Bobcat unveils building renovated for 'innovative and collaborative culture'
WEST FARGO—In search of a working environment with more collaboration, Bobcat Co. and Doosan North America held a grand opening Wednesday, May 31, for its $9.5 million expansion of its North American headquarters at 250 E. Beaton Dr., which doubled the size of the building.
Bobcat, a compact equipment company, started in North Dakota in 1947 and is the state's largest manufacturer with three North Dakota production facilities. Bobcat is owned by construction company Doosan and also has manufacturing facilities located in Europe and Asia.
The building, which houses the company sales, marketing, finance, administration, human resources and strategic sourcing, was built in 2000. With an original completion goal set for late summer of last year, renovations began 22 months ago.
"It starts with our culture, how we stay innovative and ahead of the competition," strategic sourcing specialist and facilities manager Nathan Gemar said. "It drives our culture and being in an innovative and collaborative culture, the building and technology needs to support that."
Schultz + Associates Architects was in charge of architecture while Roers was the general contractor and Grant's Mechanical worked on the electrical and mechanical aspects.
The whole project, Gemar said, started with the expansion of a parking lot. Gemar said the building, which now has 300 workspaces, didn't have had enough spaces before the renovations..
"How often do you get to be a part of this as a business or worker, to go through a culture change or facility change like this," Gemar said. "It's probably a once-in-a-career opportunity."
The newly renovated building mirrors that of Bobcat's facility in Bismarck. The building features open spaces with no cubicles that encourages open encounters. Bobcat director of marketing Laura Ness Owens said the intent of the design was to drive innovation and give the employees options of working space, whether they be for an introvert who wants to work in a solitary space or an extrovert who wants to be in open spaces surrounded by other people.
"It really inspires people to work together and bring the best ideas from all the different functional areas together," Ness Owens said. "We built the industry, we want to remain the leader in the industry. We believe this is one of the ways we can do that."
The building has about 90 pieces of artwork either developed by local artists or inspired by North Dakota, an outside patio, a second-floor balcony, a walking path around the building extending about 0.6 miles, more windows to bring in natural light, six teleconference rooms, computers with dual monitors and video chat capabilities, central storage space, sit-to-stand desks, and an entertainment center with a television, video games, dartboard, fireplace and chalkboard.
"Being able to collaborate and have so many different people in the mix is advantageous for us," Ness Owens said. "It's really interesting how you learn about yourself and how your work style can impact your work production."