Here in Ohio, flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and the hum of lawnmowers has returned which means spring is in full swing. Spring is notorious for being a very busy season for school districts. Most schools are gearing up for lots of end of the year events like graduations, award banquets, sports tournaments, music concerts, and more.
For those of you who work in a school district, you know that these activities can become chaotic without a streamlined event scheduling process. Double-booked events, insufficient event set up (lack of furniture, technology, catering, building access, or HVAC), and miscommunication about events are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to problems commonly encountered.
Read on to learn three ways facilities management software for schools can take the pain out of spring event scheduling for your school.
1. Streamlined event/facility request submission
All event/facility requests can be submitted in the facilities management software system. This keeps all requests in one central location and prevents them from falling through the cracks or being misplaced, which frequently happens when requests are submitted via email, paper forms, phone, post-it notes, etc.
Faculty, staff, and even community members can use facilities management software to submit requests. FMX features unlimited users and makes it easy to set user permissions and define each user’s role regarding what they are allowed to view and change in the system.
FMX has automatic conflict detection which prevents the double-booking of rooms and resources. So, you no longer have to worry about the auditorium being double-booked for the spring musical and the academic awards banquet on the same night. Whew!
Facility request forms can be customized in FMX for different types of events and to make sure that all necessary information is submitted. For example, in FMX, custom fields can be added to request forms to capture needs related to furniture, technology, HVAC and lighting, catering, custodial services, building access, and more. Photo and file attachments can also be uploaded to request forms to share event agendas, set-up diagrams, etc.
“FMX is just amazing. It’s making my life so much easier because I don’t have to contend with all that paperwork anymore. Instead of a separate calendar for every school, I now have a central calendar that tells me who is using what building, documents the equipment they may need, and monitors the quality of the services (maintenance, food, etc.) we are providing.”Pam Sturiano, Worthington City Schools, Comptroller
2) Improved communication and visibility for events
FMX uses automatic email and text notifications to inform school staff members and other users about event submissions, modifications, responses, etc. so everyone stays in the loop. Responding to a request in FMX is an easy way to ask for additional details or discuss plans for the event.
Customized approval processes can be set-up in FMX so you can determine which event requests need to be approved and by whom. Unlike paper-based request forms, which can get buried on an administrator’s desk for weeks before being approved, requests submitted via FMX will be approved or declined much faster, so requesters can move on with planning.
FMX’s facility scheduling software also includes a calendar view which gives visibility of the various scheduled events and their locations. The FMX calendar can be embedded on your school’s website so staff and community members can search for events, check event times/locations, and even submit request forms. You can even sync the FMX calendar with your Google, Apple, and Outlook calendars.
3) Estimating and invoicing for use of your facilities
Chances are, you charge for the use of your school’s facilities for certain events (and if you don’t, you could be missing out on a potential revenue source for your district). Sending invoices and tracking payments for various events can be cumbersome, especially if the event is being conducted by a community organization which can make communication difficult.
Managing school events in FMX allows you to send estimates and invoices to event requestors via email, track payments received, and view unpaid balances.
The Schedule Request Financials dashboard in FMX gives you insight into the total amount invoiced for events, total amount paid for events, and the total amount past due for events as well as the specific events that are past due to help with reconciliation.
“Our school district is in its second year of using FMX for scheduling events and reserving school facilities and resources. The system has allowed us to bring what was once done on paper by hand to an automated system. Before using the system, we were using three different calendaring systems to manage school events, athletics, and resource/facilities scheduling. Now it is all done in one place. FMX works with us to make changes and improvements based on the needs of our district and it is easy to get in contact with customer support.”Kelly Ramm, Hilliard City Schools, Web Developer