By Albert J. Vegter, AIA, President of Daniels and Zermack Associates, Inc.
The problems of business growth are always the most pleasant of all to solve. They are a symptom that your organization is doing something right. However, the companion to business growth and the change it causes is the problem of finding enough space for the new operations and personnel. The space you find must also be the right kind of space to properly accommodate the needs of your personnel and customers. The interrelationship between operational functions is also critical to future efficiency.
Proper planning is essential if costly mistakes are to be avoided under the pressures of providing for immediate needs. Helping our clients plan for orderly growth in meeting their present and future space needs is a specialty of the financial facility planners at Daniels and Zermack.
A comprehensive examination of your current space situation will help you prepare realistically for future needs. A thorough study by our staff will give you the data and the cost information you must have for immediate or future decisions on expansion.
These are the kinds of questions a Daniels and Zermack planning study will answer:
These and any other types of facility planning questions can be answered with a specially tailored study conducted by the facility planners of Daniels and Zermack to provide just the right information for your financial institution.
A planning study may be instigated by the conversion of a useful space for another more critical use, or the realization that the staff person just hired will have no office space. In some cases, it is the use of a former conference room or board meeting area as office space. In extreme cases, it is the realization that there just is no more room in the lobby to place another desk.
Daniels and Zermack's financial institution planners developed a special package of Planning Data Survey forms to serve as a tool for data collection when doing a planning study for one of our clients. It consists of instructions and a set of clearly written and easy-to-follow forms that can be filled out by employees of the financial institution. Although some of the questions may be common, some questions may be custom-tailored for the particular needs of the current study.
Several pages of general information are to be filled in by the management to give an overall picture of the financial institution. A multi-page departmental information form is to be completed for each department. A single-page questionnaire is given to each employee to record details of their particular job and workspace. Also, tellers and customer service personnel can be instructed to count all of their customer contacts each hour of each day for several weeks to get a complete picture of customer traffic.
After this information has been studied and tabulated by the planners, interviews and tours of the various departments help them to complete their picture of the organization, its personnel, and its present facilities.
For existing facilities to be considered for re-use, copies of existing plans can be used, if they are available, or measured schematic drawings can be made to record the existing situation. Lots of photos may be used to document the existing work environment and building spaces. A visual survey of the condition of the existing structures may be made to allow the planners and architects to estimate the costs of changes or renovations to the existing buildings.
A typical comprehensive planning study will select a target several years ahead as a reasonable planning period, and the planners will project the amount of growth that may be expected during that period, and determine the amount and type of space that will be required. High-, medium-, and low-range growth projections may be made based on the financial institution's past performance in a number of areas. Then a projected staff list can be prepared showing expected staff positions by departments for future periods. From these staff lists, the projected departmental space requirements can be assembled and the total space needs tabulated.
In addition to the numerical projections of growth and space usage, the architects will prepare an analysis of the problem areas in the building. Schematic plans can be developed to illustrate some of the options available and budget estimates for the cost of various options were prepared.
So far the information is merely numbers. At this point, the architectural planning skills of Daniels and Zermack's experienced financial facility planners come into play.
Recommendations will be made regarding the location in the proposed building of different departments and an optimum square foot size of each floor of the building can be determined. The entire process combines input from staff, management, and board with the expertise of the planners and architects to produce a specific recommendation for a building. Budgets for construction and equipment costs can be prepared to guide decisions by management and board.
Two- and three-dimensional drawings of the schematic plans developed by Daniels and Zermack can greatly aid in communication with staff, management, and board. These drawings can provide a better understanding of the consequences of the changes being proposed. People can see what they will be using.
In some cases the planning study may be conducted to answer very specific management questions: Can we add to our present building? If we have to divide the headquarters staff, who should move and who should stay? What are the costs and consequences if we build new, or if we add on and remodel the present facility?
The crucial area of long-range planning is one of the ways that Daniels and Zermack can bring its special expertise to create a better, more useful facility for your financial institution:
Contact Daniels and Zermack at 800-999-2090 for further information.