National Seating & Mobility’s Workplace Consolidation

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National Seating & Mobility’s (NSM) core business is custom mobility, rehab and adaptive seating systems. Across three decades, NSM has grown from five locations to a national network of professional assistive technology providers serving clients, therapists & physicians nationally. In 2016, NSM made the decision to remodel a newly acquired space in order to consolidate employees spread out amongst an office park under one roof. The Office Furniture Warehouse team had the privilege to work with NSM’s Director of Operational Excellence for the majority of 2017 on a workplace consolidation, streamlining the transition of hundreds of employees, cubicle workstations & office furniture into the newly renovated space.

This is an executive summary of the project and our interview with NSM’s Director of Operational Excellence – you can watch the full video case study here.


Objectives

“In May 2016, we had run out of room in the 3 non-adjoining suites we occupied that made up about 29,000 sq. ft. It was time to renew our lease, and we were exploring solutions for our office space that could accommodate the rapid growth we were experiencing.”
– Damaris Robles, NSM

The Space

NSM acquired connecting spaces in the same office complex and had them renovated to suit the needs of their Chattanooga offices. The new space is approximately 40,000 sq. ft. of contiguous space. The floor plan is roughly 75% open office space, 11% closed office space, 7% common areas and 7% service functional. The new space is one of the pioneering projects in NSM’s evolving workplace strategy.

The People

NSM’s Chattanooga offices are the organization’s financial headquarters, home to billing, collections and an array of other administrative functions. These roles require little to no remote work, meaning a staff of 200+ employees are present on any given day. NSM’s Director of Operational Excellence needed the installation to cause minimal disruption as the project displaced the entire staff at differing intervals.

This project’s goal was to design a contemporary, open office space that would allow us to house our 220 employees under one roof, create a flow that is conducive to cross-functional collaboration, and incorporate a 5-year growth plan.”
– Damaris Robles, NSM


Solutions

Phased Installation & Office Moves

The project would affect NSM’s entire Chattanooga staff at one point or another. In order to minimize disruption, we segmented the project into four phases. This localized the disruption to employees, who cleared out their spaces before our technicians tore down existing cubicle workstations. Following cubicle disassembly, general and finish contractors would complete their renovation in that area. After the space was renovated, our technicians returned to complete the installation in that area. Finally, NSM employees moved in to their new workstations and our technicians moved on to repeat the process in the next area.

Cubicle Reconfiguration

“In order to streamline the new workplace design, a variety of cubicle workstations from the existing space were reconfigured. We had a plethora of existing workstations, both deployed and in storage. Office Furniture Warehouse would be removing cubicles that didn’t match, reconfiguring workstations that did and installing new cubicles to create a unified appearance and minimize the investment on new furniture.”
– Damaris Robles, NSM

Cubicle Workstations

There are three types of cubicle workstations in NSM’s new work space. The first, found only in phase one of the project, are (20) 2×4 cubicles with 53″ tall panels. These are commonly referred to as “telemarketing cubicles”, and are occupied by NSM’s Quality Assurance team.

As the floor plan is roughly 75% open office space, the second type of cubicle workstations comprise most of the project. There are approximately (150) 6×6 cubicles throughout all four phases. 53″ tall panels, L-shaped work surfaces in a cherry finish, and dual pedestal file cabinets make up these cubicle workstations. Finding 6×6 workstations to match existing cubicles at NSM’s Chattanooga offices minimized the number that needed to be purchased new, significantly reducing the overall price tag.

Manager Cubicles

The final type of cubicle are those of NSM’s supervisors, (25) 8×8 workstations with 96″ tall panels, full-size doors plus the same features as the smaller cubicles.

“As our business grew, so did our management team, but their workstations remained similar to other employees. If a supervisor was having a private conversation with an employee, there really was no privacy. In designing this new space, Office Furniture Warehouse provided us with a solution of having these 8×8 supervisor cubicles with 96″ walls, a door for privacy and would allow enough space to have  private meetings.”
– Damaris Robles, NSM

Common Area Furniture

In addition to dedicated work areas, we furnished the shared areas in the NSM’s new workspace. This included five boardrooms, three break rooms and one reception area. These common areas represent a significant upgrade for employees relative to the previous space. In addition to break room tables and chairs, the three rejuvenation spaces have kitchen amenities, vending and televisions.

Conference Room Furniture

An intranet reservation system connects employees to each of the meeting spaces. Power module table inserts equip each space with video-conferencing and presentation technology. Two small conference rooms with 6′ tables and one executive conference room with an 18′ table are across a hallway from one another, creating a “quiet zone” of sorts. Two medium conference rooms, both with 8′ tables, nest among private offices on either end of the layout. A second large conference room has an arrangement of mobile tables for educational and training purposes.

Private Office Furniture

In NSM’s new space there are about 30 offices total, 10 of which were moved from their existing location. Our team installed new furniture and moved belongings to the remaining 20. The workstations in those offices are bow-front, l-shaped desks with four-fold storage. Dual pedestal file cabinets underneath the desk complement overhead hutches above fabric tackboards.


Results

“When I met with [the Office Furniture Warehouse team], they brought solutions to the table that I hadn’t even considered based on previous projects. When we were looking at the floor plan of where we were at and where we wanted to go, they were kind enough to say, ‘Hey Damaris, you might need to consider this’, or ‘this is something we’ve done at another office that I think might be a viable solution for National Seating & Mobility’, and that’s how the relationship between National Seating & Mobility and Office Furniture Warehouse was forged.

I would recommend Office Furniture Warehouse to anybody who is building or needing to remodel their office space. National Seating & Mobility is going to continue to utilize Office Furniture Warehouse as a resource not only here in Chattanooga, but at our corporate headquarters in Franklin, TN and at our branch in Atlanta, GA.”
– Damaris Robles, NSM


Thanks for Reading!

Like we said, this is simply an executive summary of the project. The full-length video case study dives into the driving factors behind National Seating & Mobility’s decisions during the workplace consolidation, specific solutions we used to streamline the project & the most notable post-occupancy outcomes.

Watch Full Case Study!

or, click here to get in touch with us about your own workspace!

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