Service focus as Skanska builds
Only rarely are the necessary services and the needs of the service users who will be working in a new office property considered when the building is constructed.
“Generally speaking, the offices have been designed and built – and staff may even have moved in – before a company starts thinking about the services that should be available,” says Katja Käyhty, service developer at Coor. But as Skanska builds new offices in Helsinki, services are included in the planning from the start.
In the next few years, Skanska is planning to build itself a new head office in Helsinki. Alongside this decision, Skanska has chosen Coor to consult on a project that aims to consider workplace services and end users’ service needs from the initial planning stage. This will avoid having to make many costly modifications to the building further down the line.
“We want to be involved in this project because Skanska is a long-term client of ours. The aim is to develop services for the end users, as well as relationships with the end users, at Skanska’ new offices. Developing alongside our clients is important to us,” Katja Käyhty explains.
Mapping user needs
The emphasis of the project is services in areas such as reception, switchboard, mail, cleaning, printing, office equipment and drinks machines. Both Coor and Skanska agreed that knowledge of the type of services Skanska’s personnel require must improve. The project aims to chart the service users’ opinions, experiences and needs; workplaces are being visited and interviews conducted. The information will serve as basic data when planning the new head office.
“In the pilot project we’re looking into the users’ needs, and the advantages and drawbacks of the present office building. We’re taking users’ views and experiences of the current office on board and transferring the best parts to the new building. We’ve developed a tool for the pilot project called SPOT – Service Planning & Optimization Tool – which we can use to research the end users’ needs for services,” says Katja Käyhty.
Tool for developing alongside client
According to Jukka Tuominen, Operations Manager at Coor in Finland, the tool can also be used in the future to examine how existing properties and service buildings work, and to research the need to create a comprehensive list of future services for a new or existing office building, along with details of what spaces and functions the services require.
“This will enable us to lay a good foundation for good, effective services. The main thing for us is to develop the services we can offer clients. We believe this project will lead to something new that will help our clients be even more successful.”
Katja Käyhty works with services at Coor alongside studying for an MSc in Engineering at the Helsinki University of Technology, which she has almost finished. At Coor, Katja has been able to combine her property management studies with her job, which focuses on developing services based on the needs of existing clients.
“The end user has a well-founded opinion and experience of different services and how they work in each building. We should listen more to end users in the planning stage,” Katja Käyhty concludes.
Skanska is one of the world’s leading construction groups with expertise in construction, development of commercial and residential projects and public-private partnerships. The Group currently has 60,000 employees in selected home markets in Europe, the US and Latin America. Skanska’s sales in 2007 totalled SEK 139 billion.
About the service assignment
Coor provides workplace service – including reception, conference service, post/goods management and cleaning – for Skanska’s larger offices in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark. In Finland and Norway the Skanska contract also includes property-related service. Coor has recently signed a new five-year agreement with Skanska to supply workplace service for the offices in Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmö.