Fortune Securities: A Facilities Managament Report
Fortune securities has not placed the emphasis on separating its major and minor departments in a symmetrical manner. Therefore, to the visitors eye, the office seems like a mass of one big department which is dependent solely on itself. However, even if this seems the case; it is not true. Fortune securities has departments such as Accounts and settlements, Capital Markets Division and Marketing Research. The chief dealer who is responsible for the Capital Markets Division, which is the major department of this organization, has a cabin surrounded by glass windows located opposite the dealing room. This facilitate interaction and flow of work and information between the chief Dealer and his subordinate dealers.
Thus, the Capital Market division, with its array of computers and flat screens is located at the heart of the office, as any major department ought to be. Separating the Chief Dealer’s cabin and the dealing room from the offices where the accounts and settlements department is located is a network of heavy duty expensive wooden doors. This partition has two major advantages. Firstly, during hours of trading, the noise level is reduced in the adjoining offices. Secondly, it methodically attempts to create different environments in different parts of the office. Thus, all employees can experience the joys of exhalation in the dealing room to the screen air of authority in the corporate suite. The first impression is that of a collective mass, yet the employees at Fortune securities will suggest that appearances may be deceptive. The departments are separated but work together to deliver a collective effort.
Proper layout provides a continuous forward movement of work with a minimum of “ crisscrossing, backtracking, and unnecessary activity.” In order to determine whether the layout is systematic enough to enhance efficient work flow, one needs to know the nature of work flow at Fortune securities.
The prime task of Fortune securities is to sell and buy securities for its clients. This begins with the receipt of an order either at the corporate headquarters or the Stock Exchange office. The order is executed at the Stock Exchange office and receipts confirming the transaction are sent to the corporate headquarters. These receipts are filed and calculations as well as decisions are then made. This procedure may seem simple but there are various intricacies involved which this report should not examine at a greater length. Furthermore, the corporate headquarters are also involved with research and private placement activities. The question now remains, how well suited is the office layout to the work flow in the organization.
According to theoretical concepts, the work should always go to the employees and not vice-versa. This is evident at Fortune securities simply because of the fact that there is usually little time of idleness during peak periods of activity. Any employee completes his task and then with definite assurance passes the responsibility to the next person in the link. After the completion of a task, it is seldom noticed that the piece of work is known to have remained idle, waiting for the next person’s attention. It has often been seen that a distinguished dealer is sending faxes or typing letters to save time. This
progress towards efficiency is another proof of the systematic layout prevalent. The close proximity of the interdependent departments facilitates work flow without interruptions and delays. If these delays do occur, as we have seen them occur in the corporate office, then they are not because of layout problems but rather due to shortage of staff or some other inadequacy.
THE STAFF DESK
The communication network at Fortune securities is a two way process. Information is passed both downwards from the executive management to the departmental heads and officers, as well as upwards from offices to departmental heads to the executive management. The management philosophy of Fortune securities is simple. They believe in communication be it through any media. The offices of the Chief Executive, President and Chief Dealer are always open for employees to visit and voice their opinions. This creates an atmosphere where the main chunk of communication arises out of face to face encounters. There is PABX intercom system in use but its usage is limited. Therefore, the layout of the office demands easy access to all rooms where decisions are made. Fortunately, the layout of the office also provides such as environment. The offices of the all Chief Executive, President and Directors are located in the corporate executive suite adjacent to each other. This provides ample opportunity for easy communication among the decision makers themselves. More importantly, it is always known that the executive suite is open if any problems were to arise. This eradicates any hesitation for the employees if they do not know where the decision makers are located. For top to bottom communication, the intercom is used to summon the respective employee. This again does not create any misunderstanding as the executive suite is only a hundred feet away.
THE DEALING ROOM
Fortune securities Ltd. has two specialized areas which are the only requirements of a corporation in this field of activity.
The Reception area creates the first impression of any organization. It has to be as intelligent combination of practically and subtle beauty. The main objective of a reception area is to create a positive impression of the organization and thus enhance public relations.
The Reception Area of Fortune Securities is a perfect example of marketing an organization by utilizing an appropriate amount of space in an exquisite manner. It is a fact to the prophecy that the Pakistani corporations are beginning to follow the examples set by their western counterparts.
The Reception area is situated in the middle of the corporate suite and serves a dual purpose as a corporate lounge. It caters mainly to the senior management of Fortune securities as well as their respected guests. The area has been designed and decorated with this consideration. The color scheme is tat of rosewood, burgundy and gray. False ceilings have been carved out of wood to give the impression of a hotel lobby rather than as office.
Furthermore, the layout of the area has been planned in such a way, that there is always a minimum number of people in the reception and corporate suite. This facilitates noise reduction in the lounge and further markets a quiet, serene environment.
According to the proper planning techniques, 30 to 35 square feet of space should be allowed for each individual who may be present in the reception area is approximately 400 square feet which is more than the minimum desired amount.
Conclusively, the reception area is located near the main entrance of this corporation and the task of the receptionist and switchboard operators are combined. The only aspect which perhaps is lacking in this reception area, is the availability of magazines, brochures or other paraphernalia which give the visitor an opportunity to gain an insight into the organization and provide the organization the chance to market itself.
Since the cost of office space is increasing rapidly, few organizations can afford he luxury of an elaborately designed board room that will be used only infrequently. For this reason, organizations design rooms hat are multipurpose in nature.
The Boardroom at Fortune securities is an example of this concept. This rectangular room, with a rectangular conference table and twelve chairs has the potential to serve three purposes. Firstly, it is used as a boardroom, when the board of Directors of Fortune securities assemble for one of their annual or special meetings. As this is a rare occasion, the boardroom is more commonly used as a conference room. Thirdly, the boardroom is also used as a guest room when the number of guests is too large o be accommodated in one of the Executive offices. Like the remainder of this office, the boardroom is also very tastefully decorated. However, certain weaknesses are evident. Firstly, there is no audio visual or communication equipment in the room. This electronic gadgetry is often necessary in meetings of an informative nature. Secondly, there are no chalk boards, projector screens or recording equipment. This room even lacks a computer terminal to access information from the mainframe. This may prove to be a handicap when instant information is required during a meeting.
Fortune securities has four private offices at its corporate headquarters. Three of these offices are located in the corporate suite are resided by the Chief Executive, the President and Director. There are two main reasons behind a private office. The first and most obvious is privacy. Privacy leads to an increased amount of concentration where an executive can manipulate the surroundings to gain maximum benefit out of them. Secondly, a private office is a sign of prestige. For any new corporation it is important to market itself through its management. The management in turn can market themselves by the decor and size of their respective offices.
The private offices at Fortune securities seem to display authority with a very distinctive sense of class. Without being overwhelming, the private offices in the corporate suite assumes majestic power which the visitor understands must have cost a large amount of money. Therefore, without uttering a sentence, the management very eloquently manage to convince the clients that Fortune securities not only has capital, but also class.
The private office of Chief Dealer who is also the Executive Vice President of the Capital Market Division is a lot less grand but a lot more practical. Surrounded by windows, he can see the activities of his employees. The fact that he is in the main activity zone of the office does not mean any hindrance or less concentration.
When the door to his private office is closed, he can work without interference. The only positive improvement that could have been made to these private offices was an extension in size of about 25 %. Otherwise, these private offices seem to fulfill the purpose for which they were created.
The office layout at Fortune securities could leave little to be desired as it seems that most trivial problems have been expertly solved. However, one major drawback had been overlooked when this office was constructed. The management, as they profess, was aware of the possible need for expansion before Fortune securities was constructed. Therefore, one could be correct in assuming that the office should have been built and decorated in a manner that facilitated expansion. However, this is not the case. Very few people would like to see this office restructured or broken down because of the sophistication it assumes. More importantly, it would be a great waste of money. One can see upon examination that expenses were of no value when this office was created. The structures are all solid and cannot be moved from one place to another. There are no partitions which could be easily moveable and the current space available may prove to be inadequate in a period of about six months.
The major department of Capital Markets cannot expand into the minor department of Accounts and settlements simply due to an inadequate amount of space.
The most that can be done is the purchase of adjoining and adjacent offices and moving the minor departments there. So that the major departments can expand. Otherwise, rebuilding will prove costly and inefficient.
The environment at Fortune securities is harmonious due to the pleasant layout of the office. The secretaries have their own special seating area which inhibits any intrusion from the other employees. There are kitchen facilities available at the rare of office and a vast number of peons to cater to every need of the employees. Furthermore, due to the lavish decoration and furniture, there is a desire to belong to this organization. In retrospect, the layout of this office helps the employees in obtaining the organizational goals which have been set.
After the analysis, the following recommendations are to be made:
- To promote the expansion of Capital Markets Division and move the Accounts and Settlements department to the adjacent offices.
- To include literature on Fortune securities and keep it for reference in the reception area. This can be an advantageous marketing tool for the organization.
- To have the main window in the reception area covered with curtains or modern blinds. This will eliminate the distraction for the employees working in the dealing room area.
- Instead of a fix phone which is installed in the board room, there should be portable phone so that all members of the conference or board can have easy access to the phone without the intrusions of unnecessary wires.
- To install telecommunication devices such as a television and VCR in the board room. This can greatly enhance a presentation during a board meeting or conference.
- To install a rollable which is erasable in the board room. Once again this would aid in presentations.
- If new adjoining offices are developed, then expansion should be kept in mind and partitions should be used to make the process of expansion better.
- To try to eliminate scattered papers lying around employees’ desks in the offices and the dealing room prior to the closing at the office.
- To have the peons in their respective uniforms to create a formal atmosphere which blends in with the environment at the office.