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How to Reduce Operational Expenses for K-12 School Systems with Document Management

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We are getting into that time of year again, back to school! As many students are going back, whether hybrid, remote, or in person, the number of documents and records each school needs to handle will stay the same. Student records, assignments, transcripts, performance reviews, teacher evaluations, the list goes on and on. Some states require you to keep student records on file indefinitely, or at least up to 99 years. The large volume of documents is daunting itself, but the high-security demands for these documents and records place a significant strain on teachers, office staff, and administration. 

The demands and expectations for K-12 school systems continue to grow, but unfortunately, budgets do not. This is why a lot of K-12 school systems are still using manual processes for their document management. School systems are hesitant on implementing a document management system due to complexity and expenses. However, when you look at the long-lasting benefits and how it will reduce overall operational costs, you wonder why aren’t all K-12 school systems using a document management system? Throughout this blog, we will discuss precisely where and how to reduce operating costs with a document management system (DMS) to ensure productivity and overall efficiency for your documents and records without blowing the budget.

Human Resources

Human resources within any industry will involve a lot of paperwork, but especially within the K-12 school system. They are involved with teacher recruiting, hiring, training, development, off-boarding, and more. In addition, they need to think through storage space, labor, and supplies to create, update, and securely store these documents. Expenses like those can add up quickly, especially if you are still using paper documents. With a well-rounded DMS, you will be able to digitize these documents and use automation to streamline your processes. For example, the hiring process involves countless paperwork and steps to get incoming teachers’ documents where they need to go. We had a client that had over 800 applications each year that they had to manually work through and organize to get to the correct department. The amount of time and money spent on creating and maintaining these documents was becoming unmanageable for them, so they turned to a DMS. With our software, we were able to use document imaging, management, and workflow to streamline all applications and allow for effortless status checks giving back invaluable time to the entire HR department. 

By implementing a DMS, you are taking away storage costs and saving time for your employees. Utilizing DMS features such as document imaging and workflow, you can transform your processes into a more effective and manageable process for your entire HR department. It allows you to focus on high-priority school system needs, and not waste time on everyday tedious tasks that can be easily automated.

Student Records

Almost all K-12 school systems have run into the issues of excessive student records. As we said earlier, many schools must keep all student records indefinitely, with some states needing schools to keep them for a minimum of 99 years. The need to keep these records highly secured is also something that school systems need to comply with. There are many state and federal regulations that all school systems must abide by. The operating costs for storing student records, partially paper documents, can become extremely expensive and hard to manage when your storage grows by an entire new generation each year. Although many schools have taken the path to become paperless, they are still struggling to find these records quickly and in one place. With a DMS, you would be able to cut back on those storage costs and allow all student records to be held within a secure digital repository allowing for easy access, search capabilities, and record retention. A DMS also provides standard processes such as student registration management to be automated and tracked. This can transform your operations and allow you the peace of mind that your students’ records are safe and easily accessible.

Professional Development

As a business, we want our clients to succeed; the same thing goes for school systems. They want to see their students, teachers, and staff grow, and a big part of that is professional development. For example, you could have required training in place or advanced professional learning for administrators requiring many different documents. These types of documents are just as important and would need to be distributed and stored properly for your teachers and staff to get the most out of them. A DMS allows you to create, archive, and distribute these training documents electronically without running around to different departments. Now your teachers and staff can have easy access to any professional development documents easily.

Integration

K-12 school systems usually have a variety of different education applications they may use within their day-to-day processes. Your school system may have a school management system in place, like Skyward, for example, that you would want to integrate into one of your workflow processes for HR. Any document management system is only as good as the tools it provides to integrate with your existing computing environment. With a well-rounded DMS, like Optix, you will be able to integrate with your current computing environment. The integration features provided by Optix saves you time and money by not going back and forth between systems while also streamlining all processes and documents. 

How do I Get Started?

Now that you have heard about all the benefits, how do you go about implementing a DMS for your K-12 school system? The beginning of a digital transformation is always the most intimidating part. School systems should start by evaluating their current processes and workflows to identify the areas that need the most attention. Then, be sure to choose a document management solution with excellent customer service and training for all of your team members and cater their training to a specific type of learning that may benefit struggling team members. 

If you need help finding the right solution, contact us today to learn more about Optix, a document management and workflow solution designed to optimize K-12 processes. So get started today and be up and running in no time!