Making buildings work for people

Context and question

In 2011 MCS, today known as Spacewell, was an innovative IT family business that advised its clients on their real estate and facility management, in other words, everything related to the design, management and maintenance of buildings and supporting services. This industry was characterised by a strong focus on managing costs among both suppliers and their clients at the time.

MCS wanted to set itself apart by turning the industry-wide mindset on its head by positioning facility management as profit management rather than cost management. This called for a fundamental reorientation of the company’s growth strategy, for which Callebaut Collective’s was consulted.


Together with MCS, we developed a new approach that was tailored to their clients. It involved MCS putting its own knowledge to work to convince their clients to take concrete, appropriate steps. This means that MCS no longer simply supplies raw data to its clients, but instead translates this data into useful insights that can be used to optimise the management and operation of client buildings and infrastructure. The data and systems are also used to transform the buildings into smart buildings, generating profit for clients in the form of efficient, economic and sustainable facility management. In short, from cost to profit management.

In 2015, MCS was ready to take the next step. The company wanted to challenge the big international players from their underdog position. How MCS is different? It speaks the same language as its clients. After the completion of a customer-centricity journey, a tailored approach was developed for each vertical market segment, with the prospects approached from a thorough knowledge of their universe and in the language of their sector. This highly focused and fragmented approach was crucial to win the prospect’s trust as a small player.

In 2018 and 2019, another important step was taken with the rebranding of MCS into Spacewell (with the mission statement: “We make buildings work for people”), and the development of an ecosystem within Nemetschek, the listed international group specialised in the digitisation of companies.


With the help of technology and integrated software, Spacewell achieved an improved real estate performance with respect to costs, reduced risks, employee satisfaction, sustainability and image. This has allowed Spacewell to develop from a local underdog into a visionary leader in the field of Workplace Management Systems. An evolution that merited the company’s shareholders, Jadeberg Partners, gaining the investors a strong return on their exit – and this in the very short term.

“Callebaut Collective delivered well-thought-out strategic advice but also translated this into a tangible and achievable deliverable. By the end of the process, I had a concrete action plan between my hands that I could immediately get to work with. I look back on a nice collaboration – the right expertise, but also a personal approach and commitment.”
Koen Matthijs
then CEO at MCS

People involved

Jan Callebaut (kernteam)
Jan Callebaut
Sarah Steenhaut (kernteam)
Sarah Steenhaut, Ph.D.