5 Essential Steps for Crafting Your Space Management Software Business Case

Photo: First Financial Credit Union, Sparks Glencoe, Maryland. Photo by Devon Banks.
People crafting their space management business case.

Many organizations are facing challenges in the evolving hybrid workplace, emphasizing the crucial role efficient space management and accurate real estate portfolio data plays for overall business success. As companies strive to make the most of their physical spaces, investing in a best-in-class space management software solution is becoming not only a necessary move but a strategic one. Regardless of benefits, crafting a compelling business case for any software can be a time consuming and daunting task, but we have taken the guess work out of the process, leaving you with five essential steps for crafting your space management business case.

Craft Your Business Case with Wisp  

1. Identify Key Stakeholders and Approval Process

When starting to construct your business case, identifying your key stakeholders and understanding the approval process are pivotal steps. Begin by mapping out all individuals, groups, and/or entities that could be impacted by the space management software. Don’t forget to also categorize those who would be influential and essential for the implementation and adoption of the solution beyond the approval process, such as facility managers, department heads, human resources, IT personnel, and senior leadership.

A robust understanding of the approval process for your software solution will also assist the project’s trajectory. Your organization’s process may include evaluating a certain number of vendors, creating a business case, and identifying when budget approval will be required. As you outline your organization’s processes and the business case process continues, understanding who the business case is being created for will help guide messaging and ROI specifically for those it will impact.

With industry-leading software such as Wisp, Gensler’s space management system, you can provide an easier, more efficient process for facility managers and other end users when moving departments and assessing space utilization. This can also provide actionable insights, helping the C-Suite make strategic and data-informed decisions for the future of the organization. Understanding how a robust space management solution will directly impact different stakeholders and speaking directly to their pain points while exemplifying the value added to their day-to-day functionality will garner a deeper buy-in from all parties.

People identifying their space management software needs
Gensler Office, Singapore.

2. Assess Current Space Management Challenges and Define Priorities

After identifying your key stakeholders, it’s essential to assess your current space and facility management challenges and understand how these items will affect your internal audience. Prioritize and document pain points, bottlenecks, and areas where efficiencies will help your team excel. Defining your team’s priorities can help you select the right solution for your organization and provide actionable real estate data insights. A robust understanding of your organization’s unique challenges — whether a lack of data governance, outdated drawings, absence of system ownership, or the lack of knowledge continuity across the organization — will also provide a holistic picture for your business case.

People calculating the return on investment for their space management system
CoStar, Irvine, California.

3. Calculating the Return on Investment

One of the most persuasive ways to secure budget approval is to quantify the money and time savings the software and services can bring. Leveraging charts and graphs can illustrate how the software and services can streamline your processes, reduce cumbersome and manual tasks, and increase overall operational efficiencies. When creating this calculation, be sure to also include current expenses with potential to be replaced by the space management solution, such as current maintenance of floor plan drawings, additional operating and hosting fees for current software, and time allocations for manual and cumbersome processes.

Consider how centralizing and creating a holistic overview of your real estate portfolio spotlights potential gaps, such as vacancies across multiple floors, building, or regions where you could potentially consolidate and shed space — saving money on real estate. In fact, a Wisp client saved millions of dollars after they got a handle on their real estate vacancy, “Upon loading the domestic portfolio, 2.2 million square feet of unused space was revealed — equivalent to a 29% vacancy, and far exceeding expectations.”

When evaluating the time manual efforts take in comparison to streamlined efforts, prepare a list of other projects and initiatives that could be accomplished with additional time savings to help capture the potential ROI. For example, tasks such as manual visual reporting for the C-Suite can take weeks, or even months, to clean and create, to only become quickly outdated. Visualizing these lists and data points will help stakeholders understand the tangible value the software will bring to the organization.

People comparing pricing and fees for space management software.
Discover, Chicago, Illinois.

4. Pricing and Fee Comparisons

Another often overlooked component of ROI is buried in the pricing and fee comparisons of the evaluation process. Pay close attention to different pricing models as many software solutions cannot be adjacently compared. There may be hidden costs that require additional modules; knowledge experts within your team, such as CAD specialists and/or architects to update floor plans, database experts; or even hiring a third party to help assist with certain updates. Ensure consideration is given to user licensing fees, third party implementation costs, floor plan preparation costs and expertise, and ongoing maintenance expenses. After completing a deep dive into pricing and fees from your potential solution providers, preparing a recommendation on your findings can help your key stakeholders make a faster, more educated decision. Don’t forget to expand your recommendation reasoning beyond just pricing; include features, support services, pricing, overall ROI, and optional services for your future needs.

With Wisp, we offer unlimited user licensing, a Wisp implementation team, and a tiered approach for ongoing drawing maintenance, all while providing industry leading strategic advisory services to ensure your data is always up to date and the software configuration stays aligned to your evolving business needs. Don’t solely focus on upfront costs; factor in long-term value and the expertise and level of service you will receive from the software provider. This comprehensive approach to calculating your ROI will provide a holistic view of the financial investment, aiding in informed decision-making.

People discussing key stakeholders and how to exemplify the software benefits.
Bialek, Rockville, Maryland.

5. Help Stakeholders Understand the Benefits of Space Management

After you’ve assessed and prioritized your organization’s unique needs, it’s critical to create a baseline understanding of the tangible benefits space management software can provide to your identified stakeholders. Utilizing some of the ROI calculations previously outlined can be a great starting point; however, exemplifying how a space management solution can provide actionable insights to maximize workplace utilization, increase spatial efficiencies, reduce operational costs, and enable a dynamic workplace will allow for a more detailed benefit observation. Partner with your prospective solutions provider to share the heavy lifting of the presentation and help address detailed software functionality questions. Developing a robust partnership with your prospective team from the very beginning adds a layer of trust and rapport for key stakeholders.

Crafting your space management business case requires a thoughtful and strategic approach — combining a clear understanding of benefits, outlining potential return on investment, and collaboration with strategic stakeholders. Utilizing the steps outlined here, organizations can make informed decisions that not only optimize their real estate portfolios but also contribute to their overall operational excellence. Investing wisely in a space management solution and partner can create a more efficient future of work.

Craft Your Business Case with Wisp