Space Management: Are You Getting the Most Accurate Data?

by Glenn Hicks on March 27, 2018

As a space planner, you already know how important it is to have accurate calculations of your rentable square footage. Any oversight or miscalculation can be costly.

For instance, if you rent an office that’s listed as 600,000 square feet and later discover only two-thirds of it is actually usable, you’ll need to figure out how to fit dozens of additional desks into a space that’s much smaller than you planned. (If you’re a good facilities management professional, you’ll find a way to make it work with hot desking or another flexible work arrangement – but it could be a tight fit. And you could end up paying more for the space than it’s actually worth.)

So how can you be sure you’re getting the most accurate space data? Here’s the hard truth: When it comes to space management, you can’t afford to take shortcuts.

Why It’s Tempting to Skip Steps

With more space management software solutions competing in the marketplace today, each one claims to be even easier to use than its competitors. Several solutions claim to be so simple that anyone can use them without experience in computer-assisted facilities management (CAFM) or AutoCAD. One even boldly states you can “say goodbye to polylining,” declaring the process tedious and labor-intensive.

The Only Way to Get Accurate Space Management Data

Of course everyone wants a web-based space planning solution that’s easy to use. Many companies already use some type of CAFM or space management software. The problem is, if they aren’t using the two together (and polylining), they aren’t getting the most accurate results. Using AutoCAD is essential when it comes to ensuring your space management data is accurate—and making your floor plans easy to reconfigure.

While some space management software relies only on images to build floor plans—which only accounts for total square footage and doesn’t necessarily distinguish between true rentable square footage and space that’s actually usable—AutoCAD uses polylining to draw a perimeter around the inside walls. This allows every inch of space to be labeled correctly, whether it’s a conference room, a closet, or an electrical cabinet.

This give you a better understanding of your true rentable square footage. And when these AuotCAD layers are added to a space management software module within an integrated workplace management system (IWMS), each polylined space also becomes a data point. You can keep track of the types of physical spaces, whether or not they’re considered rentable square footage and their capacity in real time.

Another advantage of using AutoCAD to produce polylined floor plans is that once you’ve done it, you have full ownership of your floor plans. You don’t have to go back to a vendor and ask for a new drawing each time you need to make a change.

You Don’t Have to Be An AutoCAD Pro To Use Our Space Management Software

Not all facilities management professionals have a CAFM background—and that’s OK.

If it’s important for you to have the most accurate space management data but you don’t have experience using AutoCAD or other CAFM software, our team can help.

If all you have are PDFs or JPGs of your space, that’s OK, too. We can take those images and convert them to AutoCAD layers, then integrate them with our space management software to give your team, contractors and others full visibility of your entire space. If your plumber just needs a quick view of where your pipes are running, they can see that in a simplified view. And when your floor plans are integrated with other software modules, such as asset tracking software and room reservation software, you can easily see how your equipment and spaces are being used.

Although it may be tempting to use shortcuts when it comes to space management, there’s still no substitute for using AutoCAD software to polyline your floor plans.

It’s the only way to be sure you’re making the most of every foot of space you have—and only paying for the space you can actually use.

To see how iOFFICE’s space management software works with AutoCAD and other CAFM software, watch a demo now.


Glenn Hicks

A member of the Business Development team, Glenn has years of experience with business process improvement on the Commercial Real Estate and Facilities Management sides.

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