Don’t just archive your content, use it when you need it

Whether you are dealing with student records, registration forms, accounting files, financial aid or any other departmental processes, the most efficient way to use the information and get it to your main system is to scan the documents at the time they are created or received.

If you wait until the end of the process, many people across your organization will have photocopied, faxed, emailed, sorted, filed and re-filed, creating massive amounts of unnecessary work, expense and wasted resources.

A survey of higher education institutions across the country reveals that student records are most often not scanned until they arrive at the Registrar’s Office. The records of students not accepted are usually scanned and indexed separately from the students that are.

All you have gained in this scenario is space. Less than 5% of these records however, will be reviewed, researched or even looked at.

Processing files at the time a student applies is more work up front, but pays off very quickly. The ability to review complete student profiles early can result in better admission decisions. Content management automates the flow of work by creating electronic work packages, tracking missing documents, notifying students, and updating the student information system in real time.

There are many types of content solutions available today. Smaller organizations may get away with using one of the many point solutions on the market. These stand-alone imaging systems store documents departmentally, much like a file cabinet sitting in your office. But what if you need access to information from another department or need to approve something? In this scenario, it is still a manual workflow process that needs human intervention in the form of emailing, attaching, copying, printing, notifying, and …..waiting. In essence this system is only an archive library.

Many organizations are now using solutions that are enterprise driven. The difference between a point system and an enterprise solution is the content is ingested into the system as soon as it is created and routed throughout the business process with automated workflow, approval requests and updates to the PeopleSoft or other ERP system.

Finance talks to Accounting, student enrollment files are available to Admissions, and Financial Aid files to the Bursar. The system tracks and sorts graduate and undergraduate applications and supporting documents, i.e., it knows what an international student needs and tracks the status of the incoming information. Transcript data is uploaded digitally to your student information system and a copy of the file stored in the repository.

Understand your options for content management. Your technology can do the work for you.