If your school district is still managing your event request and reservation process manually, you may feel like you're the last district left in the country doing it that way. But, we are here to tell you that, even in 2022, it’s still very common for school districts to manage these processes using paper-based means. And while this might seem like a budget-friendly approach, software can actually make your processes much more efficient, shorten payment times for requesting groups and open more opportunities for spaces to be utilized and monetized. Here are 4 reasons why switching to software makes sense if you are using manual processes today.
1. Group Management
Keeping track of your groups is no easy task. Most districts organize their groups into classifications that can have unique space cost rates and certificate of insurance requirements. There are acknowledgements and liability forms to keep track of and within groups different points of contact as the years go by. There is also the management of communicating back and forth with groups on reservations that can take large chunks of an admin’s day. Software can automate group management and allow groups to self-serve and submit requests without the need for human interaction. Rules can be set up to manage space costs by classification and also alert you when insurance is expiring and even block groups from entering new requests if insurance is expired.
2. Avoid Scheduling Conflicts
One of the hardest things to manage in a manual process is conflicts in scheduling. Without a real-time master calendar, events can easily get double booked whether it be from different admins managing requests for the same space and time or just forgetting to update the schedule. With software, your database of spaces and times is at the core of the reservation process so it’s easy to see and prevent scheduling conflicts from occurring without any manual interventions.
3. Alerts and Notifications
Keeping everyone in the loop regarding events occurring at your facilities is a full time job on its own in a manual process! There are many stakeholders that need to be notified of events for reasons that range from security to maintenance support to administrative details. How is this coordinated or managed in a manual system? Well let’s just say usually you hope one or two of the primary admins that hold this altogether don’t call in sick! When switching to software, one of the benefits you’ll see right away is the automated notifications and alerts that can be set up to notify your stakeholders and take the pressure off of you to remember every person that needs to know about every event. You can choose people to be notified based on a specific space, classification, even down to a field that is checked in a request form for a specific service or need.
4. Streamline Payments
Finally, one of the most important benefits districts realize when switching from a manual process to software is the ability to manage and streamline their payment process. Not only do most software platforms integrate with 3rd party payment apps like Paypal or MySchoolBucks, they can auto-generate invoices on events and let you easily see groups that are overdue. You will also eliminate any manual errors in your billing because groups are connected to classifications with specific cost rates, so you can be sure your groups are getting charged the right rate every time.
There are many more reasons to switch to software if you are utilizing manual processes today and we encourage you to research our website for more information. ML Schedules is a solution designed specifically for K12 school districts - not just in functionality but also with an affordable price.
See how your district can benefit by scheduling a custom demo today.