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The Five Elements of a Successful MAC Program

In this new era of hybrid work, how can facility managers and other professionals ensure they have the right systems and protocols in place to optimize their workplace environments for productivity and employee morale?

As we settle into the new paradigm of hybrid work and the resulting impact on the work environment the question is still…” What makes an organization tick?” Most would suggest it is STILL the people. Now if you are a facility manager, you probably would agree, but you also know that the physical workspace does not manage itself, and it has gotten much more complicated in a hybrid work environment. Someone needs to make sure there are no glitches or lapses in the work environment that can disrupt employees or company performance.

The physical workplace essentials, of course, include things like lighting, climate control, furniture, IT, and workspace configuration. But think for a moment about how these can cascade into dozens of other tasks and systems – each one intended to maintain employee focus, productivity and even morale. Below, we will look at what some of those systems can, and should, look like for optimal efficiency. 

What is a MAC program? 

One major category of these workplace services is known as “MAC” – Move Add Change – which encompasses all matters related to furniture, infrastructure, and the workplace. In recent years, MAC programs have expanded from a “break-fix” focus to encompass proactive services (still related to furniture and workplace) ranging from ergonomics to setting up for large events.

After 39 years in the MAC management arena, we remember when employee MAC requests were logged by phone and entered into spreadsheets. Now, as organizations work to increase efficiencies and reduce workforces and employees become more conscious of the need to address MAC requests quickly, it is essential to automate and systematize the MAC management process. Fortunately, there are excellent tools and resources to help you do this.

Key Considerations

As you design or routinely evaluate your MAC program, there are five elements you should be sure to address. 

Creating a MAC Work Order Process

The first key to taming the MAC monster is to create a process that works best for your organization. You will need to answer the following questions:

  • How will requests be submitted? There is a variety of software and tools for MAC work orders. Automated MAC-approval systems take a lot of the administrative work out of your hands and automatically set many of your MAC considerations. If your organization is smaller and requires fewer work orders, you may opt for a manual system, a simple form, or a survey. 
  • Who will approve the MAC work orders? You will want some level of control over which requests are fulfilled and which requests can be modified or postponed until there is adequate budget, resources or perhaps on a “service day.” Whether this is the manager of each department, a facilities manager overseeing the entire process, or assigning your MAC provider the authority with a documented program, you will want to consider bandwidth and if the person(s) is qualified to understand, or be trained to the job at hand, including what appropriate requests entail. 
  • Who will fulfill them? This answer lies in the way your organization operates but could range from administrative staff to maintenance and more. As you can imagine, there is no one-size-fits-all process. You will want to handle workstation moves differently from a chair repair, for example, as some workorders require a level of expertise and therefore associated vendor. Using a mover for MAC workorder applications is not always the best, most efficient and effective option.

Defining Work Order Types

You will likely be using a work order selection menu of some sort to submit MAC requests, so make sure it is sufficiently detailed to differentiate the scope of work, i.e., relocate one workspace or a seven-person team, adjust a work surface, order a chair, etc. These options should be built into the selection form, so that it is automatically sorted based upon approved options – rather than collecting open-ended requests in which someone needs to comb through and bring to the right person’s attention and for approval and scheduling. 

It is best to create specific work order types that are meaningful to your organization. This specificity also assists to ensure that you allocate and schedule the right resources and capture helpful program metrics (more on that in a moment).

Developing Operational Standards

Building on these first two steps, each work order task type needs operational standards regarding turnaround expectations, responsiveness, timing (e.g., after hours or during working hours) and assigned personnel. This helps ensure the right human resources, parts and materials are available for each task – janitorial, movers, computer techs and/or furniture installers, for example. 

Twenty-four hours may be a reasonable response turnaround, or if you anticipate a high volume of requests, 48 to 72 hours, to your next service day dependent upon the customer’s expectations and agreed to timeline by assigning categories based upon client expected turnaround. Some urgent/emergency requests can, and should be, communicated with response times within 4 hours. 

Tracking Performance

The more you define work order types, develop standards and document processes and protocols from the beginning, the more you will be able to track program metrics. Log the time spent on each project, related costs (material and labor) and overall satisfaction metrics (we recommend Net Promoter Score/NPS). Depending on the process and software you choose, you may be able to track and update progress at the click of a button. 

Striving for Improvement 

Metrics are captured for a reason. We recommend aggregating and analyzing the data in monthly, or at least quarterly, reports. Pay close attention to budget, but turnaround, responsiveness, and employee feedback (positive and negative) will also provide insights into holistic performance. At the end of the day, you want your MAC program to work for everyone. 

From small to aspirational to Fortune 1000 companies, WeSolve Workplace Environments expertly manages the complex details and decisions that come with MAC management on a case-by-case basis to fit your evolving needs. Formerly known as Graebel Commercial Services (GCS), WeSolve brings forth a global network of vetted service providers and approaching four (4) decades of years of experience to the table.

Need to tame your MAC program?

Contact WeSolve Workplace Environments to find out how our team can be of service.