How Indiana University streamlined bookings using scheduling automation
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By creating a Calendly scheduling page for each piece of equipment in their fabrication lab, Indiana University eliminated manual reservations and made better use of both students’ and staff members’ time.
decrease in manual resource reservations
reduction of time spent scheduling
customer complaints since implementation
Keeping up with scheduling requests
Ryan Mandell was brought on by Indiana University to manage the Bloomington Campus’s MAD LABS — Makerspaces for Art + Design. The labs, which are available for use by all students, faculty and staff, offer industrial-grade equipment for tasks ranging from 3D printing to plasma cutting.
A major challenge of Ryan’s role was to create and manage the reservation system for the lab’s equipment. Initially, reservations were emailed to Ryan’s inbox and he could process every one manually. However, as the lab’s user base grew, he found he was spending half his day responding to inquiries and managing the reservations calendar.
Staffing was also an issue. Trained attendants needed to be present for every appointment, but staff were frequently idle as bookings were spread out over hours or days. The lack of communication and general disorganization led to complaints from disgruntled students and faculty.
Switching to self-service scheduling
Seeing an opportunity to make bookings fully self-service, Ryan created a Calendly account for each piece of equipment and linked the scheduling pages right from the MAD LAB’s website. Students and staff can now schedule appointments seamlessly, and the booking confirmation page automatically redirects them to a video with a walkthrough on how to use the equipment.
Ryan uses the Calendly dashboard to view scheduled events and manage his staffing needs. When employees start their shift, they log in to Calendly to get an overview of their upcoming appointments and prep the equipment accordingly. Color-coded event types make it easy for them to accomplish all of this at a glance.
As a school of architecture and design, I really wanted something that was elegant-looking so that when people click on it, they’re not immediately turned off. With Calendly, there's a sense of aesthetics and pared-back cleanliness that I really like.
Improved communication and productivity
Instead of spending half his day managing calendars, Ryan spends only 15 minutes each semester setting up the equipment’s available hours and the appointments just roll in. Improved communication around staffing needs and equipment setup has also resulted in positive changes for Ryan’s team.
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