-19 have taught us anything, it’s that nothing is permanent, and everything is “figureoutable.”

It is naturally easier to talk about adapting than it is to actually make those changes to your business; when you have to manage an entire global portfolio with different property types and functions as well as the people who populate those spaces in a virus-sensitive society, space usage and availability can change in an instant. In addition, staying on top of day-to-day operations, spotting trends, and analyzing all of the data can be overwhelming, to say the least.

Portfolio managers who want to address current problems while identifying opportunities to better use their spaces can turn to an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) for insights. An IWMS with portfolio management provides oversight for any size real estate portfolio, improves root cause analysis to easily isolate problems and uncover potential opportunities, minimizes cost, and maximizes current commercial real estate (CRE) holdings.

A Triple-Win Scenario

A web-based IWMS with portfolio management affords businesses on-demand access to a centralized collection of data, which empowers more informed decisions about CRE.

A common operating framework of land, structures, buildings, and leases creates a more collaborative, better-informed workflow that enhances flexibility and increases scalability. This can have a trickle-down effect, benefiting all stakeholders and establishing a precedence of dynamic, situation-proof problem-solving.

Operationally, there are three positives to an IWMS with portfolio management. This triple-win includes benefits for:

  • Your Business: An IWMS can improve the analysis and management of real estate assets and align them with the company’s long-term mission. A key strategy is maintaining current spaces or invest in new ones as hybrid work – including remote work – grows.The opportunity to evaluate and track facilities as a dynamic asset allows companies to take advantage of vacancies and investment opportunities. An IWMS empowers business unit managers to easily review assets and space assigned to them. In turn, they can rationalize capacity, identify spaces that are no longer needed, and redesign or repurpose spaces to fit the changing needs of employees or potential subletters.Data visualization via the optional geographical tool to link to GIS functionality in the IWMS delivers map-based perspectives of properties. Real estate managers can then visualize the total impact and effectiveness of real estate spending and decision-making across business units. This makes it easier to develop quick, informed strategies based on the portfolio’s ability to fulfill the organizational mission. Additionally, seamless integration with other IWMS applications like capital budgeting, project management, space management, and enterprise move management maximizes CRE optimization for the business as a broad unit.
  • Your Employees: Data analysis and space planning are critical to prioritize the changing needs of employees in uncertain times. An organization’s ability to remain flexible and competitive for the benefit of its employees is pertinent to its success as a whole; higher employee satisfaction leads to higher engagement and productivity.Careful consideration of safety and health precautions, and opportunity for collaboration, are cornerstones of any return to the workplace plan. An IWMS tracks space usage, which allows employers to meet the unique needs of their employees. This data may result in creation of quieter, distraction-free spaces where employees can concentrate on work or the development of a hybrid work environment that makes it easy to switch between working from home and working in a group setting. The overall goal stays the same: decrease a potential loss of productivity.
  • Your Customers: Time is the only asset you can freely spend… but can’t ever create or purchase more of. Because of this, it must be used wisely.Less time spent on decision-making allows businesses to spend more time on customer service. An IWMS allows managers responsible for real estate assets to command every detail of a CRE portfolio and proactively offer better customer service.Client expectations have evolved with COVID-19. The growth of the digital landscape now requires businesses to be responsive 24/7. An IWMS provides unit managers with a self-sustaining platform available at their fingertips to answer client questions and concerns more quickly.

Face the Future with Flexibility

Creating an agile workplace that is able to withstand change and sustain positive business-employee relationships, as well as business-client connections, is crucial for continued growth. But it’s not a simple task.

The ability to be flexible is paramount and the only way to be recession-proof and ensure forward momentum. Implementing a SaaS solution like Archibus to securely modernize and up level is a means of committing to continued business improvement, employee productivity, and customer satisfaction – no matter what uncertain times might bring.

The result? An organization in control of accurate property and performance information that is designed to meet the needs of every party involved, from the business as a broad entity to individual employees and customers.

Keep reading: What is IWMS Software?

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Blog

Gas and Electric Space Planning

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

What makes a utility company? Other than its ability to provide gas, electric, water, and other essentials to homes and businesses, it also needs to support those utilities. That means departments for billing, customer service, dispatch, legal, and countless other departments. To accommodate them all and facilitate a cohesive, steadfast utility provider takes no small amount of gas and electric space planning.

Space planning for utilities functions like any other commercial business: identifying the various business lines and allocating space for them. Where it becomes different for utilities is in how that space shakes out. Massive call centers, high-tech dispatching departments, and busy billing sectors are hallmarks of a utility provider, and they all demand the right type of space to ensure smooth operations.

Gas and electric space planning factors heavily into the company’s ability to meet the demands of customers relying on it. The right space, allocated in the right proportion, helps utility company employees work effectively—which leads to happy, satisfied customers.

What is gas and electric company space planning?

The logistics of delivering gas or electric to populations in the tens or hundreds of thousands—or very likely, the millions—start with facility management. If the many moving parts of a utility company aren’t working together to turn the cogs, customers aren’t getting the essential gas or electric service they need. It comes down to space planning.

Space planning ensures that each business unit of a utility company has enough space to do its job, and that it’s able to work in synergy with the rest of the company. Billing and customer service are side-by-side, to ensure customer claims get due attention quickly. Monitoring and analytics work alongside dispatch to expedite response in emergency situations. Even ensuring facilities are easily navigable to the public is a form of conscious space planning.

Forethought to space allocation and capacity means forethought to operations. Does every business unit have the space it needs to be effective? Do the layouts across facilities support a common mission? Is there synergy between collaborative elements of the organization? The answer to each question needs to be a resounding yes for gas and electric companies to function in the capacity customers expect it to.

Benefits of space planning for gas and electric companies

The decision to organize, allocate, and arrange facilities culminates in a series of benefits that enable better performance out of utility providers. Some of the chief benefits that come with well-orchestrated facilities include:

  • Utility company facilities become more accessible to employees and visitors
  • 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

Giving everyone the space they need to execute mission-critical tasks is paramount for utility companies. It’s the difference between being able to deliver a consistent level of reliable service and constantly trying to patch gaps in the behind-the-scenes management of energy infrastructure.

How does gas and electric company space planning software help?

Gas and electric operations are prolific. Keeping track of each line of business and its needs, while coordinating operations across them all, takes a concerted effort. Gas and electric company space planning software makes it possible. It offers the essential tools and automations to identify space needs, allocate accordingly, and factor facilities into operational demands.

Does it make sense to allocate 1,000 square feet to call center operations? Should dispatch and digital analysis ops share an entire floor? Is it worthwhile to expand the real estate portfolio and move billing and collections to its own facility? Software provides the data-driven answers utility companies need to these questions, by way of assessing and understanding space demands and constraints. By assessing trends and deploying actionable data, utility companies can stay agile as demand for service grows and the nature of the industry changes.

Space planning software also puts utility companies in control of overhead costs. As companies compare their need for space against leasing costs across different facilities, it becomes easier to consolidate, conserve, or expand with intent. Software again provides the data necessary to understand space metrics in context to company operations. Utility companies can rely on space planning software to help them identify need, sandbox solutions, observe cost changes, and create solutions that work—all before they’re actually deployed.

Space planning for every line of business

Utility companies are so much more than the energy and resource they provide. They’re responsible for customer service and engagement regarding those utilities. They need to maintain and service utilities across the region. And, most important, they need to ensure that the people relying on them for answers to life’s most essential commodities are well-served at all times. The key to all of these things are facilities that support streamlined, efficient operations for the utility company itself.

Gas and electric space planning is an important step in enabling superior service. Utility providers that recognize their many roles and obligations are better-equipped to allocate the appropriate space to them. When they do, everyone wins.

Keep reading: Gas and Electric Facilities Management Software Benefits

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Blog

Gas and Electric Stack Planning

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

One of the most unique features about utility companies is their decentralized operation. While it might have a large headquarters in the heart of its service area, a utility provider also tends to have numerous satellite offices. Whether it’s a local bill-pay depot, a field station, a call center, or a dispatch location, utility companies need to track how they’re using space across these many different locations. It’s where gas and electric stack planning come in handy.

Stack planning helps utility providers contextualize their sprawl. How many square feet are call centers A, B, and C? What percentage of the company’s real estate is devoted to billing and collections? What’s the context of service station square footage vs. the number of service techs in the field? These questions lead to insights about operational capabilities—and they’re all answered by looking at the stack plan.

What is a stack plan and how does it help gas and electric companies improve their efficiency? Here’s how a top-down view of how space equates to more effective management of space—and the benefits that come with it.

What is gas and electric company stack planning?

Stack planning is a top-down view of space allocated across a company’s many business lines. In the case of gas and electric stack planning, it involves looking at the many different business lines, locations, and operational expectations that rely on square footage.

The stack plan itself is the visual representation of space makeup within the company. It’ll show that call centers make up 24% of occupied space, that there are three facilities in the company’s portfolio with space allocated to bill pau, and that the total cost of HR facilities is $49,000 annually. Whatever space metric is most important to the company, the stack plan quantifies it.

The act of stack planning itself involves using insights from the stack plan to inform major decisions about space allocation and occupation. For example, if the company needs to house systems monitoring personnel in larger facilities, it may choose to take applicable space from another business line with more than necessary. The result? Better decisions about how to use space in a way that best-supports operations.

Benefits of stack planning for gas and electric companies

Stack planning unlocks a world of insights and opportunities for oil and gas companies as they seek to streamline facility operations in pursuit of efficiency. Some of the biggest and most prevalent benefits 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

Utility companies that prioritize stack planning put themselves in a position to understand real estate as it relates to the greater mission of the company. Are facilities spread out in such a way that they run efficiently at cost? With the ability to look at space from a cost standpoint, through a spatial needs lens, and with mind for operations makes stack planning an important tool in any utility company’s arsenal.

How does gas and electric company stack planning software help?

Stack planning hinges on the ability to visually contextualize space at every level. To do this takes robust software. From digital floor plans, to integrations for cost and usage data, to automations that enable data visualization, gas and electric company stack planning software is a vital tool.

Stack planning software not only enables the visual stack plan, it assists in modeling changes within a sandbox environment. Utility companies can’t afford to disrupt operations—if they do, it could disrupt service. Sandboxing within software allows administrators to make changes, review options, and play with allocation figures to optimize floor plans—all before any physical changes occur. Sandboxing also provides modeling data that extrapolates trends for forward-looking insights.

Finally, stack planning software is as dynamic as utilities companies themselves. As they grow and expand, and service demands increase, so does the ability to reassess facilities. The stack plan puts administrators in control by showcasing current allocations in the context of operational data, to illuminate areas of opportunity. Stack plans allow for space optimization at the highest level, on an ongoing basis.

Contextualize space across sprawling operations

Spawl is part of the business when it comes to utilities. If you’re serving several hundred square miles or the better part of a region, you need office space that spans the area. Accounting for that space becomes an important part of keeping operations fluid and efficient. Gas and electric stack planning puts utilities companies in control of where and how they allocate space, and helps contextualize the function of that space in serving the community.

Utility companies that embrace stack planning will find themselves in a position to not just continue serving customers, but to optimize the efficiency by which they deliver those services. Recognizing the need for space and using the stack plan to allocate it is a game changer—especially when it comes to ranging utility providers responsible for delivering a uniform standard to everyone in their service area.

Keep reading: Gas and Electric Space Planning Software Benefits

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Gas and Electric Space Utilization

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

Utilities are essential—there’s no getting around them. From power plants to field stations, billing offices to corporate campuses, utility companies need tight operations to ensure they’re meeting the exacting standards of the industry they’re in. Smooth-running facilities top the list: a place where essential employees can perform critical services without hindrance. To make this a reality takes a focus on gas and electric space utilization.

Gas and electric companies that use workplaces effectively put themselves in a position to better-serve the local population. Whether it’s responding to outage calls or processing billing, optimized facilities put utility companies in a position to meet the demands of customers beyond essential gas or electric services.

How can better space utilization enable gas and electric companies to raise their standard for service? Read on to understand the role of facilities in providing essential services, and how a little optimization goes a long way.

What is gas and electric company space utilization?

While some companies have mission-critical operations that demand more attention than others, utility providers face demand from all sides. To ensure every facet of operations meets the expectations of customers, municipalities, regulatory agencies and more, these companies need to use space effectively. Good space utilization allows seamless operations across every aspect: from grid monitoring and service dispatch to customer service and billing departments.

In essence, space utilization is simply using available space to the best of its abilities. It means organizing the call center to maximize staffing without creating cross-talk between service calls. It’s about ensuring field stations are small, yet have everything they need to meet the needs of the local population. Even something like ensuring bill pay offices have lobbies big enough to support multiple teller windows and queues represents forethought to space utilization.

Allocated accordingly, space serves as a foundation for gas and electric companies—it enables them to perform every critical function demanded of them.

The benefits of space utilization for gas and electric companies

Beyond keeping the lights on and ensuring the gas flows safely, utility companies function like any other company: they need to run efficiently to ensure profitability. Space utilization plays a role in efficiency, which contributes to the bottom line. Here’s a look at some of the ways space utilization translates into tangible benefits for oil and gas companies:

  • 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

The chief takeaway of gas and electric space utilization is the ability of utility companies to maximize their overhead costs to deliver a higher standard of service more efficiently. Everyone relies on utilities, and the weight of that demand falls on gas and electric companies. Forethought to space utilization raises the caliber of service capability, so energy companies can do more with less.

How can gas and electric company space utilization software help?

Space utilization software is a lynchpin for gas and electric companies in pursuit of efficiency. Because so many aspects of utility operations are mission-critical and each deserves its own space to operate out of, utilization becomes a priority. And, because gas and electric companies have so many different facets of operations and unique space demands, software becomes necessary in managing them all.

Beyond allocating space within context, gas and electric company space utilization software also assists with the management of these spaces. From compliance with Department of Energy (DOE) standards, to OSHA controls, to general health and safety standards within spaces and buildings—software offers automation control for each of these standards. As utility companies change and adapt space, software provides the essential parameters, to ensure they’re not overlooked.

And, of course, digitization of space utilization paves the way for integration. With space metrics digitized, energy companies can tie them into everything from wayfinding, to reporting dashboards, to IoT sensors—all in pursuit of optimizing building efficiency. This correlates to better space utilization: companies can identify where inefficiencies in space allocation exist and alter them to ensure better contribution to company operations.

Utilities are essential, and so is space optimization

Utility providers constrained by their facilities strangle their ability to serve customers. Sure, they may provide consistent gas or electric by way of operations—but what about handling high volumes of service calls, helping customers with bill pay, or resolving account issues? These services are just as important, and they require space within facility to ensure results.

Gas and electric space utilization is a priority for utilities that understand their role beyond an energy supplier. Space that’s well-utilized is space spent helping customers when it comes to customer service and account management: invaluable offerings that utilities need to win at. Well-utilized space doesn’t happen by accident—it takes a realization of demand and the drive to meet it.

Keep reading: Gas and Electric Space Planning Software Benefits

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Gas and Electric Facilities Management

By Devon Maresco
Marketing Coordinator
SpaceIQ

Gas and electricity are essential to everyday life. We rely on utility companies to provide us with them all day, every day, 24/7. To do this, energy companies themselves need to keep the lights on and the workforce humming along, which means having facilities that support complex operations. Safe to say, there’s no substitute for a keen focus on gas and electric facilities management.

For gas and electric companies, facility management is a cornerstone of operations management. Whether they work in billing, customer service, dispatch, legal, HR, technical services, or some other line of business, employees need to come to work each day and find an environment that supports the work they’re doing. Without it, customers suffer; anyone turning to a utility company for answers about these essential commodities.

Thankfully, good facilities management at a utility company can trickle down to exceptional service and experience. Here’s how forethought to facilities turns into a positive experience for the population served by a utility provider.

What is gas and electric company facilities management?

Facilities management centers on the maintenance, upkeep, and optimization of buildings and workplaces. The more conducive facilities are to the activities that take place within them, the better the result of a utility company’s operations. This directly contributes to the level of service the company is able to offer.

Take bill pay, for example. Many customers pay their gas and electric bill in-person. If the building isn’t handicap accessible, there’s no room to queue in line, or the facilities themselves are dark and dingey, it translates to a poor customer service experience. The same goes for employees. If dispatch coordinators deal with spotty Wi-Fi, shoddy equipment, or a messy workplace, they’re not going to do their best job.

In total, facilities management encompasses six chief areas of focus: employee support, facility technologies, health and safety, training, environment and sustainability, and facility maintenance. According to the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA), these are the core pillars that bridge the gap between where and how employees work.

Benefits of facilities management for gas and electric companies

Facilities management has rippling benefits for gas and electric companies. Not only does it enable a better standard of work within workplaces, it also ensures a higher caliber of result to utility customers. When facilities encourage an optimal standard, that standard gets passed down the line. Some of the chief benefits stemming from good facilities oversight include:

  • Safe and secure facilities that promote accessibility, yet safeguard access
  • Streamlined 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 business growth

Whether it’s the central headquarters for a utility company or a field office serving a specific population, facilities are central to support. Whether it’s bill pay, dispatch, marketing, or municipal liaison, gas and electric companies need facilities that support every element of its ties to the community.

How does gas and electric company facility management software help?

The scope of utility operations is extensive—often covering huge swaths of the local population or a geographic region. With multiple facilities and complex lines of business within them, facility upkeep becomes a paramount focus. Gas and electric company facility management software brings this massive responsibility into a single interface, rife with tools to manage every important aspect.

Take support ticketing, for example. From burnt-out lights in Marketing to cross-talk interference from the electronics in Dispatch, utility workers submit facility maintenance tickets to a central system, which can prioritize and organize them accordingly. The result? Quicker maintenance and a higher standard of solution, which keeps the company chugging along with minimal interruption.

The sheer amount of data surrounding facilities is also simplified within a facility management platform. Administrators can quantify trends and make data-driven decisions based on information contextualized within facilities. Is it worth it to keep maintaining the current headquarters, or is moving to a new building the less-costly measure? What’s the frequency of HVAC maintenance? When’s the last time there was an internal OSHA audit? The answers to these questions come to fruition within facility management software.

There’s also the complexity of operations to consider. With multiple facilities and complex operations across them all, utility companies need a way to monitor everything succinctly. The answer is a cloud-based facility platform that yields insights at a glance and enables agility no matter what the next course of action is. Simply put: as utility companies grow, they need a centralized management system that grows in tandem.

Facility management helps keep the lights on for everyone

Businesses rely on utilities to keep their facilities up and running. No power? No gas? No water? No productivity, and no reason to come into the office. But to keep these critical power systems on and flowing, utility companies need to pay mind to their own facilities. Namely, they need to enable a workplace where every important cog in the company has a place to come together for the good of the entire community.

Gas and electric facilities management can be the difference between a utility provider that’s equipped to serve customers, and one that’s struggling to keep up with demand. It’s in the best interest of everyone that utility companies keep their own operations ship-shape, starting with facilities.

Keep reading: Gas and Electric Space Utilization Software Benefits