Vickie Wenzel, Vice President, Target Commercial Interiors in Madison, WI, discusses the local history of Target Commercial Interiors with Judy and Joan; from the founding in 1949 as Rowley-Schlimgen to the current organization. Vickie reflects on the approach she takes in working with clients, understanding their needs and wants and moving to determining budgets and goals. A recent project with Full Compass highlights her collaborative approach to space planning.
Vickie also discusses the advantages of working for a national company, Target, including the ability to source products from around the world, and the diversification to national, retail, hospitality, and healthcare projects. Target Commercial Interiors is part of Target’s property development pyramid. According to Vickie, “we [Target Commercial Interiors] bring to the parent company our organizational expertise in space planning, as well as workplace innovation. Because we are part of the planning and design group, we really have a good fit with people just like us, that plan and build stores all over the United States.”
Vickie’s role with Target Commercial Interiors is currently focused on new business development an urban Wisconsin market. She notes that the company is a “very matrixed organization,” sighting the example of a Design Manager in Wausau, WI who manages a design team in India.
“Target is about Expect More. Pay Less., and so is Target Commercial Interiors” says Vickie. The company’s ability to source products helps reinforce that mission. The new Madison, WI showroom showcases the application of products to unique environments such as mobile workers, corporate, education, healthcare, hotels, and home office environments.
Vickie also discusses the future of work, the migration from “I” space to “We” space. Group collaboration spaces are an emerging trend, which complements innovation in technology which allows workers to un-tether themselves from a workstation.
Cultural and demographic changes are causing distinct changes in space planning. Target Commercial Interiors’ new showroom reflects this trend, such as a treadmill desk, futuristic cable management, and flexible and technology dense meeting spaces. Chairs loaded with personal adjustment features are the norm now, however, innovative products such as collaborative technology embedded in a meeting table are just catching on.
Vickie also reflects on the recent economic changes and lack of access to credit, and the impact on Target Commercial Interiors’ business. “A couple bright spots for us are, our new retail store that we just launched…the idea is that people with home office and small start-up offices previously had nowhere to go, we now have professional grade furniture available in a showroom setting.”
There are also lots of opportunities for us to help businesses downsize to a smaller space or leverage their existing space. “Work has changed,” says Vickie, “why would you take the same square footage you currently have and shop for that again when your work process has likely dramatically changed?”
Vickie also provides some tips on increasing surface space in a home office. Separating our ‘active’, ‘anticipated’ and ‘archival’ work helps home office workers better manage their tangible workflow. Vickie suggest that using different worktools “help clients keep that work-in-process visually monitored, but in an organized way,” reducing the threat of out-of-sight, out of mind and eliminating the need to purchase more expensive items such as filing cabinets.
The office represents a human need to gather. The gathering space might mean a coffee shop, a shared collaborative area in the office , or a more formal conference room. Companies are trending toward remote work, although in many cases, policies remain tightly managed. Advantages include cost-savings or the home office program might be a part of a disaster-recovery plan. Companies are also finding that employee satisfaction increases with remote work flexibility, as the work-life balance becomes easier to manage.