As organizations return to work, not every choice made will be correct on first execution. The priorities of executive teams are supported by a facility plan, and priorities are likely to change dramatically over the next few years. Professional flooring contractors help facility professionals manage the budget, product selections, and associated services to help maximize the return on investment.
Interior space supports effective staffing, which is the largest cost for nearly any business entity. Over the past decade, amenities in and around office buildings had grown in quantity, popularity, and creativity. The proliferation of office amenities was the outcome of several trends building to a perfect storm of workplace real estate. As routine work can be done more easily from anywhere, landlords and employers are creating desirable and inspiring spaces where exceptional employees and clients actually want to join together. This strategy had paid off for organizations because higher quality buildings drive considerable competitive advantages.
Common real estate investment scenarios for facility professionals include:
- Planning and constructing new buildings.
- Repositioning aging or underperforming spaces.
- Extending performance or future proofing a currently high performing space.
These scenarios have complex implications for facility managers as they build flexible interiors over a multi-year budget for the asset portfolio.
Recent feedback from office worker surveys shows they would prefer to return to the office, but with changes. There is a demand for more collaboration space, more private defined space, and fewer shared workstations – agile workplace. As changes are necessary to enable the return to work, some organizations will be paralyzed by the restrictions of supply chain disruption and rising costs. Many end user processes related to the built environment assume unlimited access to global supply chain of products and labor, which is not the current business environment. Due to a mismatch between their process and the current business realities, many companies will miss a competitive opportunity. The opportunity to adjust and use refreshed spaces to attract the best associates and clients in the market is urgent. With the help of trusted Starnet contractors, the physical office can be quickly transformed into a place that increases the feel-good factor and becomes a deep source of inspiration to an individual associate or client.
Starnet members are more than professional flooring contractors executing outstanding interior projects throughout the United States and Canada. They are strategic advisors, providing support for facility investments by focusing on these decision drivers.
Compliance – facility executives want partners that will allow them to navigate obscure regulations and avoid risk as a responsible officer. Business leaders can count on Starnet members to be knowledgeable and assist facility professionals to comply with the law and avoid risk. In the commercial flooring industry compliance may involve the ADA regulations, environmental regulations, corporate and social preferred sourcing, or ‘Buy America’ executive orders.
Safety – resources and financial support of compliance far outweigh investments in safety in nearly every industry. Despite that reality, major improvements in facility safety can be achieved through careful material selection. Practical and common-sense solutions provided by Starnet members can dramatically reduce the risks of facility fires or employee slip fall injuries. In commercial flooring this may also include managing selections to advance the health and well-being of the building occupants regarding air quality, acoustics, and sanitization.
Return on Investment (ROI) – Starnet members are experts in matching the performance characteristics of different installed flooring solutions with the available budget over time. That is always a moving target with clients. Starnet can guide facility professionals to focus maintenance efforts in the correct areas or design higher turn replacement solutions based on the traffic patterns and refresh plan. In commercial flooring high ROI outcomes include attracting the best clients and associates in the marketplace due to the outstanding interior environment. Higher ROI can also be achieved by managing the need for replacement through layout that facilitates isolated replacement options and minimal business disruption.
In the past, the desire to have the longest lifecycle products to minimize workplace disruption was highly desired. This approach limited flexibility to reconfigure space, which is highly desired by facility managers in this evolving office environment. The agile workplace concept can be supported with higher value interior finishes without full investment in construction renovation. Speed and flexibility with minimal disruption have emerged as priorities in the commercial space. Balancing the desire for fresh interiors with the flexibility to reconfigure quickly is vital right now in the office and education segments. Resized shared meeting space, indoor air quality, powered and connected everywhere building technology can all be achieved in existing spaces with minimal disruptions.
The Starnet network of flooring contractors offers time and money saving solutions to install new flooring with no dismantling and reinstalling furniture using furniture lift systems. The lift systems can be combined with Starnet’s low profile raised access flooring to futureproof data and power at the point of need under a variety of floor finishes. Running power and data under the floor allows for easy deployment of technology throughout a building of any vintage, which is a tremendous savings for facility managers who must manage legacy space like a university or local government offices. Low profile access flooring can also be covered with soft surface products to eliminate concerns over moisture in the concrete or the demolition of existing flooring.
New maintenance technologies using foaming chemistry dramatically reduce the use of water to maintain commercial carpet. This eliminates the concern of flooding associated with water extraction over access flooring, while preserving the warranty of forward-thinking manufacturers that have approved the new methods. In addition, the industry can be proud of the collaborative achievement between Starnet Floor Care and supporting manufacturers such as J+J Flooring and Tarkett. Together they have positioned commercial modular and broadloom carpet as the only products widely used by facility managers that do not require dumping of millions of gallons of soiled water and rinse water. This helps facility professionals achieve their corporate goals on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and waste reduction. Starnet members and the Preferred Vendor Partners can provide this incredible system at high speed and reconfigure the system several times until the facility manager is satisfied their corporate goals are being met.
Over the current cycle, standardization will give way to greater individuality in response to supply chain disruption, rising costs, and fluid organizational goals. Sustainability, flexibility, and performance do not need to be compromised while mitigating the volatility short term. Variety and choice will be expected to deal with these challenges, and the facility professional has trusted partners in the Starnet professional contractor network to navigate this uncertainty. The alternative for the facility manager is to be overwhelmed. A high level of expertise comes with Starnet contractors. They have the product knowledge and skilled labor teams available to assist facility management professionals for the best possible outcomes. The teamwork and easy collaboration supported by a strong facility management strategy and capable experienced interior contractors cannot be underestimated. To get started Partnering for Success, Starnet members prefer to begin with interior assessments.
Interior assessment sessions could involve one space, or an entire campus of buildings with the associated product selections. Interior assessment can also include accurate and reliable installed budget targets over multiple budget timelines. Each area of the workplace can have a Starnet interior assessment with an accurate budget for the target year, easily adjusted as executive teams adjust their priorities. After every adjustment, the executive team expects their facility leader to execute. Any challenge can be met with multiple options recommended by Starnet members and Preferred Vendor Partners representing the world’s leading manufacturers and solutions providers.