What is churn? Simply put, it is the process of moving employees and assets—as individuals or as large groups.

All facility professionals have to deal with churn. Organizations are dynamic entities that must move people and equipment in order to adapt to change. Whether driven by business change, facility renovations, or the daily activities of occupants, moves are here to stay. In addition, moves are perhaps the most difficult—as well as the most visible—process facility professionals need to coordinate. There are many stakeholders (HR, IT, telecom, third party vendors, and, let’s not forget, the person who is moving), and it requires a lot of communication and interdependencies to be successful. There are very obvious and painful outcomes when moves go slowly or errors occur. But while churn is a fact of life, facility professionals can control the high costs, downtime, and confusion that are often symptoms of this condition.

High churn rates can add up to undesirable costs, both direct costs—such as the cost per move—as well as indirect costs—the interrupted and lost productivity. These undesirable costs can cost an organization millions of dollars each year.

There are two ways organizations can reduce churn rates:

  • Better strategic planning (no move costs less than the move that is avoided through better planning!)
  • Better move coordination to reduce the financial and productivity impact of each move

One of the biggest challenges is that most facility professionals get too caught up in their day-to-day challenges of managing moves and producing and maintaining a viable strategic plan. They need to add resources or find ways to streamline their move processes in order to gain the time they need to be more strategic and perform better planning.

Moves involve a lot of people and require a significant amount of communication between involved parties. At a high level, all moves follow the same process: request management, planning, coordination, and process review. While there are a variety of ways for dealing with the physical aspects of the move, facility professionals often overlook the significant amount of information and communications generated by these events. This is where technology can play a vital role. Integrated, Web-based space and move management systems can help to improve move coordination and reduce costs and downtime.

Striving for best practices can facilitate improvements in the move process. As part of that, an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) can assist in reaching the desired goals. I will be posting about “best practices of improving your move process” over the next several weeks, stay tuned!

Read the next post in this series, “Provide visibility into existing and planned space usage”