When you’re in the market for an enterprise solution like space planning software, you likely want to be confident about your investment before you sign on the dotted line. With a software system that impacts your entire workforce, there’s a lot to consider. While some space planning software features have become industry standard, others are more difficult to find—but they are crucial when it comes to being able to plan for your future real estate needs and the needs of your workforce.
Here are 10 questions you need to ask as you evaluate space planning software.
On-premise and hosted solutions are considerably more expensive and difficult to maintain than SaaS space planning platforms. They are also updated less frequently, which makes them more vulnerable and susceptible to security risks. In addition, it’s usually more difficult to integrate on-premise or hosted solutions with new technology.
The best space planning software will give you full visibility into individual properties and your real estate portfolio at a glance. It should track important corporate real estate metrics, as well as workplace metrics such as:
Knowing these metrics will help you plan ahead while ensuring you strike the right balance between cost-effectiveness and comfort.
Sophisticated data capture and analysis features are an essential part of space planning software. The right space planning solution needs to integrate directly with Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and employee badging systems to track real-time occupancy and utilization. Without this, you will be missing key insights that can affect your decision-making.
All of the utilization and occupancy data in the world is useless if you don’t have the tools to organize and analyze it. Space planning software should offer customizable reporting and analytics dashboards that are both robust and easy to use. You should be able to create presentation-ready reports in minutes.
In a recent Verdantix survey of 300 global real estate and facilities directors, 80% said the quality of the user interface was an important factor in their decision to purchase software. That makes sense, especially because its use is no longer limited to a single facilities manager or real estate leader. As more department leaders and employees use modern space planning software, they expect a modern, intuitive user interface that mimics the technology they use every day.
You can’t have a comprehensive picture of your real estate portfolio without the ability to visualize your floor plans. And in order to do this, you must be able to integrate the space planning software with your AutoCAD and/or building information modeling (BIM) systems. Without this capability, you won’t be able to see the true impact of workplace changes before you implement them.
Space planning software shouldn’t exist in a silo. You should be able to connect it to other business-critical facilities solutions like asset tracking, facility maintenance and lease management software. The software should also be easily integrated with solutions used by other departments, including accounting and HR. This streamlines operations and ensures everyone is using a single source of data to make decisions.
Many software providers outsource their development work to save money. Because the team isn’t in-house, any requests for upgrades or enhancements will take longer to fulfill. Additionally, developers at a third-party company are likely working on several other solutions, which means they aren’t likely to be true experts on the software.
The facilities team isn’t the only department who benefits from space planning software. Employees across the company need to know the availability of workspaces and locations of meeting rooms. Certain functionalities of your space planning software (such as room reservations) should be available to the rest of the workforce through an employee workplace app.
iOFFICE’s space management software is the preferred choice for both workplace leaders and employees. In an analysis by independent consulting firm Verdantix, our solution received the highest overall rating among 23 others.
And in a recent TechValidate survey, 96% of customers said iOFFICE was easier to use compared to other workplace management solutions.
If the ability to plan for your organization’s future space needs and provide a better workplace for your employees is high on your priority list in the coming year, there’s no better time to try iOFFICE than right now. Start your free trial today.
James McDonald is a sports enthusiast, brother in Christ and once swam in a tank with the infamous TV sharks.