Optimizer, (c) 2024 NooflabFinnish start-up NoofLab has launched a new tool that will enable those seeking real estate to analyse options for office space locations. The new tool, Optimizer, presents data in a variety of formats, including maps, data visualisations and lists. It provides users with the information to decide where a new office should be located. The firm believes that Optimizer will help brokers, real estate owners and organisations to quickly identify the best location for their next office. The solution is primarily targeted at the real estate market.

NoofLab also operates in Finland as a real estate consultancy and office finder under the Kaikkitoimitilat.fi brand. Optimizer is an internally developed and presumably used tool that it has now productised.

The tool analyses the commute time for employees, calculating the distance and travel time between their homes and their offices. It calculates the optimal route for travelling by car, bike, public transport or walking. It can also factor in the number of days each employee may work in an office. What isn’t clear is whether users can personalise the data to indicate whether an employee is able to drive or the cost implications for their commute.

For organisations, it means that by choosing property locations, they can reduce the environmental footprint of their employees’ commute journey. The analysis will also feed into communication during any change management with employees.

Jyrki Vaittinen, the Founder and CEO of NoofLab
Jyrki Vaittinen, the Founder and CEO of NoofLab

From an organisation’s point of view, there are potentially significant benefits. If a new location can reduce journey times for each employee by six minutes every day, this equates to a time saving of one hour a week and around a week every year.

Jyrki Vaittinen, the Founder and CEO of NoofLab, identified the need for this when he was looking for a good office location for a client, “For employees to want to return to the office, we have to pick a location that is most convenient and accessible for them.”

How much is this tool

For consulting firms looking to use this tool frequently, the solution is priced at €400 per month for a single user. For organisations looking for a one-time analysis, the price varies depending on the number of employees. It starts at €500 for organisations with less than 50 employees. That amount seems expensive for a one time analysis, and it is unclear what the one-time analysis means. After all, a new location search may take several weeks or months and surface multiple locations.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

This has the potential to become a very interesting solution. There are already similar, but much more comprehensive solutions targeting enterprise customers, such as Precisely’s location intelligence. Optimizer appears targeted at smaller organisations and simpler use cases. It is unclear where the investment will now go to improve the product. It feels like Vaittinen is trying to identify the market fit for the tool. This could be something that some organisations will pay for, but it might need further work to make it viable.

Understanding the cost of a commute is important, at least for employees. However, there are other factors that business leaders may wish to consider that make this a very simple tool for the moment. Those things include business rates, rent, nearby dining venues, and parking. It is, after all, easy to drive to work, but unless parking is available, it may not be an option.

The challenge for NoofLab will be keeping the information up to date. Does it gather data using APIs from actively updated sources? It also isn’t clear whether it is using the Overture Maps Foundation data, Google Maps or something else. What will be interesting to see is how this tool develops and what the early use cases for it are. It is unclear whether NoofLab (also known as Nordic Office Lab) has received funding yet. Once Vaittinen has proven the need, will he seek funding to accelerate the product roadmap?


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