Informed by years of experience, the director of facilities and manager of space planning at two national law firms thought they were ready for just about anything when their firms combined in February 2020.
And then COVID hit, and within 30 days, everything was locked down, forcing their entire firm to quickly shift and accelerate many of their combination plans to address remote connectivity, virtual conferencing, and what ended up being over two years of evolving needs and priorities. For the director of facilities and manager of space planning, they needed to incorporate these changes into their plans to consolidate their offices in LA, DC, and Chicago, who’s cities were now under a variety of local mandates and restrictions.
Although they were well versed on the challenges of office moves, COVID introduced a whole new set of variables:
- Added safety protocols that could delay or even prevent vendors and employees from participating in the packing and move process
- Supply chain issues that could cause delays in construction, supplies and access to labor and support services
- Remote working which could delay responses to equipment malfunctions
- A decentralized remote team which could lead to important details being missed as we work with teams across the firm
With all those changes, they found Kastle to be instrumental in helping to manage all the security technology changes.
“When you’re managing something so complex and widespread, it feels amazing when something works exactly as you designed it,” said the director of facilities. “And that’s the experience we had working with Kastle.”
The law firm also updated security camera capabilities in multiple buildings, switching from outdated location-based systems and data storage to Kastle’s centralized cloud-storage providing them more flexibility and accessibility.
“In most of our legacy offices, our video files were being stored locally,” said the director of facilities. “If something happened, we had to request the local administrator to pull up the system and assist us with searching the video files. If the person was in a meeting or on vacation — it could take a few hours or even a full day to start the search.”
With Kastle’s online video storage, the director of facilities and manager of space planning, located in separate offices, and the other system administrators can not only access live feeds from the cameras across the offices 24/7/365 but also use AI to easily scan recordings from incident to incident based on specific movements, regardless of their location. The result is a video system that is not just more secure and reliable, but also more useful in different situations.
The director of facilities recounted one example, “Shortly after we installed the new cameras, there was a situation in one of our offices where someone misplaced a package delivery. Using our video system, I was able to quickly review the video files from a remote location, follow the delivery path, and inform the team where to find it without the need to walk the entire office on foot.”
In Chicago, the director of facilities and manager of space planning faced a unique challenge. Move out of one building, have those workers remote work out of another, and then move everyone into a new building 8 weeks later.
“There were many moving parts to this relocation,” said the director of facilities. “The integration and coordination had to be very specific as we took people off one system and switched them to another without disrupting anyone’s workday. I was also very pleased with how we were able to ensure security on the new building before it was open, only allowing certain people access by date and time so we could arrange the perfect ‘opening day’ credentials when we were ready.”
The director of facilities notes that they were able to complete the whole move without a single lock out request — and they were even able to prevent some employees that tried to get into the new building early.
“We embrace organized chaos over our move weekends, with the goal of having our employees only experience parking in a different spot and coming in through a different door,” said the director of facilities.
Seamless security transition in progress
In Philadelphia, the director of facilities and manager of space planning moved their office off an older security system and onto a new Kastle system. This involved converting more than 300 employees, visitors, and vendors to the new system, despite numerous obstacles including:
- Converting legacy access and video systems onto Kastle’s improved platform
- The landlord’s supply chain delays in getting new HID security cards
- Change management challenges for teaching a mostly remote staff with the new Bluetooth technology of the new readers
They were especially pleased with how little time administrators had to spend on entering credentials. The Kastle team was able to take the new card report from the landlord and simply import the data into the Kastle system allowing that admin staff to invest their time elsewhere.
A consultative security partner makes any move easy
What made the difference for the law firm’s multiple moves? If you ask the director of facilities and manager of space planning, it was the hands-on, consultative treatment they received from the Kastle team including Kastle’s weekly and monthly opportunities to train, get updates, and ask questions from a dedicated account representative. Additionally, the director of facilities and manager of space planning fielded multiple offers from the Kastle team to come on site and support the transitions — just to be available to answer questions and help employees get comfortable with the new mobile security apps.
“It was really nice to have a national team that’s available to jump in and help no matter which location we’re working with,” said the director of facilities. “With high-risk security issues, you really don’t want to get stuck leaving a voicemail and hoping someone will call you back. With Kastle, we never had to wonder — they answered the phone.”
If you’re planning an office space move or update, planning is a key part of a successful experience. Make it a smooth experience by exploring how you can work with Kastle to design your space and plan your access strategy.