Meet Two School ERP Innovators
June 20, 2019 by
In districts large and small, changing how things have always been done can be a big hurdle. Especially when that change affects personnel expenditures, which can comprise up to 90% of organizational budgets. Complications and delays from manual, paper-based processes are amplified in large districts dealing with thousands of staff. For smaller, more rural districts, inefficiency costs dollars that are already scarce.
The following exemplar districts are demonstrating how taking a leap and modernizing systems can result in a total transformation for the better. In 2019, these two pioneers were recognized with Tyler Excellence Award honors at the industry’s largest conference, Connect 2019.
The Tucson Unified School District is located in the second-largest city in Arizona. For a district this size – 89 school sites, 8,000 staff, and 47,000 students – maximizing efficiency is key. Human resources, however, was strained with cumbersome paper-based processes, and finance and HR/payroll operated on separate systems that didn’t speak to one another.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Renee Heusser, Human Resources Director, said. “Especially with the size of this district.” She began the implementation of Infinite Visions, a new financial and personnel management software system that transformed operations.
Michael Cota, Nancy Mueller, Renee Heusser, Renee Weatherless, and Dalila Moreno from Tucson Unified School District accept a Tyler Excellence Award for innovation
Electronic personnel action requests have replaced paper forms. With electronic approvals, requests are processed in days or sometimes even in hours. For a district that processes 30,000 such requests a year, the time savings is a night and day change from the old, manual process.
Read more about the district’s implementation process and its happier, more effective and accountable workforce here.
Greeneville City Schools in Tennessee is a small, rural school district in which every dollar counts. The district relied on DOS-based accounting and standalone software systems that were time consuming and lacked integration. Central office accounting staff had to physically visit a school to assist with accounting functions, and paper-based purchase orders were physically routed from one person to the next for approvals.
“At the time, everything was paper-based and we didn’t share systems; nothing was integrated,” said Chief Financial Officer Ellen Lipe. Her team was at the forefront in implementing Munis to modernize and integrate the district’s finance and HR functions.
Melissa Batson, Ellen Lipe, Brenda Malone, and Kimberly Darnell from Greeneville City Schools, TN, accept a Tyler Excellence Award for innovation
Now, with a completely paperless purchase order process, department heads as well as the CFO can approve purchase orders from any location with a single click. And the district’s hiring, evaluating, and recordkeeping processes seamlessly integrate with payroll and accounting systems. “Each minute saved through streamlining and integration represents resources that can be redirected to our classrooms,” Lipe said.
Read more about Greeneville City’s transformation here.
Congratulations to these innovative districts that are providing schools around the country with roadmaps for greater efficiency and smarter resource allocation.