Inna Sotnikova: "Technical operation is about the atmosphere and safety at the same time"

At the invitation of the Ukrainian Malls Club Inna Sotnikova, Director of Prospekt and RayON shopping malls, made a report "Flex management: new requirements, trends, opportunities and obstacles" at the conference "Technical operation of shopping malls and business centers: cost optimization". The audience of the event was technical directors, managers, investors of shopping malls, office centers and multifunctional complexes, who shared their experience in cost optimization.

In addition to the technical component, Inna also presented the aesthetic role of the shopping mall. She tells in the op-ed for Malls Club why she resorted to such a decision.

Invisible, but important
Shopping malls are unique objects that visitors appreciate for their pleasant atmosphere. It includes not only architecture, ability to distance yourself from people and at the same time stay in an open society, communication with sales consultants, unhurried shopping trips, but also the titanic efforts of the technical team and contractors who establish ventilation and air conditioning systems, lighting in the shopping mall, create a microclimate of premises, etc. These processes are invisible to the guests of the shopping mall, but it is thanks to them that it is comfortable to be in the shopping mall.

And although technical equipment is not the illuminated storefronts of "anchor" tenants, which tens of thousands of people pass by every day, we also maintain it in an aesthetic form. In particular, this is manifested in regular cleaning procedures and the presence of clear labeling. And most important, our fire escape ladder does not serve as a hanger.

Technical operation is also about how safe the visitor feels in the shopping mall. We have a well-thought-out fire extinguishing system, and 745 m3 of water is stored in the tank in the basement of Prospekt shopping mall. If you look carefully at the ceiling in the gallery of the shopping mall, you can see a number of taps, from which water will flow in case of fire.

What has been achieved over the past year
Previously, it usually took from 10 to 24 days for the shopping mall's staff to enter a certain process or state. But when the first lockdown was announced in 2020, this time was reduced to 6 hours.

Flexibility and speed have become a priority in management for the sake of safety, efficiency and attractiveness. Despite the fact that conditionally one store could operate, it was still necessary to attract and organize all services: cleaning, security service, maintenance.

By agreement with the contractors, during the first lockdown, we managed to reduce the cost of technical processes: savings reached 50%. To date, we have returned to pre-quarantine indicators.

Shopping malls as an interconnected ecosystem
A shopping mall is a lively and flexible ecosystem that goes through certain stages of development and affects the environment of urbanism and society. Technical operation as its important component also does not stand still, because every year technologies are improved, and investors' requirements for the energy efficiency of the shopping mall increase.

Therefore, in order to understand the state of energy consumption of our RayON shopping mall and determine its prospects, we conducted an energy audit. Since we formulated a detailed technical specification, we received clear recommendations from the contractor. We also realized that the RayON shopping mall is not inferior in terms of the quality of technical equipment to either European or American shopping malls.

We develop shopping malls as social centers, so we implement exactly those initiatives that attract local communities and opinion leaders. Recently, we presented the fashion & Profession art exhibition at Prospekt shopping mall, and we are pleased that the operation service also took an active part in its implementation.
This demonstrates a simple and unshakable fact: there are no "less important" or "secondary" services - all of them are extremely necessary, because they form a complete organism, ensuring the healthy functioning of the shopping mall.