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Moves, Adds, and Changes: Why You Need a Dedicated MAC Solution

All businesses need to move employees around from time to time, along with the assets assigned to those employees. For small businesses with only a handful of team members, this can be a straightforward process that requires relatively little forethought or strategy to accomplish. But for enterprises, organizations, or agencies that employ more people, the moving process becomes more complex and requires an organized process flow and a dedicated solution to keep things on track.

Moves, Adds, and Changes (MAC) refers to the process of managing where employees are located and which assets are assigned to them, as well as requesting, approving, and tracking any changes that need to be made. It can involve moving and/or replacing furniture, equipment, lockers, mail slots, and other assets, and often requires coordination with vendors (such as a moving company) and various internal teams (like IT and HR).

Note: The term “MAC” has other applications as well. In IT, the acronym still stands for “Moves, Adds, and Changes,” but it refers to tracking computer equipment and keeping it up to date. We’ll be discussing moves, adds, and changes in the context of space management. This variety of MAC is also known as move management.

Due to complexity and scale, MAC can create significant challenges for modern workplaces. Without a clear, consistent, and efficient process in place, MAC can create constant disruptions to regular operations. In this article, we’ll focus on:

  • What qualifies as a MAC event
  • How we address MAC in Tango Space
  • Steps to a MAC process flow
  • Why you need a centralized solution for MAC requests

What are MAC events?

Any time an employee, team, department, or major asset needs to be relocated or reassigned, it triggers a MAC event. This covers a wide variety of different scenarios. For example:

  • A newly hired employee needs to get set up at a station.
  • An executive wants a new office.
  • An employee requests a locker to store their belongings.
  • An employee wants to move closer to others they’re working with.
  • An employee needs a new desk, chair, or other furniture or equipment.
  • An employee has a problem with their existing workspace and requests a move.
  • An employee transfers from one department to another.
  • An employee receives a promotion that comes with an upgraded space.
  • An employee leaves the company, freeing up their workspace and equipment.
  • A team or department moves to a bigger space as their number grows.
  • A whole office moves to a new building.

For enterprises and large organizations with thousands or tens of thousands of employees, this can add up to a huge headache. The more employees, office spaces, and variables you have, the more unwieldy MAC becomes. At scale, you have far more instances of people requesting changes to their workspace, as well as more chances for conflicts to arise.

Without an organized MAC process and a centralized source of truth, these events become impossible to manage, execute, and track. The end result is wasted time, inefficiently used space, continual frustrations, and a decrease in productivity.

To manage MAC events and avoid the headaches, you need a dedicated software solution, like Tango Space.

Managing MAC requests in Tango

Tango Space provides a suite of tools for office space management, including space utilization tracking, planning and forecasting, scenario planning, and of course, managing MAC requests. Our software streamlines the MAC request process, keeping track of all the important details for you, and making it easy to fulfill your employees’ space requirements.

Steps to a MAC process flow

While the exact process can vary by organization and may depend on what solutions are used, we can look at five basic steps that illustrate a typical MAC process flow. Following these steps helps to keep the MAC process organized and under control.

1. The MAC request is placed

The last thing you want is for people to make changes themselves without initiating any kind of official process to track the change. If they move to a new desk without asking, for example, it means that you no longer have an accurate record of the employee’s location or which workstations are being used. A manager could easily assign someone else to the desk that is now occupied, all while that employee’s original desk sits unused because the records show it as taken. Not to mention, for weeks or even months after the move, people may look for the employee at their old location.

So the first step in a MAC process needs to be making an official request. Depending on how you have your MAC solution set up, the request could be made directly by the employee, it could be made by a manager on the employee’s behalf, or it could be automated based on some other event that triggers the request—for example, an exit from the company. You don’t want to create bottlenecks in the request process, but you need to ensure that every request is tracked and recorded.

2. The MAC request is reviewed

Once the MAC request is placed, those who need to be involved in approving the request are given the chance to do so. For example, the employee’s manager may need to review the reasons for the request to ensure they’re valid, and the space management team will need to confirm that the requested space or assets are available to meet the request. Assuming it all checks out, they’ll approve the request.

Note that while approval makes a logical second step in the process, it doesn’t necessarily have to occur in this exact order. Depending on the software being used, approval could occur at any time before the MAC request is completed.

Approval is where you’ll want to be more guarded about authorization. The people with power to approve MAC requests need to have visibility into and control over how your office space is being used across your portfolio and what your long-term plans and goals are for your real estate. Giving a team leader, manager, or even executive this authority can introduce inconsistency to your process and create headaches during other changes down the road.

3. The MAC request is assigned

The request is assigned to whichever person or department will facilitate the physical change. If there’s an issue, they have the ability to reject the request, place it on hold, or cancel it entirely. They can also group requests together when it makes sense to perform them all at once—for example, when a team of employees moves together.

Note that rejections, holds, cancellations, and groupings can potentially occur at any time before the MAC request is completed.

4. The MAC request is scheduled

MAC requests typically involve multiple people, from the employee at the center of the request to their manager to those performing the move to potentially IT, outside vendors, and others. So it’s important for everyone to be on the same page about when the change is occurring. Facilities or admin schedules a date for the change and notifies all relevant parties. If necessary, the date can be rescheduled and all parties updated accordingly.

5. The MAC request is completed

When the time comes, the change is completed. This includes physically relocating the people and/or assets, marking the MAC request as completed in the system, and updating the system with the new information about where employees and/or assets are located and which spaces are now available or occupied.

Having followed this process, all people and assets will remain accounted for, and the system will remain ready to handle other MAC requests.

Why you need a centralized solution for MAC requests

In addition to having an organized process for MAC requests, you also need to use a centralized software solution to manage it all. Far too many businesses attempt to carry out these steps using little more than individual emails and an assortment of spreadsheets. But doing so introduces a host of unnecessary problems.

MAC requests should have a single source of truth

Because you don’t want to do a visual walkthrough every time someone makes a MAC request, you need a way to store information about which spaces and assets are assigned to which employees. Lacking a dedicated solution, businesses tend to turn to spreadsheets. It’s an understandable impulse, given the flexibility spreadsheets afford, but it can introduce more problems than it solves.

Depending on which spreadsheet solution you use, you may end up relying on individual spreadsheet files saved on local devices, copied freely, and emailed around as often as they are changed. This is a disaster waiting to happen, as it becomes nearly impossible to know which copy is the most recent one. Even if you have the most recent copy, other people could make other changes based on a different copy that never merged into the “official” spreadsheet.

This issue is partially resolved by cloud-based spreadsheet software. At least there, the information is centralized and updated for everyone at the same time. However, it still suffers from the fact that all data has to be recorded manually.

This means that anyone can introduce an error at any time, either to the data itself or to the formulas that make sense of the data. And finding an error in a spreadsheet—especially a spreadsheet complicated enough to track space allocations for a whole business—can be a monumental task that needlessly wastes time and resources.

With a dedicated solution like Tango Space, you have a centralized source of truth for all your space allocation data and MAC requests, and role-based access ensures that each employee can only make changes and requests that pertain to their role and permission level.

MAC requests have a lot of moving parts that are hard to get right

Without a centralized solution, individuals are left to their own devices to complete a MAC request. Even if you have a formalized process in place, such as a page on your internal wiki that lays out each step, it is still up to each individual to actually follow that process properly from start to finish.

The person initiating the request will have to manually look up each person who needs to be included, add all of their email addresses to the initial request, and then follow up with each of them to ensure that progress is actually being made.

Then those responsible for approving the request will have to look up the status of the requested space to see if it’s available, either by doing a visual walk through or by digging through dubious spreadsheets. And they’ll have to confer with the employee’s manager to ensure the change is permissible on their end.

Then those responsible for facilitating the move will have to loop everyone back in again to finalize any details, schedule the move, and potentially reschedule the move.

Finally, someone needs to check in to ensure everything went according to plan and the move actually occurred before updating the questionable spreadsheets so they (hopefully) remain up to date for the next MAC request.

At any point in this process, it would be incredibly easy to accidentally leave a vital party out of the loop, siloing information away from those who need it and leaving the door open for mistakes and conflicts.

In Tango Space, employees are presented with intuitive forms and automated processes that streamline the MAC request from start to finish, preventing errors and keeping everyone in the loop.

MAC requests should account for other MAC requests in progress

Imagine two employees from two different departments each request a new space at around the same time. Everyone follows the proper procedures for who to email and where to check to see if the requested space is available. And both employees have their requests approved and the moves scheduled. There’s just one problem: they were both assigned to the same new space.

Even though everyone was looped in properly, and each party did their part to confirm the space’s availability, the information was siloed just enough that no one noticed the overlap. The spreadsheet they relied on only shows whether the space is currently available or not, and it won’t be marked as unavailable until after the first employee’s move is completed. By then, the second employee’s move could already be scheduled, with no one having a reason to look at the spreadsheet again before the move happens.

Everyone involved in the second move—not to mention the employee from the first move—will be in for a surprise when they show up to fill the now-occupied space. Then they’ll have to deliberate over which employee has the greater claim to the space, and for at least one of them, the whole process will have to start all over again.

A dedicated solution for managing MAC requests, such as Tango Space, accounts for which spaces and assets are currently available and lets you visualize the upcoming moves preventing such mishaps from taking place.

MAC requests shouldn’t burden the space management team

Because of the difficulty with keeping track of a manual process for MAC requests, employees tend to default to the space management team to do more than their role calls for. When they don’t know the right person to contact next for their MAC request, the space management team just seems like a reasonable guess.

So they end up getting tasked with identifying all the appropriate parties to loop in, coordinating with IT, vendors, and moving companies, scheduling the move, and finalizing the MAC request after the fact. That’s a lot of extra tasks on their plate when they really only need to be involved in approving the request.

A dedicated MAC solution like Tango Space ensures that everyone is brought into the process where relevant to their role, without wasting anyone’s time with additional duties.

MAC requests should be able to move as quickly as needed

Some MAC requests will need to operate on a much higher priority than others. If, for example, an individual employee simply wants a change of scenery, you might be able to accommodate them, but there likely won’t be much urgency to make the change happen on a tight time frame.

On the other hand, if a fire alarm triggers a sprinkler system that renders a whole floor temporarily unusable, you may be faced with the prospect of immediately relocating an entire department so they can continue their work with as little disruption as possible. In such a scenario, it simply isn’t viable to wait for one email after another to slowly trickle in as each relevant party happens to notice it in their inbox and respond.

Dedicated solutions like Tango Space let you assign a priority level to each MAC request, and they allow all requests to move through the process much more quickly than waiting on responses to emails.

MAC requests should be accessible

Ideally, anyone should be able to place a MAC request at any time. Whether they need a new desk chair, want to move to another space, would like access to a locker, or whatever else their request may be, they should have access to easily place that request on their own.

They shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to initiate a complicated request process for every little change. When only a small number of people can make requests, it ends up creating bottlenecks that slow everything down. Your space planning team doesn’t need to facilitate every step of an employee’s MAC request—they just need to approve or deny it based on what’s available and what else is happening with your space.

Tango Space is accessible and intuitive enough for all employees to initiate their MAC requests—while ensuring the request is properly tracked, approved, and accounted for.

Tango streamlines the MAC process

Tango Space is a comprehensive tool for MAC and space management that’s simple to use for requesters and space planners alike. Your employees get a straightforward chain of steps that provide all the information they’ll need, including thorough descriptions of each space and even floor plans so they can see exactly what they’re requesting.

Our software scales with your company, handling everything from day-to-day changes to major transitions with ease. It supports locker management, neighborhoods, hybrid workplaces, reservation systems, automatic wayfinding, and more.

Ready to see what Tango Space can do for your organization? Request a demo today.


Tango 2023 Sustainability Report

We have released our first Sustainability Report for 2023, marking an important step in our sustainability journey. In the report, we announce our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, setting us apart as a pioneer in the larger ecosystem of real estate technology providers.