Stay on Top of Day-to-Day Operations Through A Web-Based IWMS with Portfolio Management

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.

To learn more request a demo.

By Danielle Moore
Director, Channel Marketing
iOFFICE + SpaceIQ

About IMS Consulting
For more than a decade, IMS Consulting has delivered the full scope of ARCHIBUS-related services to both government and commercial clients. As a Virginia Certified Small Business, IMS Consulting provides our clients with personalized attention by experienced ARCHIBUS certified consultants. Our experts work with our clients to thoroughly understand how they do business, identify their unique needs, and pinpoint opportunities to better manage their infrastructure, employ more efficient work processes, and make smarter capital budgeting decisions—both today and over the long term.

IMS Consulting specializes in the implementation of ARCHIBUS, the #1 real estate, infrastructure & facilities management solution in the world. ARCHIBUS is the global leader in streamlining how you manage your real estate, infrastructure, and facilities. Centralize your data, planning, and operations onto one seamless platform backed by 35 years of innovation and the world’s largest support network. Reduce costs, enhance sustainability, and create a better workplace by transforming how you connect with people, places, and processes.

Hybrid and Smart: Building the Workplaces of the Future

Now, perhaps more than ever, employers are seeking to enhance their approach to the workplace experience. They are embracing new trends, such as hybrid structures and smart buildings, to create what we like to call “digital workplace euphoria.”

Euphoria may seem like hyperbole, but happy employees make for successful businesses. We’re not talking about amenities like ping pong tables, free Friday lunches, and in-office theaters. The goal of a euphoric workplace is to transform barely there connected offices to intelligent, autonomous ecosystems that empower employees to their most productive and efficient while maintaining healthy work-life balances.

Research indicates that we are seeing much more of a radical change among companies reacting to the workplace trends. Leaders in companies may not respond to every human or occupant need, but certainly, they are reacting to create a more automated workplace for agile teams. One part of the “why” for proactive movement toward hybrid agile is the long-term impact on business.

Smart BuildingsMany companies are going through significant financial losses due to COVID-19. How companies navigate digital disruption will likely affect their revenues and future operations. During the crisis of the companies who saw a 25% growth in the revenues 72% were first to experiment with new technologies. As well, 67% of those companies invested more in digital-related expenditures, according to a 2020 report by McKinsey. The companies that had not taken steps are electing to embrace the productivity associated with remote work to help them recoup those costs of not doing so in the past.

Certain financial dependencies, like expiring office leases and stakeholder pressures, are pushing companies to make an immediate decision on how to proceed with digital based investments to create work environments conducive to agile work, from anywhere. According to a Gartner survey, 38% of tech, media, and telecom business leaders (and 26% of leaders across all represented industries) reported plans to reduce their real estate footprint by, for example, closing retail locations. Gartner also reported that 74% of CFOs and finance leaders at least 5% of their previously on-site workforce to permanently remote positions after COVID-19.

Why Companies Choose to Go Hybrid

Remote and hybrid work is not new, but it certainly hasn’t been as widespread as it is now. According to a Microsoft report, some professions have been trending toward remote work since the oil crisis of the 1970s that resulted in substantially higher commuting and automotive costs. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic drove a “profound increase in the magnitude and speed of the shift toward remote work, with 88% of organizations from around the world surveyed in March [2020] reporting that they were encouraging employees to work from home,” the report noted. More than a third of U.S. workers transitioned to remote or hybrid work between March and April 2020 alone.

Aside from the long-term impact on fiscal reports, this mass transition away from the confines of a 9-to-5 physical office is the other part of the “why” for companies looking to improve three key facets of the digital workplace: people, space, and technology.

The Workplace Mantra: People, Space, and Technology

Creating an environment for employees – or an investor’s case, tenants – that elicits a sense of euphoria is challenging but not impossible. How are companies tackling the digital workplace? There are three elements of an optimized workplace that one should consider.

The first starts with people. People form the community within an organization that will serve as the litmus test for successful digital workplace implementation.

The second element is technology, which acts as the catalyst for change and encompasses each tier of the Smart Building Maturity Model. Most buildings fall somewhere in between the connected and intelligent spaces of the model. From the Internet of Things (IoT) to artificial intelligence (AI), the infrastructure created by technology ultimately makes up the third element of an enhanced workplace: space.

Space doesn’t always refer to a physical location; it relates to the context in which people are working. Space can mean a geographically distributed footprint, flexible hoteling and co-working spaces within your organization, or a scalable real estate portfolio that allows you to set your physical and virtual space settings in a manner that best suits your internal method of operating.

Georgia-Pacific (GP) is one company that has fully embraced all three spheres of the optimized workplace, and by the way is one of the companies that experimented with digital based agile work long before the COVID-19 crisis. The Atlanta-based maker of paper, packaging, building products, and related chemicals resides in an iconic office tower. In the first major renovation since the company occupied the tower in 1982, GP aimed to achieve “optimal integration, functionality, cost and efficiency among the various systems throughout each floor – lighting, HVAC, audio-visual and room scheduling systems,” according to a company press release. The digital building transformation included an Internet of Things (IoT) foundation that resulted in economically feasible, purposeful automation carefully constructed for GP’s user base.

GP reported that the building uses “bio-dynamic (circadian) lighting in the office and collaboration areas, driven by network-connected lighting management. [GP] will respond to peak electrical demands by adjusting building systems. The interconnected system allows the company to collect accurate, real-time data to understand how the space is used, improve employee productivity and satisfaction, and increase real estate investment.”

Along with commercial offices, hospitality and education are two other industries that are exceptionally receptive to similar methods of in-house automation. Fortunately, platforms offered by companies like SpaceIQ offer businesses of all sizes and types of options to create digital workplaces that support agility and flexibility.

Hybrid Strategies for Working “Smart” and Hard

For many companies, leveraging hybrid strategies starts with creating smart buildings and workplaces.

Smart building(s) – both as a verb and a noun – is a partner of hybrid workplaces at the heart of the “next normal” regarding the future of work. Over the last year, companies worldwide have experienced a rapid shift to long-term hybrid and/or remote environments. From Human Resources (HR) to Information Technology (IT) to Marketing and beyond, the functional teams within these organizations are being driven to review their existing work practices and confirm that they align with employees’ current needs.

For some companies, this process may feel like an uncertain scramble – but it shouldn’t.

This moment presents an opportunity for organizations to revise their digital framework and create an even better workplace experience – one that encourages a positive return-to-office transition after a yearlong hiatus or, for remote and hybrid workers, a structure that compels them to engage virtually. Smart building is critical for both employees and executives to tap into the human side of work and reach peak satisfaction in the process of doing so.

As a company specializing in “smart building,” Cognitive Corp is at the forefront of researching and analyzing workplace trends and technologies that impact commercial real estate (CRE) teams.

So, what do we mean by “smart building?” In a word, automation.

Smart building implies that a company has a built-in infrastructure to automate as many day-to-day and long-term tasks as possible. Infrastructure can include IT and networks, HVAC, lighting, time-tracking, scheduling, and anything in between that has a digital footprint.

A key strategy is to distribute the levels of automation and smart building into four tiers on a visual pyramid called the Smart Building Maturity Model. This model helps companies prioritize based on current needs and future growth:

    • Connected Building: Connected building forms the foundation at the bottom of the pyramid. Most companies fall into this category, which includes basic IT networks and the commonplace technology you’d find in a standard office.
    • Intelligent Building: With system integration, energy efficiency, and building automation, intelligent building is what most companies strive for in their next-level smart building process. It can lead to more unified collaboration, better asset management, and streamlined workspace and remote services.
    • Smart Building: The core of the pyramid. Smart building includes open architecture, occupant interaction predictive analytics, which contributes to human centric workplace metrics, on-demand services, big data, and more elements of building intelligence. The future of work is already here, and smart building should be a consideration for most companies.
    • Cognitive Building: At the pinnacle of the pyramid we’ll find cognitive building. Here, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics are the vital pieces that drive building automation. While most non-technological companies do not aim for this high-level tier, we believe it’s still essential knowledge to know all the possibilities within the realm of intelligent architecture.

 

Data-driven Insights to Support the Hybrid Workplace

The digital workplace focuses on the occupant’s experience within a technological ecosystem. A successful digital workplace supports the human-centric side of corporate initiatives. Different personas within the commercial real estate industry will perform unique functions depending on their role in their organization. However, all roles utilize metrics to inform the progress of their digital transformation.

For individual roles, here are some items to consider:

    • Commercial Real Estate and Facilities Managers: Individuals entrusted with managing facilities should articulate workplace values about the broader business. This includes adapting to change, especially as it relates to the physical space. Your growth mindset should shift from fixed to fluid.
    • Workplace Professionals: As a workplace professional, try to develop strategies and tactics that support agile, flexible workplaces and employee experiences. Consider the wider range of knowledge available to you, beyond just “physical office” and “working from home.”

Workplace Euphoria is Frictionless

An agile, flexible workplace is no longer an option for most businesses; it is a requirement. Baseline metrics allow companies to see how initiatives eliminate employee and occupant stress during times of uncertainty, deliver on diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments, improve operational efficiency, and make remote work, workable.

Additionally, metrics shed light into the onboarding of new technologies, security automation, and workplace productivity. Workplace analytics provide a 360-degree view of any misaligned technology expectations. Embracing technology to create agility and flexibility in return to the workplace can result in euphoria for employers and employees.

To learn more request a demo.

About IMS Consulting
For more than a decade, IMS Consulting has delivered the full scope of ARCHIBUS-related services to both government and commercial clients. As a Virginia Certified Small Business, IMS Consulting provides our clients with personalized attention by experienced ARCHIBUS certified consultants. Our experts work with our clients to thoroughly understand how they do business, identify their unique needs, and pinpoint opportunities to better manage their infrastructure, employ more efficient work processes, and make smarter capital budgeting decisions—both today and over the long term.

IMS Consulting specializes in the implementation of ARCHIBUS, the #1 real estate, infrastructure & facilities management solution in the world. ARCHIBUS is the global leader in streamlining how you manage your real estate, infrastructure, and facilities. Centralize your data, planning, and operations onto one seamless platform backed by 35 years of innovation and the world’s largest support network. Reduce costs, enhance sustainability, and create a better workplace by transforming how you connect with people, places, and processes.

Leverage the CLEAN Future and LIFT America Acts with an IWMS

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.

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

To learn more request a demo.

About IMS Consulting
For more than a decade, IMS Consulting has delivered the full scope of ARCHIBUS-related services to both government and commercial clients. As a Virginia Certified Small Business, IMS Consulting provides our clients with personalized attention by experienced ARCHIBUS certified consultants. Our experts work with our clients to thoroughly understand how they do business, identify their unique needs, and pinpoint opportunities to better manage their infrastructure, employ more efficient work processes, and make smarter capital budgeting decisions—both today and over the long term.

IMS Consulting specializes in the implementation of ARCHIBUS, the #1 real estate, infrastructure & facilities management solution in the world. ARCHIBUS is the global leader in streamlining how you manage your real estate, infrastructure, and facilities. Centralize your data, planning, and operations onto one seamless platform backed by 35 years of innovation and the world’s largest support network. Reduce costs, enhance sustainability, and create a better workplace by transforming how you connect with people, places, and processes.