New team. New building. New ways of thinking.
Be The Match is in the business of saving lives. Operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, the nonprofit organization connects patients with life-threatening diseases to bone marrow and cord blood transplant donors. Patient care, wellbeing and survival are at the heart of their mission.
In 2013 Be The Match was outgrowing its former space, which was stretched across three separate buildings. The buildings’ leases were expiring, presenting the perfect opportunity to evolve their workspace and better support the employees who fulfill their mission. Plans began for a 250,000 SF, seven-story headquarters, with core and shell designed by RSP Architects in conjunction with Architecture Field Office.
Located in the vibrant North Loop of Minneapolis, the projects goals were to:
- Consolidate operations
- Introduce collaborative work processes
- Provide greater visibility for Be The Match’s mission
- Attract and retain top employees.
To ensure the efficient use of the new headquarters — which includes a restaurant, fitness center, auditorium and event space — Be The Match hired Kristine Fisher, Director of Facilities Management and Real Estate.
Before the move, Be The Match operated with little collaboration between departments. The small Facility Management team primarily delivered mail and ran a print operation. They contacted landlords for any building issues. Work orders and staff requests were juggled between phone and email, leading to frequent errors, reduced productivity and wasted resources.
“Upper management realized a program needed to be developed to manage this new asset and support the workplace needs of the 1,000 employees in the building.” – Kristine Fisher, Director of FM and Real Estate, Be The Match
Fisher and her new Facility Management team were tasked with developing preventive maintenance plans as well as space management and office services programs. This includes work orders, parking assignments, mobile and collaborative workspaces, event planning, access card requests and centralized office supplies. This volume of work required a flexible system that could grow with Be The Match.
So Fisher contacted RSP i_SPACE, the facility information consultancy within RSP. Fisher had previously worked with Rhonda Rezac, i_SPACE’s FMP. She knew Rezac’s team could provide the right solution for Be The Match.
i_SPACE began the project with a formal needs analysis, which assessed Be The Match’s current and future facility management requirements. “We had so much fun learning about all of the different types of processes Kristine is responsible for, especially now with the new building,” says Rezac.
Because Fisher was already familiar with FM Systems’ user-friendly software, she and Rezac reconfigured the software to create a one-stop shop. While the new building was under construction, i_SPACE integrated BIM information from RSP’s architectural team. 12 buttons for requests (using icons familiar to employees) were developed. Forms and notifications were added. New Facility Management staff and technicians tested the software system with i_SPACE’s ongoing support and expertise.
“Rhonda has always said she’d rather teach us to fish than keep giving us fish…now we can operate the system wholly on our own, which is cost-effective, but Rhonda is always available if we need back-end support or enhancements.” -Kristine Fisher, Director of FM and Real Estate, Be The Match
Today, Fisher and her staff easily manage and fulfill employee requests, perform preventive maintenance for the company’s buildings and its restaurant, biorepository, lab and office equipment; manage hundreds of vendor contracts and non-disclosure agreements; and maintain certificates of insurance and training requirements.
Information generated by the system, Fisher says, has demonstrated to executives “what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, why it’s important, and what we’re saving in time and money.”
The new Facility Management department has become proactive rather than reactive. Their work has significantly increased efficiency and savings across the business. And, for Be The Match, this return-on-investment is critical: it provides more resources to save more lives, both now and in the future.