Education is the platform that allows young adults to build a better future for themselves, their family and their country. According to an IDC research, workflow digitisation results in a 17.2% reduction, per week, of time spent on document-related tasks, which is close to 3.1 hours of time saved, on a weekly basis, in most workplaces*. School District 23 (SD23) embraced the digital environment to save space, increase employee productivity and better prepare their students for the workplace.
Located in the Okanagan Valley, SD23 is the fifth largest district in British Columbia serving 22,000 students across 43 elementary, middle, secondary and alternative schools. SD23 strives to give its students a safe and inspiring learning environment to help them become productive members of society. One of its focuses is on teaching its students to stay with the times and become lifelong learners. In keeping with this ideology, SD23 was looking to modernise its workflows and use available technology to become an innovator in the education space. They wanted to equip their staff with the ability to deliver higher quality services to their students.
A few challenges that SD23 was starting to face were:
- Lack of physical space within their staff rooms due to an ever increasing number of filing cabinets used to store required information
- Increase in process delays due to the sharing of paper documents that needed approvals from more than one individual
- Bottlenecks within workflows due to misplaced documents or due to a time-consuming process to retrieve required documents
- Inefficient distribution of information due to disrupted channels of communication between staff, parents and students owing to a paper-based system
- Continuous need for printing to maintain records and conduct classroom activities.
Not only were these challenges causing delays, but they were also leading to frustration among staff members and higher operating costs.
SD23 partnered with Ricoh to identify these various challenges and address them effectively, with minimum disruption to everyday tasks during implementation. Top-of-mind during implementation was to develop a system that can maintain the privacy and security of the documents that were filed, while also staying compliant with the required legislations that educational institutes have to adhere to.
The first step was to digitise their files, records and microfiche, which immediately enabled the staff to search, find and share documents more easily. Next, Ricoh implemented a print management solution that equipped teachers, administrators and students to digitise their documents on the fly, without having to print any materials. This also allowed for seamless sharing of information to existing systems already in the classrooms, such as smart-boards and laptops, for a far better learning experience. In addition, Ricoh implemented a content management solution that allowed SD23 to automate workflows and forms processing. This not only reduced bottlenecks and increased security of documents, but also allowed forms to maintain a track-able audit trail. SD23 has processed upwards of 7,000 forms from parents and students using this new system. Processes that could formerly take months are now down to almost a week. And, most importantly, disorderly filing cabinets have been given a time out.
SD23 serves 3,000 employees, so, reduced costof operations, improved efficiency and extra office space are all extremely satisfying outcomes. However, the primary win is the increased satisfaction among staff members and students, who are at the heart of SD23 and all it stands for. SD23 embraced technology and all it can bring to the table to become a true beacon of innovation in the education space. We, at Ricoh, celebrate SD23’s accomplishments and proudly name them a Ricoh Change Maker.
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