How Path Cowork Migrated from Cobot to andcards and Improved Administration & Member Experience
Path Cowork was established in 2018 in Regina, Western Canada. It is the largest, 15,000 square feet coworking space in Saskatchewan district that offers more than 40 private offices, 50 workstations, 6 meeting rooms, 7 phone booths, an outdoor working patio, a communal kitchen, and an open event space.
However, Path is not just a place to plug in a laptop or host a meeting—it’s all about community and hospitality. Since its opening, the workspace community has grown to over 100 members and 35 companies from over 20 different industries.
Path is a unique privately owned coworking space located in downtown Regina. Our mission is to foster a community that allows people to thrive personally and professionally. Path unites diverse businesses under one roof and changes the way that people work in the prairies. — Justin Lee, General Manager at Path Cowork here and below unless otherwise noted.
Path Cowork is a tech-driven company that started to use technology to make processes more efficient from the day of its launch.
We’ve always used technology, previously we used Cobot as our space manager.
Unfortunately, the software Path Cowork picked out at the beginning wasn’t optimal for a community-oriented workspace that prioritizes the customer experience above all. Let’s figure out what exactly went wrong.
- Poor user experience
When introducing a management platform, every coworking space is expecting to simplify administrative tasks and improve customer experience. However, expectations do not necessarily match the reality and before reaching these goals, they have to hack the principles of work of a new interface first.
This is a common problem of coworking management systems that use in-house design systems instead of Google and Apple guidelines. Their users have to get used to navigation patterns they are not familiar with. Such a steep learning curve takes a lot of the manager’s time and becomes the boiling point for the customers. They come to the reception desk and complain that they can’t book a room or pay a bill.
This was the case at Path Cowork. Since their previous coworking software was not intuitive enough, it was challenging for managers to fully automate the workflows and direct their effort on community-building activities. They failed to save time as operating the system was confusing and they had to help members with routines that were supposed to be automated.
- No mobile apps for members
In today’s business world mobility is a must. If a coworking space doesn’t offer mobile apps to members, it simply loses the competition.
Residents want to book desks and meeting rooms on the go, right from the comfort of their phones. Unfortunately, it was impossible with Cobot, and to book a room or use some other Path service, they had to find a place to sit and pull out their laptop to make a reservation through the web app.
This is surely not the most convenient way to enjoy the perks of self-service and Path members preferred to ask managers to make arrangements instead of them, which regularly added a few tasks on top of a busy administrator’s schedule.
Needless to say that the absence of mobile members’ apps didn’t contribute to excellent residents’ experience, which was a huge concern of the community-focused Path administrators.
- Critical lack of community features
Since Path is a coworking space with a strong focus on community, the availability of particular features in coworking space management software is vital for them. Their previous system couldn’t check all those required boxes, which became another weighty reason for migration.
Here is a brief list of community functionality flaws Path Cowork faced with Cobot:
- No community feed where members can read workspace news and post their own content.
- No services marketplace where members can get additional services they need to grow their businesses faster.
- No events showcase to see what’s being cooked at Path for networking and education, and so on.
As there was no relevant functionality to address the above items, Path Cowork had to use social media platforms and third-party solutions to keep the community together and meet members’ needs better. This required even more managers’ time and money investments, while the results were far from perfect.
Very often members missed essential information as it was buried under a heap of messages from friends, forgot about events or bookings as there were no in-app push notifications to remind them about upcoming activities, etc.
After debating all pros and cons of the current management system, Path Cowork decided to migrate to andcards, which seemed like a better fit for their business model.
The migration was surprisingly smooth. I can’t report any serious bottlenecks neither from Cobot nor from andcards sides. andcards support team and Igor, in particular, were outstanding. They guided us through the whole thing really fast and we started to use andcards almost immediately.
Now let’s see how Path Cowork resolved all problems mentioned above with the help of andcards.
- 100% automation of administrative routines
From the very beginning, Path Cowork was looking for hands-off membership management, bookings, and billing. This is exactly what they got with andcards.
andcards has helped us provide a smoother user experience and automate our processes via technology.
All Path members’ details are now neatly organized in the easy-to-use Communty catalog. It looks and works pretty much like contacts in your smartphone and enables admins quickly browse members/companies’ profiles, easily invite or delete members, view their activities/bookings/transactions, and set up membership plans.
The system takes care of billing members and collecting payments. An administrator assigns a membership plan once and then companies and individual members get a single bill that includes a recurring membership fee and all one-off services purchased by residents during a specified period of time. Members can pay their bills in a few taps right inside the Path app, which is really convenient and makes the entire process effortless both for managers and members.
All administration routines associated with Path management can be performed on mobile, which is a huge relief as administrators are not tied to their desks anymore. They can move around the workspace, communicate with members, build bonds and connections while controlling everything on the go. But more about mobile apps for members and admins later.
Before introducing andcards, our managers had to face multiple challenges on operations, customer experience, and business efficiency sides. All of them were artistically addressed by andcards through membership plans and billing automation along with awesome and easy room bookings.
- An awesome self-service platform for members
All desk and meeting room bookings are made with an app so that members get an easy to use self-service channel to interact with the coworking space. Residents instantly find available meeting rooms or desks, choose the time, pay with a banking card, credits, or include the expense in their upcoming bill, and get reminders of upcoming reservations on their phones in order not to forget about them.
Since members book rooms/desks themselves using a comfy calendar, managers don’t have to do anything here except for supervising the process from a single place, review analytics, and make revenue-boosting decisions.
- Branded mobile apps for iOs and Android
It’s difficult to overestimate the power of mobile these days. Every decent business has an app for customers. Sure enough, Path Cowork wanted to provide their members with trendy mobile apps and andcards was happy to deliver them.
Having members’ apps is a good selling point for our business. It makes our brand look even more appealing in the eyes of the customers.
Since the moment of andcards platform adoption, Path customers have their favorite workspace with them wherever they go. Members can do just about anything using the apps on their smartphones—book rooms/desks, join events, participate in the community, get support, buy services, and even preregister their guests.
andcards offers the same apps both for members and managers with different permission levels, which makes things even simpler as administrators see exactly the same screens as their customers do and understand their questions and inquiries better.
- A stack of community features
A vibrant community is one of the unique characteristics differentiating Path from other coworking spaces in Regina. Here are a few andcards features that are really helpful in enhancing community spirit and making members happy.
BTW, workspace members easily switched from Cobot to andcards with an excellent activation rate of 83%.
First of all, Path members can get all workspace news and updates, create posts and participate in discussions through the exclusive branded channel (Stream) available right inside the app they use for bookings. It works pretty much like Facebook or Twitter feed (with all those fun emojis, hashtags, image sliders, rich links, etc.) but only for Path community members.
Stream newsfeed makes it so much easier for workspace admins to communicate their messages to members and engage with them. No need to worry that some essential announcement will get lost under the heap of incoming messages from members’ friends and relatives.
Besides, Path members can now easily discover and apply for all coworking space services, benefits, and events right through their apps. Such accessibility makes their memberships much more enjoyable as they can use all perks to the fullest. No need to ask managers about the upcoming events, who is coming, what’s the program, is it paid or free… Everything is available at a glance.
We are still bouncing back from the pandemic. I believe that once we are back on track with events and everything connected to in-person meetings and public gatherings, we will get even more advantages from andcards Events and Stream features.
Services and Benefits catalogs, as well as Events showcase, are advantageous for managers too. They don’t have to puzzle over the promotion of all the good things they offer. Members are always updated on the newly added services, benefits, they see all changes on the app immediately. No hassles of using third-party software, admins manage their community on a single platform and always know what members want and like by checking the real-time reports on the Analytics page.
- Better user experience both for members and administrators
Since andcards is designed in compliance with Google’s and Apple’s guidelines as well as UX best practices, both web and mobile apps bring positive experiences to members and administrators. This is proved by the 83% member activation rate of Path’ apps which is an excellent result of app adoption.
Now Path can offer customers a seamless experience beginning from sign up to engaging with the community.
The simple user interface and intuitive design of andcards technology really make a difference. The app is easy to use both for members and admin staff.
- Improved infrastructure for fostering the community
Now Path has an entire array of features that help to nurture and engage with the community right inside their workspace management app:
- Members apps put all Path products in front of the customers;
- Stream community feed helps to keep the community connected and updated on workspace news;
- Services and benefits catalogs help members take advantage of Path offers;
- Events showcase allows members easily discover upcoming networking activities and join in a few taps, etc.
- Automation saves up to 15 hours/week of admin’s time
A powerful set of andcards tools allows full automation of common routines at Path Cowork. With automated systems for membership management, billing and bookings, each administrator saves around 15 hours every week, which allows to engage with members and nurture the community much better than before.
We are quite happy with andcards because it not only gives us solutions to existing problems but is always coming up with new features that exceed our expectations.
- Twice more bookings made through mobile apps
Currently, almost 70% of all bookings at Path Cowork (including public/external bookings that increased 5+ times) are made from mobile. This is clear evidence that modern customers are much more comfortable with a self-service mobile platform than direct communications and that Path’s decision to provide their customers with such a platform was made for good reason.