In April 2010, with ISPE’s lease on its existing headquarters office space in Tampa, Florida, USA, about to expire, ISPE management was faced with a choice: renew the current space, or begin to investigate other options within the Tampa Bay area.
The management team felt that the real estate market in Tampa was just beginning to turn around, and by searching for new space, ISPE would be able to take advantage of the market at just the right time. So the search began for a new space that would allow ISPE to have a headquarters office that both staff and Members could be proud of, while reducing cost.
The search came to a successful end at 600 North Westshore Boulevard in Tampa, just four miles from our previous location. Thanks to the management team’s sharp instincts, we were able to secure a much larger space at a smaller cost than our previous location and negotiate an agreement in which the building owners would absorb most of the cost involved in a custom build-out of the new space.
The new headquarters office features an impressive reception area that immediately shows visitors who ISPE is and what we do. Signage highlights our mission statement, core Member statement, and significant Society initiatives and accomplishments. Members, vendors, job applicants, and industry personnel who visit ISPE headquarters will instantly get a sense of the Society’s status as an established voice in the world of pharmaceutical regulation and manufacturing.
Our custom build-out contains open-area workspaces to allow for a more collaborative work environment. This new ease of communication between departments will help facilitate initiatives that involve multiple teams and allow ISPE staff to have a greater awareness of other teams’ projects.
Our new suite also contains some significant technology upgrades that will enhance our ability to serve Member needs. During the move, we switched to a new, VOIP-based phone system. Not only will the VOIP capabilities reduce the amount ISPE spends on long-distance phone calls, but we are also investigating the cost-effectiveness of replacing our existing conference bridge with the one available through our new phone system, which will potentially save even more in overhead costs.
Our largest technology initiative was the building of a custom server room. Because we host our website, database, email, and other information systems on-site, a state-of-the-art server room is the key to ensuring that our electronic resources remain reliably available to our Members across the globe 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Our new server room incorporates redundant technologies for every core system component: power, wiring, HVAC, network infrastructure, data storage, etc. It features a waterless fire suppression system, proper air conditioning, and other systems necessary to a professional-grade server room. ISPE leveraged relationships with existing vendors to procure the necessary equipment and systems at bargain prices; the result will be a more reliable, seamless online experience for Members.
Special recognition is due to ISPE CFO Victoria Smoke and Administrative Coordinator Debbie Miller, who spent long months coordinating every aspect of the build-out and move, and to Chris Muratore, Director of Information Systems, and his team, who worked tirelessly to procure and implement our new technology systems, as well as to coordinate the move from an Information Systems standpoint. Finally, thanks are due to the numerous ISPE staff members who worked through a holiday weekend to ensure the smooth transition from one space to another.
We are confident that our new headquarters office will be a space that allows us to serve our Members with greater efficiency, imagination, and reliability. Along with the Strategic Reorganization project and the redesign of the ISPE website, our headquarters move is a sign of the changes taking place throughout the Society. We look forward to putting our new office to work for you.