Software platforms are built by creative engineers and business people thinking out of the box about how they could solve a very specific problems. But just when you think you’ve had everything figured out, someone comes along and turns your whole vision upside down.
That’s exactly what happened a while ago, when a very curious request came via our in-app support system: “Might we use YAROOMS to manage our resources?”. We’ve had the Resources feature live for a looong time. It works nice, but it’s not the main focus of the platform. Upon further investigation, we found out what our client really wanted: to use YAROOMS as a resource manager, not a room manager.
In retrospect, it’s laughable - of course it can be used that way. You mentally shift from “room” to “equipment” and everything works just the same. A piece of equipment can have consumable resources attached to it (the current “resources” in YAROOMS). It can have an owner, just like a room. You can have user groups assigned to a specific type of equipment (the “Locations” in YAROOMS) and some users might require approval to use a piece of equipment.
Could this be considered a hack or a workaround? Sure. Does it do the job dedicated resource managers do by default? Yes. And because we developed it with overstaffed companies in mind, you can’t possibly have the same piece of equipment booked by two people at the same time. Not only that, but you can also see who used it the most, for how long and analyse how profitable their using it was (via the Reports section).
We won’t be shifting focus to equipment management anytime soon, not on the cloud deployment of YAROOMS at least. But it’s still nice to see how a simple rewording can change everything about your product.