State-of-the-Art Office Case Studies:

Offices Supporting Management

SEB Professional

Interview conducted in August 2019

*This article is based on research conducted at an earlier date; some details may differ at the present time.

Improving office functionality with multipurpose showrooms

It was decided that the concept for the new office would be “a bright, modern office that encourages communication." So, how does the new office embody that concept?

The spacious entrance bears the logo of the new company name, SEB Professional. Monitors are set up to convey the values of the corporate brand. The sofas in the waiting area create a chic atmosphere. According to the company, the entrance design was chosen from about ten patterns by discussion among project members.

The first room on the gentle slope up from the entrance is the showroom for Swiss coffee maker Schaerer. Composed of a wood-grained interior, it can also serve as a place for internal meetings. Of course, it can accommodate meetings with visitors as well as internal meetings. The room beyond that is the showroom for German coffee maker WMF. Brightly designed in white, it has a larger area than Schaerer. With windows on two sides, the company says that the view often becomes a conversation topic during sales.

“The sink is bigger than in the previous office, making it easier to wash. Also, storage spaces under the machines make organization easy. It always feels clean, so even if a customer drops in unexpectedly, we can respond without panicking,” says Tsutsui.

Based on the experience of the previous office, a new, closed meeting room with eight seats was set up next to the entrance.

“In the previous office, we were often unable to handle sudden visits by customers and even had to meet in nearby coffee shops. In some cases, this inconvenienced the customer. In the new office, we added a room that can be used for outside visitors,” says Maeda.

Inside the office, relaxation space is partitioned from the working space with shelves to give the area a sense of openness and brightness. The open relaxation space has tables and a break area. It can also be used for small meetings, greatly improving operational efficiency. Other areas are properly divided into working areas, internal meeting rooms, external meeting rooms, and showrooms. Furthermore, the design keeps flow lines away from customers, significantly improving information security.

Within the working area, the engineering room - the company's core - is also improved as a new installation of a partition between the workshop and training room.

“Machine testing prior to the introduction can now be kept confidential. The engineering room is an important place for the maintenance of actual machines, so our priority was to improve maintenance work. I think we were able to create the best environment by improving minute details such as the height of power supply,” says Tsutsui.

“Various sales-related opinions emerged in the process, and Sanko Estate not only aggregated those opinions but added something more in their proposal. Of course, they also considered cost in their advice and help in fixture selection,” says Maeda.

Entrance

Meeting Room

Stretch area

Showroom

Showroom

The new office showrooms have significantly impacted visitor numbers

The company reports that this relocation project has had a significant effect on the number of visitors.

“I think it has had a strong impact on customers. Increasing the showrooms has made it easier to arrange reservations. In the past, we sometimes had to cancel because we failed to arrange meeting schedules. The new office has increased sales opportunities,” says Maeda.

“Visitors have praised the product arrangement, saying that it's very easy to understand. The new showrooms are becoming a tool for sales staff to attract customers actively,” adds Tachi.

The company plans to continue basing future office management on actively responding to employee desires. For SEB Professional, the process of office creation has just begun. It will continue to create modern offices that encourage employee communication.

 
 
 
 
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