Inna Sotnikova about flex-management of the shopping mall

The shopping mall is no longer associated only with the building, where it is important to make repairs and update the walls. This is an organic living flexible eco-system that has its own stages of development and environmental impacts of urbanism and society. Managing this system means taking into account a whole range of business processes, including technical, organizational, communication, operational, and commercial components…

Inna Sotnikova, Director of Prospekt shopping mall and RayON shopping mall, talks about the nuances of leadership in the current conditions, working with people, technologies, innovations, and some life hacks.

— I am responsible for managing two shopping malls: the local district shopping mall RayON and the large-scale Prospekt shopping mall located on the left bank of the capital. These objects have different positioning, target audiences, and infrastructure connections. However, in terms of operation, the facilities have common approaches to management principles in all directions. I want to share some of them.

Management priorities
The first and most important thing in management is flexibility for the sake of safety, efficiency and attractiveness.
For example, last year we experienced a stage where the requirements for the operation of the shopping mall were constantly changing: new amendments to the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers, orders of the Kyiv city administration, protocols of the State Commission on technogenic and environmental safety and emergency situations, additional requirements of the State Administration in Desnianskyi district of Kyiv, as well as recommendations of the     sanitary and epidemiological agency, the consumer protection committee, the police and other authorities.

6 hours to implement new processes
In all these official documents of an inquisitorial nature, there were many prescriptions, even somewhat contradictory to each other, which could be interpreted in different ways.

Everything happened quickly - from the date of adoption of the amendment to the arrival of regulatory authorities with a check on the object was less than 8 hours.

During this limited time, we had to implement new business processes in the operation of the shopping mall. The organization of entrance sanitary control with thermal screening, hand disinfection and providing visitors with masks took 6 hours. Although for standard business processes, this takes a week, because you need to collect information about market offers and pricing policies for these services, conclude a cooperation agreement, and coordinate with colleagues from the relevant structural divisions of the company – financial, legal, and operational departments. And all state inspections, which took place on a permanent basis, passed without comments.

During the first lockdown period, the regulatory authorities visited us more than 140 times, which could last both a whole day and several stages a day!

About software and hardware characteristics of the shopping mall
The advantages of each shopping mall are its atmosphere and occupancy. We are talking about tenants, visitors, and the team that is responsible for managing it. At the intersection of these audiences and their interests the most interesting thing happens – meeting needs and making new decisions. After all, each audience needs appropriate communication – official, business, creative, organizational, informational and technological. And in each direction, this affects the formation of a competitive atmosphere of the shopping mall, which can rightly be called software advantages of the social space that we are constantly developing, improving, feeling the insights of our target groups.

Well, the hardware of the shopping mall is all its technical and organizational characteristics, including uninterrupted operation and automation of management of all building systems, well-coordinated cooperation with service companies: security service, cleaning and landscaping; maintenance of BMS systems, power grids, ventilation and air conditioning, heating, water supply and sewerage; repair work on cosmetics and restoration; adaptation processes of tenants, etc.

Even with all the established and time-tested standard business processes, we often have to act in difficult circumstances that require flexibility and efficiency.

We call it Flex&fast Management, which is a challenge and trend today. In general, everything is simple: we disinfect, communicate, ventilate and never panic!