What is the importance of facilities integration?

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    Korath Wright
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    What is the impact of facilities integration?

    In my opinion, facilities integration is an integral activity that runs in parallel to functional integration, change management, the IMO, and the PMI planning process.

    Even on day one facilities have specific integration requirements such as changing the logo’s. Floor plans need to be determined well in advance, and design builds maybe required. As well before these can be accomplished, detailed planning for functional and optimal use of facilities is needed in order to adequately meet staff and production requirements.

    Several of the benefits of a thoroughly planned facilities integration include:

    A. Informing Synergy and Management Processes

    Development of the facilities integration plan provides insights into synergy opportunities and where adjustments need to be made. Timelines and restrictions emerge that have implications across units or incur material costs. Facilities integration models can be used to best align the management processes with stakeholder requirements.

    B. Re Re-Arranging

    When something, or someone, has to be relocated multiple times it causes confusion, reduced confidence and can damage retention efforts. Keeping the shuffling-around to a minimum based on functional requirements keeps equipment and work costs lower, and allows staff to settle in more quickly.

    C. Use of Space and Resources

    More effective working areas support the delivery of more value, contribute to higher employee satisfaction, and reduce costs.

    D. Day One

    For the first day a variety of activities involving facilities have to be undertaken for functional and symbolic reasons. For example, setting up the IMO office and associated infrastructure is a functional aspect of the integration project, while updating the lawn signs has symbolic significance.

    E. Information Gaps

    Ensuring that information is effectively communicated from the multitude of aspects involved in building a facilities integration plan, and within each aspect that delivers it, is a common place where things go wrong. These communication gaps incur lost time and additional costs at various levels of severity depending on the occurrence.

    F. Change Management

    An uncoordinated facilities integration can reduce confidence, cause frustration, waste staff time, damage retention of key people and otherwise increase the cost of change management.

    G. IT Downtime

    When transitioning locations during a merger IT units may need service changeovers timed, equipment relocated, or a variety of other facilities timing aspects in place to support time sensitive and mission critical processes. For example the need for temporary facilities may be uncovered in order to meet the requirement of the firm to maintain customer service through the transition. Amongst other measures the process of developing a detailed facilities project plan contributes to a smoother transition.

    There are a multitude of broad and specific benefits realized by approaching facilities integration as a detailed sub-project, or process. Engaging with every function on some level, the materiality and scope of benefits varies significantly depending on the specifics of the situation. Performance across functions is impacted by the success of the facilities integration. Higher returns can be generated for firms which undertake development of a detailed facilities integration plan.

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