For multi-site organizations like global consulting enterprises, higher education campuses, large law firms, financial service companies or multi-campus systems, scheduling your space and resources is critical for success.
But scheduling is more than simply coordinating space and resources—it is about productivity and cost control. For some organizations, it can be a crucial component for attracting and retaining top talent. For others, the way meetings and events are planned and managed has an impact on brand perception. Some organizations benefit from applying scheduling and space management to create and maximize new revenue streams.
No matter the underlying reasons, organizations should seek a software solution to help drive greater efficiencies in scheduling their meetings, events and resources.
Using the following three steps, you can evaluate and select the best enterprise scheduling platform and vendor for your business needs.
1. Pinpoint Solution Requirements
As the leader of the selection initiative, start by asking the right questions. Be certain of what you want in a scheduling platform and how it will benefit your organization.
Here are some questions to consider before moving forward:
- Are you seeking a platform for managed reservations, self-service or both?
- What are your current pain points that a reservation tool will address?
- What are your goals and objectives?
- Do you have any target metrics or KPIs?
Setting aside time to answer these types of questions first will have a profound effect on how you communicate the purpose and importance of your project.
2. Determine Key Stakeholders
One of the first things an organization needs to do before selecting a scheduling platform is to determine who will help evaluate the platforms and packages on the market and narrow them down to a short list of possible solutions.
A reservation tool will effect several different people in your organization and making sure that you are collaborating with the correct people will save you time and energy in the future.
Some of the people you may want to get involved include IT Directors, Facilities Directors, Service Managers and Conference Directors. Consider bringing in anyone who will be responsible for using, managing or maintaining the scheduling tool. They should be consulted at every step of the decision process as they will have valuable insight into how things currently work in your organization, and may be able to anticipate how this change will affect their day-to-day routines. A more comprehensive list of stakeholders to consider and their needs can be found in our white paper.
By determining key stakeholders—from IT managers to facilities directors— an organization can streamline the decision process and identify the most important scheduling initiatives. These stakeholders can also be your in-house product experts that will help simplify any future implementation.
3. Document Needs
After completing the first two steps, you will want to start establishing project outlines, lining up internal teams, and drafting a request for proposal (RFP), request for information (RFI) or an internal project document. But when choosing your solution, you need to focus on one key thing: will this platform be a singular solution that can meet all of your needs?
Whether you are working with managed reservations, self-service booking or both, the scheduling process needs to meet the needs of your enterprise – both now and in the future. By consolidating scheduling systems within a single, centralized solution, the scheduling processes can be streamlined and simplified, meaning you should not need any additional scheduling tools. Too many tools can create unneeded complexity for administrators and end users.
Make sure you are asking software vendors about how the software can serve all aspects of your enterprise during your selection process. This way, you can come away with the comprehensive, enterprise-class software platform that best suits your organizations specific needs and use-cases.
After completing these steps, you should have determined exactly what you need in a scheduling platform. It can be challenging to consider the full range of scheduling solutions and reservation tools available on the market, but by asking the right questions, your organization can turn space and resource scheduling from a cost center into a value driver.
Ultimately, by taking the time to fully understand what you can do with the right scheduling platform, you will be ready to make an informed decision.
Learn more about selecting the right scheduling platform for your organization by downloading our white paper here.