ECM Expels Outdated Processes in Higher Education

April 25, 2016

Many schools and universities struggle with outdated processes and low-value tasks that contribute to inefficiency. It really takes a toll on an educational institution’s performance, affecting employee productivity and quality of service. So, the question is: What can be done to remedy this?

Implement an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution; a very effective way to ensure that less time and money is wasted on outdated processes and more time is spent on productive tasks.

The education industry is laden with paper, especially in the Higher Education sector. Students are getting increasingly more digital, from studying and taking notes to applying for classes and managing their schedules. They are becoming more efficient and working smarter. More and more students are relying on ebooks for text and study books and to lessen the load of materials to lug around campus. It’s important that our colleges and universities follow suit and make needed changes to stay current and improve outdated processes in admissions and in other areas that still rely on paper.

There are always tasks that seem to eat away so much time for very little return. These are known as low-value tasks, which steal your time from more important work that actually benefits your school. Most of the time, these tasks involve moving paper from one person to the next.

And, more often than not, educational institutions are doing it “old school” by wasting time on low-value tasks. Consider this simple example: A student requests transcripts from the registrar’s office. It’s a common inquiry that starts a chain reaction of low-value tasks that ultimately impact service times and customer satisfaction, including spending time locating the paper transcript file among thousands of others, then scanning or copying it, and then mailing it to the student.

Examples like this occur far too often, primarily because many universities are still using outdated, paper-heavy processes that require time-consuming paper shuffling. It’s not surprising that these low-value tasks are holding businesses back from reaching higher levels of efficiency. But institutions that implement an ECM solution have experienced tremendous results.

For example, The University of Notre Dame receives on average 15,000 student applications each year.  The extreme paper volume and file folders the staff faced caused productivity-reducing issues including very long review processes for routing applications and poor customer service. By using software solutions from one of our ECM partners, Hyland OnBase, the university incurred savings on hard costs like paper, file folders, cabinets and storage space, improved customer service, and saved money by reducing staff overtime hours.

Here are other ways in which an ECM solution will help schools thrive:

1.) No more filing

Eliminate paper, file folders and file cabinets by storing all your documents electronically in a central, secure and accessible location.

2.) Eliminate having to manually update system checklist items

By using workflow in conjunction with your current software systems, you will be able to integrate an applicant’s checklist items automatically when completed  documents are brought into a workflow.

3.) No file cabinets to search through

By using workflow folders, all documents related to an applicant are presented automatically.

4.) Speed up processing

Save time for staff by locating documents easily and efficiently using queries for searching rather than manually looking through files.

5.) Reduce time by automatically checking for a complete file

Rather than manually checking an applicant’s folder for a complete list of documentation, workflow can automatically check that all specified documents have been received.

An ECM solution would solve these bottlenecks and many more. It can drastically transform the way businesses operate by streamlining operations into one central, paperless system. This gives users of the new system the ability to control incoming and outgoing documents, information and communication without all the paper shuffling and time-consuming processes. Additionally, it effectively boosts work-place efficiency and lowers operational costs, translating to greater overall success for your school. Trade inefficiency for efficiency.

Les Walker
President, Enterprise Content Management

Les Walker is responsible for the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) group. Konica Minolta’s ECM practice helps organizations achieve business efficiencies and cost savings through the better management of business content and the automation of workflow processes. He also directs Konica Minolta’s ECM acquisition strategy.