You might say part of Patterson Pope’s process is to find the “Yes” in any space scenario. Where you see frustrating lack of space, storage headaches, and organizational impossibilities, Patterson Pope’s project planners see a fun challenge. These creative individuals work wonders within specific parameters or when given only the basic details to work and they come up with the right storage solution customized to the individual client’s needs.
In this continuation of our series on our process, we talk to Manager of Project Planning, Mike Hisman, about how his team puzzles out all available options after our account representatives do their surveys. Hisman, who works in our Charlotte office, has worked in project planning with us for more than 20 years. In all that time, he struggles to think of a time when he or his fellow planners couldn’t come up with a solution for the client’s storage needs.
Types of Storage Project
When designing a space, there are typically two types of projects that come across the planners’ desks. The planner might be handed detailed, thorough specs from the site visit and consultation with the client, which even outline what products have already been discussed. In that case, it’s a matter of creating a design that suits the clients’ needs with the right products within the space parameters.
On the other hand, there are also times when the planner is given just the bare essentials and carte blanche to find the best solution. That’s where it gets fun, Hisman said. There’s a great feeling of accomplishment that comes from taking a space or storage problem that seems unsolvable to the client and finding the right fit.
Sometimes, the planners are even able to be the bearers of the happy news that they’ve found a solution that saves even more space than anticipated. Perhaps a client was expecting to need to reconfigure its existing room and repurpose another to meet its growing collection space needs. Yet, the planner is able to go back and say, “You can build another office, or a gym for employees.” That’s rewarding work.
Project Planners Planning Ahead
Each Patterson Pope planner works with several account representatives on many client projects at once – often on a tight deadline. Nevertheless, their responsibilities remain the same. Take the specs and figure out the best storage solution. Provide a design to be shared with the client. Take revisions in stride, then price out the selected solution.
What most customers don’t realize, Hisman said, is that a large proportion of what the planners design is not just sitting in a warehouse waiting to be loaded onto a forklift. Primarily using Spacesaver’s Configura design software, the planners are able to move the many different storage options around in space to make the storage solution efficient and space effective.
The question they keep at the forefront of their minds is: What problems are we trying to solve? It’s about aesthetics, yes, but more importantly, how will the storage solution will be used today — and in the future? For instance, a client may only want stationary shelving at first, but hope to have the budget down the road for high-density mobile storage. In that case, the planners might envision where the HDMS carriage rails would go in the future so as to save money and time later on.
Vast Toolkit & Teamwork Help Planning
An advantage the planners bring to the table (or the computer screen), is their broad knowledge of the many different storage solutions in their toolkit. The planners also meet monthly to share new design approaches they’ve tried and brainstorm around difficult designs. After all, these are creative folk who enjoy crafting solutions, so helping one another just makes sense.
Really, the job is interesting because every space has its own unique challenges. One project plan that Hisman is particularly proud of? The Carolina Panthers’ equipment room. It was an oddly shaped space, with a circular bit to it, as well as columns and nooks and crannies. Reconfiguring the space as part of a locker room renovation, required HDMS systems, static shelving and modular drawer cabinets to store everything from helmets, uniforms and shoes to hats, sweat suits and shoulder pads. The end product, though, was customized so well it fit in the space “like a glove.” A tidal blue and black one, of course.
Send Our Project Planners a Puzzle
Ultimately, the design stage of our process highlights the fact that our solution planners have designer genes. While storage may not excite you, we hire people who see organization as a survival skill and have been intent on storing things in their right place all the way back to their marble collection as kids.
What new challenge can you give these folks? Contact Patterson Pope today for your free on-site assessment or consultation. Our experts can help you make wise choices for storage success.