If your control room is finally being renovated or you have a brand new control room on the horizon, there are a TON of items to get in order. It can be difficult knowing what to tackle first. The furniture of the control room is clearly a huge element of the project, but with all of the moving parts you need to address, when should you start planning for the furniture?
The answer is NOW!
I mean right now... If possible, start a plan for furniture even before you plan the size of the room.
You want to start planning for the furniture right away so that you can ensure the room is able to accommodate everything you’ll need. You don’t want to need 10 consoles and loads of equipment only to find that your room isn’t big enough for everything. Similarly, you may start with only three consoles, but you probably also want to allow room to grow in the next five years. Planning for the future furniture now can help make sure you’ll be able to grow accordingly later on.
Where Do You Start?
After working with clients all over the country, we’ve found certain things are consistent when it comes to planning for a new control room, such as:
- The client wishes to improve the room to better enhance ergonomics and efficiency for their people.
- The person responsible for managing the project has never planned for a new control room before.
- There is not enough time in the day for the client to fulfill the obligations of their main role and also take on the project.
If you resonate with any of the above statements, you are probably trying to figure out how to best plan for your control room. Before you do anything else, start by talking to your people, and then speak with the furniture experts.
Talk to the People You Need From Your Organization Right Off the Bat
You’ll get solid ideas and suggestions if you first speak with the people from your organization who will be involved with the project as well as the people who will be directly using the control room. This includes operators, dispatchers, supervisors, IT experts, procurement personnel, etc.
Anyone who will have an impact on the project, as well as anyone who will be impacted by the project, should be included. Figure out what is important to them with their individual roles. Address both their insights and their needs, and then try to connect those with a realistic budget. It’s also important to talk though possible timelines that need to be met to keep things on track. Take the time to figure out what your team feels are realistic goals, and then set those into motion.
The project will come together with due diligence, forward movement, and excitement from your team. Remember, final decisions happen more swiftly with upfront information and collaboration.
Bring in the Furniture Expert
Bringing in a 24/7 console furniture manufacturer rep early on is critical. They can provide a full range of expertise in design, layout, and installation information that will cater to your specific needs. They should ask a ton of questions and speak with you about a variety of topics, including:
- The equipment that you are using
- What issues you have had with the equipment
- What ergonomic goals are important to you and your team
- What kind of flow the current room has/what flow you want to achieve with the new layout
- How efficiency can be improved upon
- How much you expect to grow in the next five years
- Any changes in equipment you foresee
- Whether or not a live-cutover is needed for the install
- What the estimated timelines are for project completion
Efficient furniture experts will help keep the project moving forward with a smooth cadence and a well-thought-out plan. They should make you feel fully supported throughout the entire process by giving you experienced advice and guidance.
Hopefully the above information makes it crystal clear why it’s so important to plan for the furniture of your new control room right away. By doing so, you’ll help avoid any potential drawbacks, and you’ll also be well-prepared for future growth.
Remember to bring in the people who have any concerns, ideas, or commitments regarding the project. In the end, it will be a collaborative project that everyone will be proud of!