Workflow automation solutions are extremely valuable when it comes to document processing–a major component of how schools operate. Specifically in the higher education realm, juggling applications, admissions, financial documents, adjunct contracts, and more can be a time-consuming, manual, and inefficient process.
By adding workflow automation into the tech stack, documents can be automatically filed to the correct location, distributed to the proper departments with a request for action and executed in a compliant manner–at double and triple the volume. Not only does this ensure administrators remain organized, but it also frees up time for employees to focus on other, more important and creative tasks.
Automation in action
Claremont Graduate University (CGU) is a great example of this positive change in action. As a private university with about 1,200 students enrolled, the university faced recurring issues with its analog contracting processes, which particularly impacted adjunct faculty employment. Use of paper-based contracts often resulted in errors, misplaced signatures, delays, and extra time and costs for administrative staff to deal with these issues. Physical storage space was also becoming an issue due to the need to have paper documents stored and done so in an organized manner.
To remedy these problems, CGU turned its attention to improving its workflow automation solutions. Following an integration project, the university has built workflows across multiple departments, including the registrar’s office, provost office, HR, and others. A main use case was building a specific workflow for requesting access for applications and documents. Previously requiring an administrator to physically find a stored document, the process turned into a simple digital request that generates a ticket for each document. This created a faster workflow and gave the ability to track when documents were accessed to improve compliance.
Furthermore, CGU was able to make improvements to its processes to request campus visits. Previously a manual operation, CGU is now able to handle over 500 visit requests from students, faculty, and staff weekly, via an auto populating form that makes filing a request faster and more intuitive. As a result of integrating automation technology, the university has been able to go completely paperless, freeing up physical space and allowing staff to minimize their environmental impact.
It’s become clear that automation is creating measurable, positive change in any sector it touches, and education has been able to reap the benefits. By implementing these types of solutions, schools and universities can make faster workflows and enhance the student experience in return. As the world continues to become more digital, it will be interesting to witness how educators continue using automation to improve these processes and to amplify specific classroom experiences.
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