Facility/Room Scheduling Software
March 29, 2018 8:59 PM   Subscribe

Please recommend software designed for reserving facilities and tracking their use.

The college I work for has a single athletic facility with weight rooms, a gym, etc. It's used for intercollegiate athletic team practices and competitions, intramurals, classes, and open access times.

The current scheduling system involves excel, word docs with tables, outlook calendars, whiteboards, pieces of paper, and so on. It's a hot mess and a conflict generator.

This is not my department, but I was asked to participate in a work session with the goal of creating a scheduling policy and procedure. Five minutes in, I could see it was doomed because we had no reliable platform. No one left satisfied.

The director in charge would listen to me, I think, if an affordable software package could make this manageable.

If you use something you think might work, please share your experience, or at least tell me what to look for or avoid.
posted by Caxton1476 to Technology (6 answers total)
Xytech is the standard in my industry but is overpowered and overspecialized for the needs you’ve listed. Try resourceguruapp.com.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:36 PM on March 29, 2018

I work at a university and have colleagues whose job is campus-wide room scheduling. Will a single person (or same persons) be managing the schedule? Or does it need to be accessed, edited, and modified by many different folk?

My room scheduling colleagues work in the registrar’s office. Depending on what kind of software your college uses, they may have a license that your group could use to manage a block of facilities, assuming there are one or two people who would be managing the room scheduling.

If many people will be making changes, I’m afraid that’s of no use to you.
posted by nathaole at 9:39 PM on March 29, 2018

It sounds like what you need is one uniform process for scheduling the rooms and one calendar that shows what's reserved - the problem is more getting agreement on scheduling than the software? It does not need to be this complex and could probably be handled in outlook (one calendar per room) with someone printing and posting schedules by the rooms daily or weekly. Do you have a semester/quarterly scheduling setup where first, say, the classes schedule, then the teams, then the intramurals (or whatever suits your group dynamics)?

At a previous job we used meeting room manager, but it may be overkill for what you need. It allows access to schedule none/one / some / all of the rooms, but to get that (from any software) you have to have someone as an administrator to handle permissions. It was pretty easy to set up and maintain. You can group rooms, if that's helpful. But that was for an organization with probably 30 locations, each with multiple meeting rooms and a lot of infighting over who could schedule where.
posted by momus_window at 9:40 PM on March 29, 2018

When I worked at the library we needed a solution to manage all the study rooms we had - we ended up with Dibs. It works great! Dibs
posted by onebyone at 6:09 AM on March 30, 2018

To clarify: there's one "athletic facility", but are each part individually reservable ? (eg I can reserve the weight room, while team B reserves the gymnasium, and team C has the basketball court, etc)

If you want it self-service, current job has all the meeting rooms in outlook. When you set up a new meeting in outlook, the scheduling assistant has the "add room" button, and that shows room availability etc. But finding a room isn't contentious here (though some folks tend to book a room for a day "just in case" which is annoying). If you already run outlook, this would be a good way.

Previous jobs where rooms were scarce and contention high, they kept a paper notebook at the front desk. You could as an admin to find a room (or book one for you) and/or check yourself what is available. The is not exactly self-serve, and if you aren't there, or after hours and no admin to answer the email, doesn't work to well. (Since meetings were always business hours etc, it worked)
posted by k5.user at 6:26 AM on March 30, 2018

Check to see if your college's library is already using LibCal for room scheduling. If so check it out and see if it would meet your needs. It's geared towards libraries but should work for reserving any kind of space.
posted by kbuxton at 10:39 PM on March 30, 2018

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