It’s “back to school” time, and even if you don’t have school-age kids, we bet that phrase causes your stomach to sink or have butterflies of joy, but either way, school is imprinted deeply in our psyche. To this end, we thought we’d share some ways schools can benefit from ECM.
With thousands of students per district and multiple academic records per student, educational institutions face the difficult task of storing and retaining these documents. After accounting for the numerous administrative records used in daily processes (much less the approval processes themselves) and the fact that many of these files are subject to privacy compliance regulations, it becomes clear how challenging it is to manage these documents.
Student Records Management Systems (SRMS) are generally used to maintain student records through matriculation plus their mandated retention. SRMS is a particular type of ECM that is purpose-built for this function. While Laserfiche can be used for student records, it's not the standard use case for the software.
Outside of student records, numerous document-intensive tasks are involved in school operations. For instance, in the purchasing process, most schools and districts receive invoices from suppliers and service providers and have contracts to manage.
Paying invoices often requires multiple levels of approval from administrators, and these documents are often lost in transit before the approvers ever see them. Laserfiche can automatically route these invoices to administrators for approval and provide regularly scheduled reminders to pay vendors on time. These timely payments prevent late fees, and even early payment discounts become possible.
Also, vendor contracts present challenges for districts. The collaboration process for these contracts can be confusing as new versions of the contract are created with each round of revisions. This can result in multiple versions of the agreement with few indicators for which one is current. Laserfiche allows various parties to collaborate on a contract draft from any location without creating another version. In addition, collaborators can even see edits in real time and reference previous versions of a single document by inputting the date they’d like to view it.
Employee documents also require management, such as government I9 and W-2 forms. In districts with many employees, these forms can be easily lost. Still, all organizations that employ in the U.S. are regularly audited by the IRS and ICE to ensure these forms are being collected. Failure to produce them can even result in steep fines. Captured by Laserfiche, these documents can be indexed with searchable fields, making them easily accessible in the event of one of these audits. Web forms can be used to simplify the completion process of these government forms.