What do you REALLY need at your fingertips? Posted 2011, 24 May I’ve just completed a project for an engineering firm that has been operating from a number of locations around the Auckland region. The aim was to achieve cost savings and greater efficiency. Working through their strategy and their functions, it became clear they would be best to work from one site rather than disbursed over several locations. We found that property savings could be made by centralising into one site and eliminating or reducing duplicated facilities such as lunchrooms, machinery and equipment, meeting rooms, reception areas and front of house offices. Our client anticipates significant benefits are likely to be achieved as specialists will be able to collaborate to develop better and faster solutions now they can easily meet face-to-face at the same location. The one-site approach for this business is a complete flip from the advice I recently gave a company to separate out the functions of their business to different locations, as several of their activities on one site were in conflict. Is that inconsistent? Well no, not at all. The point is one has to really drill down into a business and how it best functions. It is about working through the details of an organisation’s core business, its strategy for growth, and matching locations to fit. In these cases one business was a manufacturer, the other an IT solution provider. It goes back to what I have in the past described as a need to avoid using a broad brush when it comes to advice around property locations and design. It will never be a case of ‘one size fits all.’ And always, always, there needs to be flexibility within whatever location or locations are chosen, as businesses are increasingly dynamic and need the agility to shift activities around on a site like never before. Great solutions are about asking the right questions. And then digging really deep into thorough and robust answers. What activities best sit side-by-side or separately and who is working adjacent to whom has to be a careful consideration. And so a great question to really thrash out clearly needs to be: What do I really need at my fingertips?