Counting # 6 – Physical Plant also counts

Let’s consider two perspectives when analyzing the physical plant that contains your business. Those two perspectives are location and contents.


The old real estate maxim has a lot of weight when considering your business. The three most important elements to consider are Location, Location and Location.

Is the location of your building(s) best suited for the customers you serve?

Do they know where you are and can they get to you?

Can your employees serve your present and future customers from the location you have selected?

If visibility is important for your company, can you be easily be seen and remembered as people pass by?

If the answer to any of the four questions is “no” you might consider relocation as a solution.


The function of each element of the business helps to define the requirements for the form the structure takes. The interaction among departments in a business helps to determine the location within the four walls for each department.

Asking those who are involved with the situation their opinions as to how best to arrange the space is a most effective approach.

At Gabrilson Heating in Davenport, IA Tom Gabrilson decided to get the employees involved in planning the layout of the shop.

Plastic covered blueprints of the warehouse/ shop were posted on the wall. Employees could draw their suggestions on one of the blueprints and the other blueprint was used to present ideas to be implemented. After several months of drawing and decisions a final layout was adopted. Tom believes that this method got better results than if he had used an architect or an engineer.

In one company a plan for reorganizing the shop was submitted not on paper but on a piece of sheet metal cut in the shape of the space and drawings of machines was indicated with a blue magic marker.

Dominic Volpone of the H.J. Ziegler Company, in Ashtabula, OH. spent over a year researching the best arrangement for the space in his new building. He asked for and received the input of employees, staff and vendors involved in all areas of his business. The final outcome resulted in one of the most functional buildings we have witnessed.

If your business includes vehicles that are used for service, installation, delivery of your product or service they should be included in the scope of Physical Plant.

The arrangement of contents of vehicles should receive the same focus of organization and planning that traditional building space receives. They are seen as a representation of your company from the inside the outside and are one of the most powerful marketing tools provided you can own.

Next: Management – Final Accountability

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