Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

August 2014    |    Volume: 46    |    Number: 8

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial Engineers

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Work Perfect

The day we strive forDavid Smith - Photo courtesy of David Lobel 

David Smith

Managing director, Global Corporate Services
Newmark Knight Frank
New York

Newmark Knight Frank is one of the top five commercial real estate firms in the world. Our firm offers services including operations and portfolio strategy, location strategy and optimization, workplace and workflow strategy, real estate consulting and advisory services, global program and project management, and facilities and property management. We do a lot of work for the financial services industry, law firms and high-tech operations.

I have spent the majority of my career in warehousing and distribution center design and process improvement. My most recent role at Newmark Knight Frank is to develop strategies to align real estate portfolios with the operational requirements of my clients’ business strategies. My core IE skills work across facility types (manufacturing, distribution, labs, offices). We help real estate organizations lower occupancy costs, reduce space needs and improve the functionality of the space for the occupants. This role really integrates IE skill sets with architecture, finance, human resources and real estate advisory services.

The most satisfying part of my job is when happy clients bring us back for other projects. There are a number of reasons why consultants are used; sometimes clients do not have the internal capability, while often it’s a matter of schedule or gaining a fresh outside perspective. For me, being a bit more on the technical side, it is also fun developing custom tools that we use both internally and for clients to give them an advantage in their industries.

I work out of my home 50 percent to 60 percent of the time. Otherwise, I’m on the road at one of our many offices or at a client site. A perfect day at home involves getting through the initial deluge of project e-mails, holding project conference calls or WebEx reviews to keep everything on track, and also performing WebEx sales calls and demonstrations of the tools our group has developed. When on the road, a perfect day is a happy client and no delays at the airport!

– Interview by David Brandt

David Brandt is the Web managing editor for IIE.