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Why Should Space or Decant Managers Be Interested in Reuse?

Facilities management, Building Clearance, Features and benefits

Firstly, if you don’t know these terms, here’s what Space Managers and Decant Managers do:

Space manager

Space Managers are responsible for the management of the spaces that a business or organisation occupies. This could be a single floor, multiple floors within a building, or multiple floors within multiple buildings. Space management is simple in concept yet far more complicated in practice.


Decant Manager

A Decant Manager is involved in the moving and installing or staff and physical resources during property refurbishments, decommissions, or reallocations. It is sometimes simply known as a Project Manager.

Now, let’s discuss those lovely benefits of reuse!


Benefit 1: Space is expensive

Because space is expensive, we have to learn to use it effectively. The problem we have as humans is that when we see a space, we naturally want to fill it, often with something for a rainy day.

‘I just might need that… later’

‘I will just put it over here... for a bit.’

‘Later’ becomes a week, a month and then it is there. That is its space. That becomes that asset's space, even though it is not being used regularly. There’s nothing more permanent than temporary. This is also linked to people tending to hoard items as well for no good reason.

Having an established, systematic, automatic reuse program can free up space because it provides a really good mechanism for staff to constantly declutter and clear their space. If you make it easy to start to declutter, they will declutter.

If you make decluttering a normal habit, people will declutter regularly and keep space free. We have a number of campaigns to help with this. Decluttering is part of the decant or building clearance process, as one of their big problems is that you get left with a lot of spare stuff when people leave.

Having a systematic reuse program in place well before a building clearance starts is a good idea. This means you can encourage staff one year, two years, or six months before the building clearance, to start to declutter their assets. By the time of the clearance, the task is more manageable.


Benefit 2: A reuse program simplifies asset redistribution from building clearances

Often as part of the building clearance procedure, there is a massive haul of assets left over when everybody leaves, and sometimes those assets have got to be scrapped because something else is happening with the building. Either there is an asbestos survey, the building is being sold, or the building is being refurbished, but because of tight timescales, it makes it really hard for those assets to find a new home and get reused effectively.

Assets being left behind is usually nobody's fault. What commonly happens as part of the building clearance process is that you have those staff who are moving who want to actually claim some of those assets before they move, but they take ages to decide what they are going to take, effectively pushing back all the other deadlines. This means at the end you are left with stuff that you thought was going to move but is not. You are left with stuff that you would have been able to redistribute because it is reusable and desirable.


Benefit 3: A digital reuse system improves visibility

Sometimes Space and Decant Managers would throw the contents of a whole room in the skip because they don’t have an online portal to list it on. Ahem… Warp It!

On Warp It, people can see up to 7 photos, they can see the description, and they can make claims. The old-fashioned alternative is that you put all that stuff on a spreadsheet and it is not as shareable, which means you get more emails, more telephone calls, a busy inbox, and time consumption that starts to affect your work.

If it is all in a marketplace where everyone can see it, people can claim the things they want to claim. If you list 50 chairs and someone claims 20, it goes down to 30. It tracks all of that automatically so that someone does not have to keep updating a spreadsheet.

With a centralised digital marketplace, you can quickly log in and see what’s available. A spreadsheet is a bottleneck that does not scale very well or engage many participants. An online platform can help you clear a building quickly and reuse the items with far fewer communications and hassle.


Benefit 4: Data and results

With Warp It, you can put a financial and environmental value on your efforts. By putting an effort in at one point, you can see exactly what that results in, which means you can make a case for more resources in the future. It strengthens your position. It strengthens your activities. You can see how much you donate to charity, how much carbon is saved, how many KGs have been avoided.


Questions to ask your space manager before considering a reuse program.

  • As a Space or Decant Manager, do you want to liberate space around the estate?
  • Do you want to find new homes for that stuff that is just lying around?
  • Do you want to reduce the incidences of people ringing you and emailing you because you’re still using a spreadsheet?
  • Do you want to put that spreadsheet of assets on an online marketplace, so people can view those assets themselves?
  • Does keeping that spreadsheet up to date take too much time and could it be optimized by an online database?
  • Do your departing staff slow down the process because they don’t know what to take or leave?
  • Would you like to create an online marketplace where departing staff can take what assets they are going to take, whilst the remaining assets are advertised to the rest of the estate?
  • At the same time would you like any surplus items to be advertised to charities and schools in the area?
  • Do you want to track your reuse efforts, environmental and financial savings, in order to be able to demonstrate the value of your activities and make a business case for more resources for the next move?


If they kept saying yes, then they need Warp It.

Here's a building decommission freebie

to help you get started

warp it building clearance template guide decomission reuse surplus assets 

About the Author..

Joseph Kennedy

Joseph Kennedy

My journey is education, communication and innovation. My destination is a world free from environmental collapse, ecological ruin and unbreathable air.

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