Microsoft Outlook® is an excellent email client and calendaring solution that many organizations use, but its meeting and resource booking capabilities leave a lot to be desired. From double bookings to lack of visibility, using Outlook for meeting and resource booking can present many issues. The following are some of the most common problems that users experience when booking meetings and resources through Outlook®.
When you book a meeting room, you often need to order additional services like catering or audiovisual equipment. If you’re using Outlook® to book meetings, this means you’ll have to log into different systems to order catering, create invoices to send to service providers, etc.
One of the biggest pet peeves that users face when looking for a meeting room in Outlook® is quickly determining which meeting rooms are available. The larger your facility, the more challenging this becomes. While the scheduling assistant in Outlook® provides visual indicators signifying which meeting rooms are available and at what time, it is not a user-friendly, at-a-glance view. You have to select multiple rooms and scroll through to see which rooms are available.
There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to find a meeting room when you need one. Perhaps there are no meeting rooms available in your office because they are all legitimately in use, but more likely than not, many of those meeting rooms are just sitting empty because someone forgot to cancel their booking.
Unless you know the meeting rooms at a facility like the back of your hand, you might have questions as to whether a particular meeting room is large enough to accommodate the number of attendees. Or perhaps you need to find a meeting room that has a projector. Having this information at your fingertips would be really helpful when you’re booking a meeting. Unfortunately, Outlook® alone doesn’t provide this info.
Meeting room and resource usage has a direct impact on operational costs, due to the high price tag of commercial real estate and energy usage. Meeting rooms and resource utilization should be a hot topic among businesses that care about their bottom line, but sadly, it’s often an afterthought.
Imagine if you were able to pull a report that could show you meeting room usage and capacity. This data could help to guide important decisions on office design, real estate, and meeting room sizes.
All of the above problems could be solved by using an add-on to Outlook®. Add-On Products’ meeting room booking system, Resource Central, is an add-on solution for Outlook® that integrates seamlessly with the Outlook® interface. Resource Central expands the capabilities of Outlook®, allowing you to get a quick overview of available meeting rooms complete with images, floor plans, and information about capacity and amenities. Resource Central centralizes all aspects of meeting and resource booking in one system. You can find and book meeting rooms, order services, bill outside vendors, and attach files to your reservation. This streamlines the meeting booking process, lowering costs and enhancing your productivity.
With Resource Central, you can generate reports to track when and how people use office space, identify overused and underused space, and capture trends. Resource Central also integrates with Digital Sign Service, so meeting schedules are automatically displayed on digital signs at meeting rooms. This also allows you to determine if a meeting room is empty when you walk by, so you can book the meeting room on the spot.
Outlook® alone falls short as a meeting and resource booking tool, but it offers powerful functionality when coupled with an add-on like Resource Central. Contact us today to sign up for a free trial or free online demo!