Technology has taken over the world, and most tasks are getting automated. The education industry has also joined this bandwagon and is using the power of technology to automate administrative and non-administrative tasks. With the help of the ERP system, schools and colleges are reducing the workload of their teachers and other staff members. Moreover, the system also eliminates redundancy and streamlines the processes. Before getting into the article and knowing the steps to implement an ERP solution, let us understand what this system does and how efficiently it manages school functions.
What is ERP software?
ERP software is a system that organizations use to automate their activities and manage their functions like accounting, inventory management, risk management and compliance, etc. As the ERP system makes data transfer easy, organizations use it to organize their processes and pass information in real-time. In addition, it eliminates data duplication and provides data integrity. Various organizations use ERP software to analyze their performance and resolve issues.
Why should the education industry use ERP software?
The education industry can get a lot of benefits from the school ERP software, and some prominent benefits include:
Simplified admission processes
It comes as no surprise that new admissions are most difficult to handle for school staff. There is a lot of back and forth involved in this process. Parents, students, and teachers work tirelessly to gather and provide information. Giving admission to top performers is vital for every educational institution. At the same time, schools and colleges should focus on making the process convenient for every stakeholder. With an ERP system, educational institutions can manage the entire admission process and enhance the efficiency of admission counselors. The system provides correct information to parents and students through an interactive dashboard. The dashboard can be used by them to track the application status and submit relevant documents.
Every educational institute records student and teacher data. Moreover, daily activities like attendance and fee collection also involve data records. With the school ERP system, educational institutions can manage and store the information securely. Attendance records and fee receipts can be stored digitally in a few clicks. As the system eases the work for teachers and other staff, educational organizations must adopt the ERP system to enhance efficiency.
Automated fee management
Fee collection is a monthly process in every educational institution. However, a few schools and colleges also provide quarterly and yearly fee payment options to parents and students. But keeping a track of who paid what fee and at what time becomes difficult. The fee management module of ERP software makes the task easier for staff involved in the fee collection process. Moreover, the ERP software also offers a detailed report on the mode of fee collection. Parents and students can pay the fees easily from the comfort of their homes by using multiple payment options like cards, UPIs, and other digital payments.
Better decision making
Making correct decisions is critical for school admins, and they cannot go wrong with this process. Because of the access to critical information like fee payments, admissions, employee records, etc., admins can make prompt decisions. With the help of correct information, decision-makers can improve overall productivity and offer better student service.
Cost-effectiveness is one of the reasons that make educational institutions adopt ERP systems. It brings down the cost incurred in carrying out academic and non-academic activities. It reduces the need for manual intervention and provides staff with excess time to focus on student welfare. With the implementation of the enterprise resource planning software in schools and colleges, the costs incurred in procuring stationery and other educational materials can be managed effectively.
Faster management process
As the system expedites the decision-making process, management can make prompt decisions. There is uniformity in information across all departments, as a result, every department gets an all-around view of the situation in real-time. Admins and other decision-makers can access the information to frame better policies for student development.
Schools and colleges are working towards bringing down their paper consumption and adopting eco-conscious steps to make the environment greener. The ERP system is a promising approach in this direction that reduces the paperwork for schools and colleges. With this system, schools can automate their daily activities, thus eliminating the usage of paper. It connects all the departments and makes information flow easier. As a result, there is a significant reduction in paperwork.
Improved resource management
Maintaining a resource database is critical for every educational institution. With the help of ERP systems, institutions can maintain a digital database of students and teachers. Moreover, the system can be used to monitor student performance, transport facilities, and hostel security.
Ensuring data security becomes complex when using the traditional system of data management. However, this threat can be eliminated by using enterprise resource planning software. The ERP system ensures data security and provides backup through the cloud-based storage system. It uses multi-layer security protocols to ensure that only authorized personnel get access to sensitive information. Digitally stored files use enhanced encryption and security features that cannot be accessed by unauthorized personnel.
The communication module improves the efficiency of an institute by automating the communication process. It makes the flow of information easier and enables everyone to get access to the correct information in real-time. Admins can use this system to connect with teachers and students. Likewise, teachers and parents can use the ERP system to remain connected and share details about student performance.
All the benefits mentioned above are critical for the smooth operation of an educational institution. Therefore, every school and college irrespective of its size must invest in an ERP system.
Reasons to move to an ERP cloud solution
The reasons to adopt an ERP system are mentioned below.
Adopt new and evolving SaaS technologies
Various industries including the education sector are using SaaS technology to streamline their activities. These systems are easier to manage and do not require additional or new input from the end users.
Contribute to the value of the existing ERP systems
Using cloud-based technology can complement, enhance, and supplement important tasks in an organization. Educational organizations should adopt this technology to speed fast their growth and promote student welfare.
Access new technologies
Cloud technologies are on the rise, and users can see advancements every day. Using this system helps an organization take advantage of rapidly advancing technologies. The system improves operational efficiency without disrupting the fundamentals of an educational organization.
Reduce third-party dependencies
Educational organizations can reduce their dependence on third-party vendors and solution providers by using an ERP system. They do not need to collaborate with multiple vendors to streamline the operational processes.
Strengthen the financial systems
Cloud-based technologies are vital if educational organizations want to save costs and strengthen their financial systems. They can reduce the operational costs and expenses incurred on procuring inventories and stationeries by using a cloud-based ERP system.
Robust security resources
Organizations can consult the dedicated team that takes care of the cloud security issues and threats. This way, they get assurance of enhanced data protection. Most vendors have a dedicated team that offers 24/7 support.
Attract in-demand talent
The next generation of young workers mostly rely on technology and are in sync with technological advancements. They have grown up using technology that is easy to use and widely available. No company that solely relies on on-premise technology can recruit global talent. Therefore, institutes must use cloud-based technologies to attract and retain top talent.
These seven reasons explain why using a cloud-based ERP system is beneficial for educational institutions. The use of evolving technologies is always beneficial as it makes the system more streamlined and improves overall efficiency.
Steps to get ready for an ERP implementation
To get ready for an ERP implementation, educational institutions need to follow the strategies mentioned below.
Identify problems and set goals
Enterprise resource planning software is the solution to many problems that an educational institute faces. However, before implementing ERP solutions, schools and colleges must know their goals and objectives for using this dynamic system. Identifying the problem or exact necessity is critical before going forward with the available options. Once the decision-makers have identified the reason for ERP implementation, they can focus on solving those issues using automation. The more specific and detailed an organization is when identifying the problems, the more precise and detailed the implementation will be. Educational institutions can choose to implement ERP solutions in a phased manner.
ERP implementation may take time. Therefore, educational institutions must have a team that takes care of the implementation process. This team must ensure that the goals and objectives of the organization align with the implementation goals. After selecting the team, admins must give them the authority and autonomy to ensure that the project is completed on time.
Establish a change management strategy
Adopting and accepting any new system is challenging for many of us. Therefore, institutes must ensure that the transition process remains seamless for educators and learners. Admins and other decision-makers must establish a change management strategy to ensure everybody is aware of the new changes. Educators and learners must be aligned and have a fair sense of recent developments. Communicating the changes to employees will help them adopt the new technologies effortlessly.
Consider the human resources
End-user training is a critical factor that affects the implementation of the ERP system. Admins must choose a vendor that provides training facilities to educators and students. The stakeholders should be able to respond to the changes in the processes. If the end users are not responding to the changes, the implementation plan may fail.
Understand vendor process
ERP vendors have specific implementation policies that help them organize the process efficiently. Before getting ready for the ERP implementation, admins must ensure their vendor’s philosophy aligns with the organizational goals.
Create a post-implementation plan
After ERP implementation, things can go haywire. Therefore, institutes must keep a backup plan to sort things out. Once the system has gone live for an institute, the vendors should be able to solve all queries. They should have placed a post-deployment support strategy in place to know that users are aware of basic functions.
The above-mentioned is a six-step strategy that every institute must follow to get ready for an ERP implementation. Evaluating the vendors and getting knowledge of their services or solutions is vital before investing in an ERP solution.
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