Since we started working with FM:Systems over a decade ago, we have been able to significantly improve our performance and increase our workload. This has enabled us to focus on the bigger picture and become a more strategic player in the organization.

Dave Kuiper, Corporate Workplace Strategist

Background

Herman Miller creates great places to work by researching, designing, manufacturing, and distributing innovative interior furnishings that support companies, organizations and individuals all over the world. The company’s award-winning products, complemented by primary furniture-management services, generated nearly $2 billion in revenue during fiscal 2000. Herman Miller is widely recognized both for its innovative products and business practices, including the use of industry-leading, customer-focused technology. Herman Miller has been headquartered in Zeeland, Michigan, since their founding in 1923. Herman Miller employee-owners value and foster good design, participative management and environmental responsibility.

Facilities and Property Overview

Herman Miller’s west Michigan facilities encompass 10 buildings, totaling 2.6 million square feet. The five campuses house quite diverse office, warehouse and manufacturing functions. The corporate headquarters in Holland is called the Design Yard, with unique groupings of buildings reminiscent of American barn design. Not only does the Design Yard house office space – it is where Herman Miller concepts are designed and products are tested. Another unique building is the Green House, its sustainable architecture reflecting Herman Miller’s commitment to protecting the environment.

Challenges

Prior to implementing FM:Space, Herman Miller used three different processes to manage workplace information – a work order system, a real estate system and paper floor plans for space management. The systems did not “talk to each other” making workplace information difficult to gather and share. With the initial implementation of the FM:Systems solutions thirteen years ago, Herman Miller addressed these challenges. Over time, Herman Miller has continued to expand its implementation to address new business problems and create a comprehensive integrated workplace management system (IWMS).

Solution

In 1996 Dave Kuiper, corporate workplace strategist for Herman Miller, and his team reviewed several CAFM systems, evaluating them for capabilities, ease of operation and cost. After deciding upon FM:Space, Herman Miller’s in-house team proceeded with implementation. The team prepared CAD drawings, imported data from Human Resources, tested and then launched the system. Herman Miller implemented the FM:Interact Workplace Management Suite with the hands-on support of the FM:Systems consulting services team. Now that implementation is complete, all departments in the west Michigan facility use the expanded system – from site coordinators to project managers to workplace strategists. With FM:Interact the company benefits from enterprise-wide access to drawings and reports, stacking and strategic planning capabilities, and continued productivity improvements.

Results

Kuiper and his team have realized significant benefits as a result of implementing FM:Systems’ technology. These benefits include:

  • Reduced annual move spend. Herman Miller cut move costs from $2 million per year to less than $250,000 per year. They realized move spend reductions by enabling the use of space standards to simplify the move process, eliminating unneeded reconfiguration projects and reducing warehousing of furniture and related assets.
  • Increased productivity of the workplace strategies group. Since using FM:Space and companion modules, the company has been able to implement more efficient and automated workplace processes. This has directly resulted in enormous savings in time and effort, enabling Herman Miller to reduce move times by 88%. Kuiper notes, “FM:Interact helped us improve planning and coordination and, as a result, we can complete moves in one day as compared to seven days before implementation.”
  • Improved customer service with enterprise access to facility information. Since implementing FM:Interact, all employees have benefited from web-based access to employee information, floor plans, and views of move or service request status. Enterprise access to their facility data has helped Herman Miller improve customer service. “Our customer satisfaction score went from 90% to 97% during a three year period,” said Kuiper.
  • Improved accuracy of facility data. Better visibility into space and occupancy has helped Herman Miller improve utilization of space and served as the foundation for move and service request process improvements.
  • Automated publishing to CAD drawings. With FM:System’s Dynamic Drawings component, Herman Miller is able to automatically show updated information on CAD drawings in a web browser. In the past, the organization was publishing this information manually three times per week. Now end-users are able to get real-time, visual displays of move plans, vacancies, etc.

In addition to the benefits listed above, Herman Miller’s latest expansion of FM:Interact will continue to improve productivity.

“FM:Interact’s integration with Crystal Reports gives us the capability to do better reporting and make reports available online,” says Kuiper. “Right now we have several different areas of the company that are interested in getting access. IT is interested in having this information as well as telecom. In the past we had a manual process to generate a Crystal Report, and then we had to email it to the individual or department – FM:Interact saves us a lot of time by letting employees view real-time workplace reports from their Web browsers.”

Kuiper is also excited about the stacking and strategic planning module. The robust stacking feature allows Herman Miller to better determine future space requirements – an important factor considering the nearly 50% churn rate manufacturing companies endure – helping to best utilize the available space and reduce churn rates.

Additionally, the company plans to expand its use of the asset module beyond artwork in order to track telecom and IT resources, and plans to deploy FM:Interact internationally when their new UK facility opens.