Ever-tightening budgets have become a given for district administrators. This means that every year, administrators and educators are faced with the challenge of finding new ways to keep costs down while maintaining a productive, enriching educational environment for their students and staff. Here are 3 potential ways to reduce education costs for your district, without compromising the quality of your schools:
According to the National Wildlife Federation, paper-waste accounts for as much as 60 percent of the waste discarded by U.S. schools each year. It’s also estimated that one tree is cut down for every 16.7 reams of paper used. And when you consider that the average teacher goes through roughly 50 reams of paper each schoolyear, it becomes painfully clear that using paper is not the most environmentally friendly way to handle schoolwork and administrative document management. With environmental concerns becoming more and more visible every day, this can be a very effective piece of your argument when trying to push your district towards going paperless.
School districts that have already made the switch have discovered that paperless document management systems help reduce redundancy and boost productivity by making their processes faster and more efficient. Paper-based systems are clunky, slow, and allow for a lot of opportunities for mix-ups and mistakes. By eliminating processes that used to be done manually, ECM systems cut down on time waste, allowing your staff to manage tasks that used to take several minutes in just a few seconds, without the risk of misplacing critical documents or records.
Schools often rely on a variety of disparate systems for managing documents, records and files across their various departments. This can lead to a confusing mess of conflicting data. For everything from human resources, to finances, to student records, to keeping up to date with state requirements, an ECM system will eliminate headaches by organizing all your critical documents into one secure, central location. With ECM, you can easily store, index and search all of your files from one easy access point, and offer varying levels of access to employees in different departments.
Save a lot of Money
This is clearly the simplest and probably most effective argument for going paperless. It’s no secret that school districts use a lot—A LOT—of paper. And those costs add up. According to Edutopia, the average school spends $25,000 on paper each year, and that’s not including the ink, toner and maintenance that contribute to additional printing costs—not to mention other paper-related office supplies like folders, filing cabinets, staplers and accessories. Going paperless with ECM effectively eliminates this major expense for good.
While the upfront costs of purchasing the software and hardware required for your new system might seem daunting, and the time investment required to train employees on the new processes might put some people off, this one-time investment will eventually pay for itself and save your district money for years and years to come. And that’s something everybody in your district can be happy about.