5 Institutions That Improved Higher Education Business Processes
Higher education institutions are rife with paper. From the back office, in departments such as accounting, to the front office, in departments like financial aid, stacks of paper pass through many hands. The ability of a document management system to automate the flow of work helps higher education institutions reduce administrative costs, improve operational efficiencies and support a more productive research environment. Here are here are five institutions that dramatically improved their processes using document management.
1. Accounts Payable
Accounts payable is a historically paper-heavy process. Invoices, purchase orders and checks are just some of the documents that have to be processed, reviewed and authorized. The accounts payable department at the California State University (CSU) Chancellor’s Office is responsible for processing invoices for the head office of the CSU system. Three dedicated technicians process about 1,000 invoices each month. CSU’s Chancellor’s Office was able to automate the whole accounts payable process by making the invoices electronic and creating workflows to route them to the appropriate reviewers.
2. Contract Management
Contract management involves a lot of back and forth between various parties to get contracts finalized and approved. With paper, this can be a long, tedious and inefficient process. At the Texas A&M System’s Health Science Center (HSC), the Contracts Administration Office is responsible for processing, reviewing and approving contracts from various departments. The office decreased processing time from six to eight weeks to one to two weeks per contract by automating the contract management process.
Many non-profit colleges and universities rely on donations to function. Processing donations can be paper-heavy and time-consuming. Mercyhurst University used a document management system to help the advancement department process more than 7,000 donations annually. A room that used to contain 40,000 paper files was converted into an office for a new employee.
4. Student Services
Student services encompass many different processes, from distributing financial aid to processing petitions. All of these processes involve filling out and processing applications or forms. College of the Desert’s financial aid and admissions/records departments were able to improve processing of applications and petitions by 40% with electronic forms and automated workflows.
5. Records Management
Every higher education institution must manage records for its students and personnel. Many records must be kept for years after a student graduates or an employee leaves. This can amount to a lot of paper. Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine implemented a document system to manage and archive a large number of records for more than 900 students and residents in its undergraduate and graduate programs. The document management system transformed a paper-heavy and inefficient records management process into one that is paperless.
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