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How to Build a Better Facility Use Program

Transforming your facility use program into an efficient, revenue-generating program that maximizes utilization is a process—constantly changing and evolving.

Transforming your facility use program into an efficient, revenue-generating program that maximizes utilization is a process—constantly changing and evolving. This is why simply licensing facility management software alone usually doesn’t work. Shifting away from the hodgepodge of fragmented calendars used by various departments and facility administrators can be challenging, but for Facilitron, it’s simply stage one of the journey. Let’s look at the different stages of developing a facility use program and how Facilitron can help you navigate each stage.

Stage 1: Transitioning calendars and schedules into a single system

The first step of developing a facility use program is documenting facility use across the organization. This means aggregating the event schedules and calendars of each facility into one system. Migrating the individual facility calendars managed by various stakeholders into the Facilitron system requires cooperation and a change in thinking.

Though many users may be firmly attached to Google and Outlook calendars, entering schedules in Facilitron’s S&R system allows there to be “one system-of-record” where data is aggregated and accessible. Consequently, users who want to continue to rely on their Google or Outlook calendars for viewing events, can do so by using links created by the Facilitron system. This allows them to subscribe and view their same facility calendars but that calendar is instead powered by the Facilitron system which becomes the system-of-record. This eliminates the need for double entry into two systems.

How Facilitron Helps:

Facilitron’s support teams help you get through this stage by assisting admins enter their schedules and by using system data to reveal where compliance with the new system is lacking. In a society where the emphasis on safety, security, equity and transparency has never been more essential, Facilitron also helps your team understand the importance of accurately documenting facility use.

Stage 2: Managing facility use revenue to get as close to 100% of board policy as possible

Facility operators often find after examining facility use transactions that there are more individual exceptions than collective adherence to policy. Tracking policy rates, or the rates that your organization's policies dictate, versus the actual amount renter groups are charged allows administrators to more quickly become aware of renter groups who may have agreements, whether written or unwritten, that exempt them from certain fees or policies. These “exceptions” to policy are often historical arrangements that have been in place without review for years or even decades and out-of-sight from higher level administrators.

How Facilitron Helps:

Facilitron’s revenue reports track “Policy” vs “Actual” amounts and allow Facilitron account managers and facility administrators to easily access reservation details to discover who authorized any exception or change in fees. Conversations about these exceptions can lead to changes in policy that can either accommodate the exceptions or lead to better enforcement of policy. Changes may also include the creation of new board-approved rate groups or the placing an organization in a rate group that already exists. These solutions ensure that fees match policy and prevents the need for individuals to change pricing once a reservation request is in place.

Stage 3: Applying consistent and uniform processes and policies across locations

As reservations are processed and data begins to aggregate, inefficient processes, or in some cases areas where processes are weak or undefined, become evident. Cancellation policies are often undefined or inconsistently enforced, allowing last-minute renter cancellations without regard to commitments or costs that may have already been incurred. Another example of missing or unenforced policy: measuring the number of days a request remains “pending” before an action is taken (approve/decline). A policy or expectation regarding how long it should take an approver to make a decision about a request is often overlooked, leaving community organizations in limbo for weeks or even months awaiting a decision.

How Facilitron Helps:

Facilitron’s Executive Summary Reports track many KPIs such as “Days Pending by Organization.” These reports compare the performance of all of your locations as well as provide an organization average so baselines can be determined and new goals can be set and achieved. These reports can also reveal inequities from site to site which allows your organization to get out in front of potential liabilities. Facilitron shares best practices and can guide your organization on how to refine processes to ensure that each community group is treated equally.

Stage 4: Understanding the cost per hour to operate

In 2010, the Center for Cities and Schools and the 21st Century School Fund, two non-profit organizations focusing on school facilities, published a paper on joint use at public schools introducing for the first time a framework to help schools and communities work together to share public infrastructure. The project included a formula for calculating facility use cost per hour using operational costs and a number of other variables including square footage. Understanding the cost to operate allows public space managers like schools and cities to more easily facilitate joint use and support cultural, athletic and educational programs provided by community organizations. Public space managers who aren’t able to determine their actual costs to operate bear a much more difficult financial burden in supporting community organizations than do operators who base their fee structure on actual costs.

How Facilitron Helps:

Facilitron conducts for its partners at no additional expense, a periodic cost analysis using operational costs, square footage as well as actual utilization data collected by the Facilitron platform. This cost-per-hour data, unique to each facility type, serves as a baseline for how public space operators should structure their fees and rate tables.

Stage 5: Iteratively using data to make policy changes and to inform fee structures

Automating the collection of data about facility use and making that data accessible in real-time provides the intelligence that can facilitate operational change. This iterative process of tracking, measuring and analyzing can reveal the policies and processes in your program that are missing, inefficient, unenforced or simply not working.

How Facilitron Helps:

Facilitron account managers analyze your operational data and help you set and achieve the goals that are right for your organization. From reviewing joint use agreements and in-kind service agreements to refining policies and processes, we bring experience and best practices from operators in your area and around the country.

To learn more about becoming a Facilitron partner, contact us at partnerships@facilitron.com or schedule a demo today.

Learn more about Facilitron and our core Scheduling and Reservations application here:


About Facilitron

Facilitron is a data-driven facilities management platform and marketplace that integrates work orders, facility use scheduling and the leasing process of school facilities and public/private spaces into one singular system-of-record. With over 4000 schools and close to 6-billion square feet of facility space on the platform, Facilitron has processed and supported over 2.8 million community events since the company was founded in 2015.