This multinational corporation markets and distributes food products, smallwares and kitchen equipment to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, and hospitality businesses like hotels, as well as wholesale to other companies that provide foodservice. After years of steady growth, for this Fortune 500 company, it became impossible to track movement and utilization inside the over 1.4 million square foot corporate campus.
The Manager of Safety and Security manages the two campuses: the Corporate Office featuring two buildings, 20 floors and a combined 800,000 square feet, and the second location with twin office buildings and 635,000 square feet. Prior to the addition of the second location to the portfolio, the organization implemented the FMS:Workplace Space and Move Management modules at the Corporate Office to keep up with the rapidly changing work environment.
When they opened the additional office, they knew they would need an IWMS system to manage such a large campus, but the organization’s locations traditionally work independently and don’t tend to share systems across locations. However, he saw the value in combining the two facilities into one platform. “It really became clear to me at the FM:Systems user conference. FM:Systems does a great job of building communities with their clients and helping people learn from each other and see that hey, this is a vision you can go for.”
“FMS:Workplace was really integral at the office because our teams were growing, expanding and changing as the business was growing, expanding and changing.”
– Manager of Safety & Security, Global Food Service Leader
Truly Understanding their Space Utilization
The Manager of Safety and Security saw the possibilities for improving utilization and processes by having comprehensive facilities data in a single platform, especially considering the growth the business was experiencing. “FMS:Workplace was really integral at the office because our teams were growing, expanding and changing as the business was growing, expanding and changing,” he says. “Teams move so regularly that we now do quarterly audits to ensure people are where they should be. FMS:Workplace has been the key factor for us in managing that.” The organization also has an integration with their HR system to send seating assignments into HR furthering the visibility to team and employee locations.
Easy Hoteling & Workspace Scheduling
The organization’s next challenge was managing conference rooms. Starting in 2019, the Manager of Safety and Security began doing research into a scheduling solution, and he didn’t have to go very far. “I was surprised to learn that our Fine Dining division, which has a set of conference rooms they manage independently, had a solution they were very happy with: FMS:Employee.” During the product demonstration, he discovered more than just conference room scheduling. “The hoteling piece really intrigued me. We have over 1,000 people in each building, and large teams that need to meet in specific areas. When I saw the interactive floor plans and the desk pucks, I was just floored.”
This Global Food Service Leader uses these solutions:
Response to COVID-19
The organization was still in the planning phase when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020. “At the time, we were still really focused on solving the conference room problem,” the Manager of Safety and Security recalls. “But when COVID happened, the conversation shifted entirely to hoteling.” Starting with the corporate headquarters, a hoteling strategy emerged as a clear solution to safely and responsibly bring employees back into the office.
Their long-term vision is a hybrid workplace where some employees have assigned seats managed in FMS:Workplace and others are mobile employees with access to desk reservations through FMS:Employee. Their hoteling strategy is a fixed area close to the elevators on every floor, 30 or 40 cubicles that are strictly hoteling. A fixed area with proximity to elevators also gives their cleaning crew the ability to come in and sanitize a targeted area, thereby increasing their efficiency.
Safe, Touchless Hoteling
Employees who want to use the hoteling resources can either reserve them in advance via the web, the Outlook add-in or the mobile app, or they can book a resource on the fly using the mobile app to scan QR Codes that are affixed to the desk. Conference rooms can also be reserved via FMS:Employee, but the team has taken steps to ensure they are used safely. Chairs have been removed to adhere to the six-foot physical distancing guideline, and they have added signage stating the maximum capacity.
As an organization, the company is deeply rooted in the hospitality industry, and they applied that hospitality mindset to welcoming employees back into the office. “The organization is all about our associates,” the Manager of Safety and Security says. “We believe in giving back to our associates, and we recognize the potential risk of coming into the office now. So we developed care packages to place on all the desks that include face masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes. And we are distributing those same care packages to our remote employees.” The company is also installing sanitization posts around the building with sanitizing wipes so employees can wipe down their desk and wipe down their area when they arrive and when they leave. The Manager of Safety and Security states, “It’s all about building confidence, building trust and supplying employees with the things they need to be safe.”
“I have never seen a company so dedicated to creating lines of communication between their clients so we can work through these challenges together.”
– Manager of Safety & Security, Global Food Service Leader
As of November 2020, the facilities are still closed due to the pandemic. But the facilities team is looking ahead to their return by concentrating on their implementation of FMS:Employee and their strategy for the safe return of employees. They began by identifying the critical teams and targeting a 25% return rate. They then surveyed employees to gauge their sentiment. The Manager of Safety and Security says, “There are some employees who have concerns, but we also have teams that are chomping at the bit to come back into the office. And so we are starting there and making sure we can deliver within the guidelines and keep people safe.”
His advice to others considering digital solutions for space management? “Focus. You have to focus on one or two key challenges that you want to solve for. If you try to take on too many different problems, it becomes overwhelming.” He also emphasizes the importance of building partnerships and relationships across the industry. “You need to talk to other people to figure out what works and what doesn’t. And that has been a huge advantage of working with FM:Systems. I have never seen a company so dedicated to creating lines of communication between their clients so we can work through these challenges together.”
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