The bottom line is that productivity has been greatly increased since implementing this technology. The ratio of time saved is 10-to-1, for every ten minutes we spent prior to FM:Interact we now spend only one minute. I think that speaks for itself.

Bob Donahue, Space Planning Manager


Founded in 1984, MathWorks is the leading developer and supplier of software for technical computing and model-based design. The company has been profitable every year since its inception and is privately held. MathWorks’ customers are 1,000,000 of the world’s leading technical people, in 175 countries, on all seven continents. These customers work at the world’s most innovative technology companies, government research labs, financial institutions, and at more than 3,500 universities.

Facilities and Property Overview

Headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts, the company has offices throughout the world. Currently the facilities group manages 24 offices worldwide, totaling 27 buildings with approximately 700,000 square feet of space and more than 2,100 employees.


At MathWorks, head count growth has always exceeded available space. As a result it was important for the company to be able to maintain contingency space so that employees would be put in the right seat at the right time. For space planning, the facilities team manually color coded paper maps. Facilities then distributed the paper maps to departmental directors who would write employee names in the appropriate workspaces.

This time-consuming process took months to complete and could not be considered accurate because of the constant churn – typically more than 100% each year.

It became apparent that a new solution was needed which would allow MathWorks to better track its space and employees.


Bob Donahue, space planning manager for MathWorks, began searching for a solution that would help them remove paper from the space management process. This solution would need to track the constant churn, maintain accurate facility drawings and provide on-going updates as needed. After reviewing a number of solutions, Donahue soon realized that many applications were overly complicated and would require a large team and a long time frame to implement.

Throughout the evaluation process, FM:Systems’ technology continued to rise to the top. FM:System’s flagship product, the FM:Interact Workplace Management Suite, provided the core capabilities that MathWorks needed and would allow the company to add additional functionality over time. In addition, it was easy to understand, configure and would allow MathWorks to integrate their existing AutoCAD drawings.

“What use to take us days now takes us only minutes,”stated Bob Donahue, space planning manager at MathWorks. “FM:Interact gives us the opportunity to be much more strategic and allows us to make projections months in advance.”


Since implementing FM:Interact in 2004, the company has experienced significant results, including:

  • Rapid Implementation: The company was able to implement FM:Interact in less than one month including preparation of technical and needs analysis, software installation and configuration, and on-site training.
  • More efficient move management: With the help of FM:Interact, a team of two facility professionals moved over 500 employees with zero errors in only two weekends. Prior to FM:Interact, this move would have taken months and extensive resources.
  • Better management visibility into workplace information: At the push of a button the company has immediate access to space and employee information allowing Donahue to quickly provide critical data to executives and other departments.
  • Increased executive buy-in: Based on the hard numbers that Donahue was able to provide, the executive team has clearly seen the value in FM:Interact. Since implementing, Donahue and his team are working on a completely different level with the executive team. Instead of discussing the accuracy of capacity/occupancy numbers, they are able to utilize FM:Interacts “out of the box” reports to know exactly where the company is getting tight for space, which groups are involved, and exactly where the critical areas to focus on are located.
  • Integration with other enterprise systems: MathWorks has integrated FM:Interact with both its IT and HR systems. Nightly updates on changes such as new hires and transfers keep the workplace data up-to-date at all times.
  • Enterprise-wide expansion: While the system currently only manages the buildings located in the US, plans are in place to add all international office space in 2007.

MathWorks has also been pleased with the superior customer service provided by FM:Systems. Stated Donahue, “we have had great response from the FM:Systems team. Their support staff is always available and we never feel as though we are caught in a huge queue which can be typical with other companies.”

“The bottom line is that productivity has been greatly increased since implementing this technology. The ratio of time saved is 10-to-1, for every ten minutes we spent prior to FM:Interact we now spend only one minute. I think that speaks for itself.”