Maker spaces provide an incredible collaboration of unique builders, designers, and thinkers while equipping them with the tools to innovate and build. Coworks management software helps power some of the top maker spaces in the Triangle, including top university student maker spaces like NCSU Garage and renowned shared lab spaces like Biolabs.
Here’s how Coworks helps leading maker spaces solve several of the common pain points and logistical issues that can make operating such a space a challenge.
Streamline equipment reservations
When you have a small amount of equipment and limited members, you can get away with first-come-first-serve or a paper sign-in system. However, these systems don’t scale and won’t give you or your members adequate data on equipment utilization and booking schedules.
Implementing a streamlined and easy-to-use reservation system makes it possible to grow your member list without dealing with the headaches of resource allocation. With Coworks, maker space members can simply pull up our beautiful member mobile app and quickly browse through a list of equipment to reserve.
The Coworks mobile member app for equipment reservations
Manage equipment permissions and control access
Safety is one of the top priorities when providing your members with advanced and potentially hazardous equipment. Maker space members must be properly trained in the necessary equipment and safety protocols before jumping into industry saws, fabrication equipment, soldering and laser cutters. Through the Coworks admin dashboard, managers of maker spaces can safely set permissions on individual resources. Once a member has completed the necessary requirements, the maker space manager can then grant them access to the individual equipment, allowing them to book directly in the member app.
Coworks admin controls include equipment permissions
Security and space utilization are important metrics to track while running a space with dangerous and expensive equipment. Coworks provides a robust member check-in system that will allow you to know who was in your space and at what times. Our check-in system provides a seamless report that shows a historical list of access to your space. You can also dive in on each member to see a log of their specific checkins into the space. Having a fully integrated platform like Coworks enables you to manage your members and glean important and data and analytics.
Create an informative resource center
Training and onboarding is a critical piece of success in a maker space. The more information, resources, and training that a maker space operator can provide to members, the better they will take care of the (expensive) tools and avoid damage.
With Coworks, we’ve created a robust Resource Center right in the app where you can leave helpful links to documents, videos, manuals, web pages etc. We also provide helpful resource slides where you can create step by step visual aids to train people on how to use or care for certain resources. Our resource forms also enables your members to quickly reach out to the relevant staff or support member for any issues or questions. Ultimately this will save you countless hours per week answering the same questions (What’s the wifi password? How do I refill the printer ink? How do I report an issue?) because the answers are all available in the app!
The Coworks member app includes a resources section
Encourage community engagement
Finally, part of the allure of a maker space is the ability to create and collaborate with other makers. Building a vibrant community of people is what will ultimately will lead to a successful space long term.
The mobile member app includes an events calendar and member announcments.
Coworks provides several tools to help maker space owners and operators manage and engage with their community. We provide an Announcements feature that allows you to send quick email or push notification blasts to your members. Our member directory empowers your members to explore and view profiles of other members to spur collaboration. And our community feed allows you to create and showcase important events to all of your members (trainings, workshops, community events). Together, with these features we create the ultimate member experience to keep maker space members engaged and collaborating.