Streamlining Student-Centered Processes at Colegio Alemán
4 min read
Colegio Alemán Alexander von Humboldt A.C. is a network of three German-language schools based in greater Mexico City. Serving 3,000 students, the organization is one of the largest German educational institutions outside of Germany. In order to serve its growing student body, the organization found the need to reimagine the ways in which it provided core student services, such as enrollment, re-enrollment and scholarships.
The Colegio Alemán team seized the opportunity to digitize and automate key processes using a Laserfiche enterprise content management (ECM) system, which enabled them to create electronic forms to capture student information digitally, and automate workflows to streamline document processing. The team started by creating a better experience for students and their families with the re-enrollment process, and has since built on their success by continuing to optimize and automate other key activities throughout the organization.
“We’ve experienced many benefits from automating our workflows using Laserfiche, we’ve found that what we need to do, we can do in the Laserfiche platform.”
—Victor Valverde López, technology manager at Colegio Alemán
After managing many time- and resource-intensive re-enrollment cycles, Colegio Alemán Administrative Manager Ema Medina brought a challenge to the organization’s leadership: “We couldn’t continue the way that we were doing the re-enrollment process,” Medina said. “Parents had to come to the school with lots of paperwork, documents that we needed signed, and in the best-case scenario, it would take an hour or more to get through with all of the steps involved.”
The Colegio Alemán team worked with Apoint Mexico, a Laserfiche solution provider, to implement Laserfiche with the goal of reimagining re-enrollment as a digital, automated process that would save time for parents and administrative staff. In the new process, a Laserfiche form collects the necessary information from parents — because this is the re-enrollment process, parents only need to confirm and update information as needed. They can review the contract with the school, provide an e-signature and even pay tuition with the new Laserfiche-powered automated process.
“One of the most important parts of our Laserfiche implementation was the ease of integration,”said Valverde López. “It was easy for us to integrate our Laserfiche process with our ERP, Intelisis, which enabled us to streamline the activities — from inputting student information to payments. And with records management, our documents are organized and classified in such a way that it’s easy for administrative staff to find information.”
When COVID-19 hit Mexico in 2020, the Colegio Alemán team was grateful to have a process in place for parents to re-enroll their students online. Now that the staff has returned to the office, however, parents still prefer the online process. “For me, the biggest benefit has been the improvement in our customer service,” Medina said. “The parents are very happy with this process and they tell us all the time. And having all of our documents in a digital platform — it’s such an important tool.”
“Today, parents don’t have to physically go to the school to re-enroll; they don’t have to print a single page. They can do the entire process from their house, from their offices, wherever they are. It takes about five to 10 minutes — the contract, the payment, everything. It’s saved us time and money, but the most important thing is that our parents are happy because they don’t lose one to three hours doing this process.”
—Victor Briseño Candela, CFO at Colegio Alemán
Building on Digital Transformation Organization-wide
The parents and employees’ satisfaction with the new re-enrollment process led the Colegio Alemán team to continue digitally transforming other student-facing processes. Naturally, the new student enrollment process was a prime candidate for automation. “The new student process is very important,” Briseño Candela explained. “Today, we have an enrollment form for new students, so parents can give us information, all the documentation, and it’s all saved in the Laserfiche repository.”
Additional processes that the Colegio Alemán team have automated include:
- Scholarship requests: Families can provide financial information, which is automatically routed to the relevant personnel to review and make a determination.
- Bus transportation process: Colegio Alemán provides bus transportation for nearly 2,000 students per school day. This process streamlines the collection of authorizations from parents that their children can take the bus, and updated addresses to support efficient pick-up and drop-off.
- Vendor registration: Vendors that work with Colegio Alemán provide legal and fiscal documents through this process, which automates validation and document classification.
- Employees’ children enrollment: Colegio Alemán employees can enroll their children through a special enrollment and approval process.
- Teacher benefit discount: School teachers can submit a form to receive discounts for different materials and services.
- Legal or parent meeting attendance: A simple but important process allows Colegio Alemán staff to keep record of who attended meetings.
“Any school district or network of schools operates with a lot of different systems. Laserfiche has helped us to pull information from all of these systems that normally operate independently, so that we have more visibility into the data that we have.”
—Víctor Valverde López, technology manager at Colegio Alemán
A Digital-First Future
The team at Colegio Alemán continues to automate processes and move toward a digital-first approach to student services. As Colegio Alemán started with more student-facing processes, the organization’s future plans include assessing back-office processes for additional efficiencies.
“Ultimately, we want to implement a dashboard for our process data in Laserfiche,” Briseño Candela said. This will enable even more optimization moving forward, allowing the organization’s leadership to identify process bottlenecks or spot trends that can help them make informed decisions when resource planning.
“A lot of our current Laserfiche processes are communication between the school to our different publics — our parents, our associates, our teachers,” Briseño Candela said. “The next step is to use Laserfiche for our internal processes, to be more efficient in our day-to-day work. It’s our social responsibility not to print so much paper. And it is also our responsibility to be efficient with our time to support the people working in administration, as well as the parents. We want to create a good experience for everyone involved.”
To learn more about how Laserfiche drives digital transformation, schedule a consultation today.