I wanted to share three things I learned recently from speaking with a school district with a huge number of rooms to schedule.
There were a few things that struck me about their organization and process that I think are applicable to anybody that does facility scheduling, no matter how many facilities you have to schedule.
A Large Scheduling Operation
First off, when I say it's a bigger operation, what I mean is this is a district with 56 schools and over 2700 reservable spaces. Those are classrooms, outdoor ball fields, gymnasiums, cafeterias, anywhere that people use for activities. This school district rents these spaces out to various community groups.
They manage and track all of this facility use out of a single office with a staff of only 3 and do over 1 million dollars in revenue for the district annually. So, here's what that taught me.
Lesson 1: The Importance of Simplicity
No matter what scheduling system or process you have, it must be simple to use.
In the case of this district with 56 schools, each individual school is responsible for scheduling their own spaces for their own activities into a centralized scheduling system. This allows everyone to know when the rooms are available and who's using that space. It's also useful for security purposes. District security officers know exactly what is going on in all of the schools at any point in time.
Things will quickly fall apart if this centralized system is complex and difficult for each school to use as it is in this case. It created a training nightmare. Some individuals at the schools are not up to speed with how the system works so they either struggle trying to use it or they go the path of least resistance and call or email somebody else to schedule the room for them.
Lesson 2: Automate Everything You Can
As I stated before, they are doing a million dollars a year in revenue. This means they're doing a ton of invoicing out of their existing scheduling system. Many of these invoicing tasks are very repetitive and are done over and over again. They realized there are many things that they could save time doing if they were able to automate more of their process today.
Lesson 3: Make Scheduling Information Accessible
A scheduling system in 2020 needs to be accessible from anywhere.
Being locked to your desktop computer to even answer simple inquiries or questions can really slow you down. Even simple inquiries about room availability or what's happening in a space require that you are sitting at your desk to find the answer. Having a scheduling system that is accessible no matter where you are, from a computer or even from a phone, means you always have the information you need at your fingertips. A huge time saver.
If you have a system and a process that simplifies things for all your users, automates the tasks you do every day and is accessible anywhere you will be much better off no matter what size of organization you are trying to schedule for. Click here to learn more about Mazévo's innovative approach to room and resource scheduling.