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ECM is for Education

Bill Dermody

Schools are opening across the country this week, and educators and administrators have more challenges and questions to answer than ever.

Many schools are opening virtually, others are starting part-time while others have had to change plans on the fly. How can elementary, high school and college administrators hope to manage all of the necessary paperwork and record-keeping with unprecedented uncertainty?

There are no easy answers, but many of the technical and administrative challenges can be answered with Electronic Content Management (ECM). Sometimes called just Managed Content, this technology can ensure student services automated, functioning and ready for any procedural changes that may be necessary.


Most student files contain pages and pages of records and transcripts, constantly growing as a student progresses through the school system. These files require routine review by teachers, professors and administrators and when entirely on paper, these processes are slow and complicated. However, content management solutions can support your school system's paper-intensive processes for expedited entering, managing and retrieval of information. The use cases are endless:

Student Affairs – provide students easy-to-use forms that kickoff automated processes like declare/change major, grade challenges, and duplicate certificate requests. The result is faster responses, greater accuracy, and with less administrative overhead needed.

Financial Services – ECM software automates Grant Management, Transcript Evaluation and Financial Aid approvals. Push key data into your other systems to eliminate manual data entry.

Human Resources – bringing staff on board is often a complex, paper-driven process requiring many, many forms. ECM can reduce the workload on staff and speed the process up for new hires.


So how do schools put social distancing and contactless processes in place when managing student records means storing lots and lots of paper records? Managing a school means managing manual processes for recording, tracking, and delivering updates about class schedules, grades, and other important admissions-related issues.

Managed Content allows advisors to access, review, and process requests electronically. Eliminating paper forms for petitions and other requests eliminates scanning, photocopying, data entry and other manual tasks. With business process management workflows, your institution will be able to set up rules-based routing to ensure documents move from one staff member to the next in a timely fashion, all while being able to monitor its progress in the moment.

For example, we worked with the Human Resources department of a major state university to digitize and automate records. Working together, we were able to eliminate almost 75 file cabinets. In addition to being able to track and finding files, the ECM system can now track the completion of records and forms and make most forms electronic, including Leave of Absence Forms, HR Requests, Education Request Form and ID Forms.


Not only does the elimination of paper documents increase the access and security of confidential student information, but it also provides schools and districts with many other benefits. After going paperless with student records, schools often find they are more environmentally-friendly, while also saving money that would have been spent on paper, paper handling, and other printing resources.

An Enterprise Content Management solution can offer software that will help your educational institution cut costs, improve services and avoid unnecessary health risks. Contact an expert at Gordon Flesch Company for a free consultation to learn how an Enterprise Content Management system can improve your school’s administration.

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