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Client Stories

Indianapolis' First Integrated Services Center


Derrick Williams has been with IU Health for four plus years and was intentionally brought onto the team in 2015 as Executive Director; to lead the charge in building out the first ever Integrated Health Services Center in the State – completed in 2018. Prior to his work at Baylor Scott & White, Derrick had seasoned experience working in the Health Care Supply Chain Industry. Today, he shares his experience with Parallel Design Group and his other team of great partners for the IU Health Project in Plainfield; from start to finish. Read below to get a glimpse of the process.


Derrick knew that this process would take a significant amount of time – and it would be a marathon; not a sprint. Here are a few things the IU Health Team looked for as they interviewed architects and designers to work in partnership with.

  1. Picking someone who would challenge the norm.
  2. A group that would provide completely honest feedback.
  3. Friendly people who are willing to work with the needs of the company.

After a series of interviews, Derrick chose the team that provided great ideas, which ultimately connected the employees to the purpose of the organization. They were sold.


After conversations with Parallel Design Group, Derrick felt confident in his choice. As time passed, he shared that his level of comfort with all of the partners he had chosen increased significantly. “Once we selected Parallel, Briana and her team continued to go above and beyond. Briana traveled with me to scope out what other service centers were doing and how we could rise above the competition.” Briana and Derrick traveled to Utah and took time to scope out Intermountin Health; truly what is to be considered as the Gold Standard.

The takeaways from time spent in Utah? Derrick said, “The time was so helpful – and the thing that was most beneficial to us was speaking to people who had done this before. The Director of Logistics Gordon Slade joined us for a tour and challenged us to really consider building enough square footage to account for future growth. This was huge.”


After the funds were in place and the business case was approved, a primary goal amongst designers and architects was to ensure that even though a key part of the functionality of the business is warehouse operations, the client and design team did not want the end design to feel like a warehouse. With 300,000 square feet, the team decided to design the building so that the offices were around the dock doors. Distribution operations were in the back and when approaching the front of the building, an average guest would be greeted with a warm welcome and family feel instead of a stark and sterile warehouse.

Derrick shares that one of the design challenges when it comes to the employees is that the move from downtown Indianapolis to Plainfield was difficult for some. They knew they had to have the employees bought in from Day 1, which is why we involved them in the process. From inviting them to tours to inputting specific feedback on the design, we have made the process all about them and we still do. The employees even got to select huddle spaces, furniture and breakrooms. Obviously now, everyone loves the space!

In addition to allowing staff to be a part of the design process, a few key events that continue to boost employee morale amongst the staff are: town hall meetings once a month, Employee Engagement Committees, Chili & Lasagna Cook-offs (yum!), celebrating birthdays, baby showers and a little bit of everything. One thing that the leadership team at IU Health has done recently is providing fishing poles out by the lake in case they have the time to fish. The guys love it out there!


Upon completion of the project, in addition to the familial vibe, a unique feature of the huge space in Plainfield are the graphics showcased inside to boost employee morale and act as a learning tool to explain the flow of the company. These graphics are super helpful to new visitors at IU Health and for those who are trying to replicate similar systems in various markets.

Aside from the graphics, through various surveys the leadership of IU Health has learned that all the employees love the natural light provided by the unique design – the light is uplifting and energizing throughout.

Although the space footprint is quite large, the areas implemented in the design are used every single day. From Conference Rooms to Large Group Instruction Rooms to Break Rooms to the Fitness Center and everything in between, the space has a lot of flexibility for employees to flourish in. Not only can employees use all spaces, but the Board of Directors and any staff member from all of the area hospitals can come to work in the space at any time; underlining the tight-knit family environment.

To make sure that employees continue to provide feedback and stay satisfied, IU Health is continually pouring into HR efforts – they are focused on developing a better place to work every single day. They highlight the fact that IU Health is a family and they support 17 other hospitals; meaning there are supply chain jobs that their employees can grow into. A key learning as of late is the employees report via surveys that it truly is the reason they stay: The family approach.


Although the space is nearly 300,00 square feet (yes, you read that right); It is so clear to see the familial vibe upon entering the front doors of IU Health. Open 5 am to midnight 5 days a week, currently, the space is staffed by 120 employees; about 50 are office employees and the remainder are distribution center workers.

Up next? IU Health will go to a 24 hour service center. This will certainly change the flow of business overall, but will allow greater productivity.

Like anyone who is charged with multi-year, Three hundred-thousand square foot project, Derrick shares in closing, “We didn’t know what we didn’t know.” Overall, the growth of the people that IU Health was supporting was going quickly; quicker than anticipated. The volume of the medical products double in a six month period; but we put features in place in the interim which helped keep up with the volume increase; such as the robotic system.”

Through supporting 17 hospitals across the state, Derrick adds that what makes them unique is “It truly is a team effort every single day. We have contract agents, buyers, nurses, Transformation and Businesses application team members – and they all have to talk in order to make our process streamlined and the best in the state of Indiana.”

You can bet we will certainly be cheering them on!