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4 Reasons Your Homegrown Inventory Management System Will Fail

Published by Emily Frazier at August 15, 2017 | Categories: Infographic

You’ve put a lot of time and effort into your homegrown inventory management system. You built it because your district didn’t find existing software that met your unique needs. However, while the advantages of a custom-designed system can be alluring at first, the risks and costs over time exceed the initial benefits.

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5 Tips to Protect Your Inventory Management Program from the Summer Slide

Published by Jessica Zaleski at July 7, 2016 | Categories: Instructional Materials, IT Asset Management

Researchers have coined a term called the “summer slide” that describes the tendency for students to lose the achievement gains they made during the year if they don’t continue to stay engaged in stimulating educational activity. And it can happen to your inventory management program too if you don’t keep up your positive momentum throughout the season. Here are five tips to prevent your district from experiencing the “summer slide”.

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What Your District Needs to Know About Property Insurance

Published by Jessica Zaleski at April 25, 2016 | Categories: IT Asset Management

Your district is full of valuables within the walls of each building, millions of dollars’ worth of assets and materials. So if a disaster strikes, knowing exactly what you have could save your district a lot of money.

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6 Tips for Creating an Instructional Material Procedure Manual at Your School District

Published by Jessica Zaleski at March 25, 2016 | Categories: Instructional Materials

We’ve enlisted Cherie Crews, the District Instructional Resources Specialist at Keller ISD for the past 11 years, to give her insight into how districts can develop a policy and procedure manual to reveal important information to district staff. Read on as Cherie shares the top six tips she’s learned while creating and updating Keller ISD’s manual for the past three years.

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How to Succeed with Inventory Management at Your District: Change Management

Published by Jessica Zaleski at March 10, 2016

K-12 inventory management is quickly becoming a priority to apply change management processes to. State standardized testing, funding requirements for programs like E-rate, compliance with state mandates, and the prevalence of 1:1 initiatives all push the boundaries of how school districts have operated in the past. Typically we see districts create sustainable change management surrounding their inventory control initiatives by focusing on these six areas: leadership, a shared vision, skills, resources, incentives. and strategy.

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3 Inventory Management Onboarding Best Practices From District Textbook Coordinators

Published by Jessica Zaleski at August 6, 2015 | Categories: Instructional Materials, Quick Tips

To start the year off on the right foot, we recommend you take another look at your onboarding process. A comprehensive onboarding program for employees will ensure your inventory management procedures are understood and correctly carried out by those new to the role this year (or those who need a refresher!). Here are some ideas you might consider including that other textbook coordinators have successfully implemented in their districts.

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5 Inventory Management Implementation Tips Straight From Tyler ISD’s Instructional Technology Specialist

Published by Jessica Zaleski at June 2, 2015 | Categories: IT Asset Management, Quick Tips

We’ve enlisted Tyler ISD’s Instructional Technology Specialist Robin Salars to give her insight into how districts should approach inventory management system implementation. Read on as Robin shares the top five tips she learned while assisting with Tyler ISD’s transition from tracking inventory through multiple spreadsheets to using a centralized inventory management system.

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5 End of School Year Tips for Successful Textbook Inventory Management

Published by Jessica Zaleski at May 12, 2015 | Categories: Instructional Materials, Quick Tips

As the semester winds down, school district instructional materials coordinators begin looking ahead to their end of year processes. With everything that your campuses need to complete this time of year, you may start to feel overwhelmed about getting your coordinators to quickly accomplish these processes. But fear not! We’ve compiled a list of best practices that will help you ensure campus staff know expectations and account for their materials as efficiently as possible.

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Quick Guide to E-Rate 2.0 Compliance for Schools

Published by Jessica Zaleski at March 24, 2015 | Categories: IT Asset Management

E-Rate 2.0 is here, and there are some important changes that might help you and your district provide broadband connectivity to your students, and increase the reach of digital learning in your classrooms.

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Instructional Material Contract Negotiations 101

Published by Jessica Zaleski at March 11, 2015 | Categories: Instructional Materials

Contract negotiations for new instructional material adoptions can have a huge impact on the inventory processes of a district, and with many districts depending on the Teaching & Learning Curriculum Department or Purchasing Department to handle contracts with vendors, it’s not uncommon for the district inventory manager to miss out on some important details of the contract negotiations they can have an impact on.

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5 Best Practices We’ve Learned From District Textbook Coordinators

Published by Jessica Zaleski at February 19, 2015 | Categories: Instructional Materials

We recently had the pleasure of joining a group of our clients for a user group meeting in Virginia. There was so much valuable information shared, that we couldn’t resist compiling some of the key takeaways and sharing them with you.

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Houston ISD Supports Changes in K-12 Digital Content Purchasing

Published by Megan White at December 18, 2014

Hayes Software clients from Houston ISD made headlines this month by helping lead the charge for interoperability standards for the purchase and use of K-12 digital content. This new style of small batch purchasing (by the chapter, lesson, video, etc.) would increase usability and options of digital content in the classroom.  Education Week is reporting that these changes could “upend long-established purchasing patterns and help educators more easily access materials from multiple vendors.” 

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Gain Financial Buy-In for 1:1 Initiative Infrastructural Investments

Published by Anna Maxin at December 13, 2013 | Categories: 1:1 Initiatives

The curriculum leadership in your district is pushing to integrate mobile, high-tech learning devices into the classroom, throwing phrases like “1:1”, “BYOD”, and “Connected Learning” around loosely.  The fact is, it falls on you, the Director of Technology, to get it all done, and more often than not the entire success or failure of the initiative can ride on your shoulders.

Here is the problem.  There are many infrastructural items needed to correctly facilitate the curriculum’s vision, yet the person approving the budget, your CFO, only sees them as added costs. You need to prove that the added infrastructure will mitigate the financial, security, and PR risks for your new 1:1 initiative, ensuring that students and teachers are held accountable for each device, are adhering to usage policies, and that the district won’t spend more money than necessary replacing devices.

If you build the discussion with your CFO correctly, by talking in his terms, you should have a compelling business case to get the budget for what is necessary.  As T.H.E. Journal wrote in March, you need to make the CFO your BFF...

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Psych 101: Updating your District Asset Inventory Practices

Published by Anna Maxin at November 22, 2013 | Categories: IT Asset Management

Many districts are feeling the pain of outdated asset management processes and procedures, utilizing practices put in place before the days of highly mobile, low cost technology devices now considered necessary to our school and work days. These instructional changes can be an opportunity to address inventory problems that have been frustrating staff for years. It goes without saying that being good stewards of district asset investments takes some resources but the biggest overlooked challenge is often psychological...

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6 Tips for a New Campus Instructional Material Coordinator

Published by Anna Maxin at October 10, 2013 | Categories: Instructional Materials, Quick Tips

Managing instructional materials for a campus is not an easy task, even for the most veteran inventory control specialists.  Campus coordinators wear many hats, working as a liaison between your school and parents, and meeting the needs of the principal and teachers, on top of managing thousands of dollars of instructional assets.  Keeping track of who has what material can sometimes be the least of your worries.

So when the responsibility of managing these assets has been thrust upon you, what do you do?  I recently sat down with both current and past instructional material managers and asked what advice they’d give a person new to this inventory management role at a school. 

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Recorded Webinar: How 5 Districts are Solving Critical Asset Inventory Challenges

Published by Anna Maxin at September 19, 2013 | Categories: IT Asset Management, Webinars

Date: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Time: 9:00 AM PDT/12:00 PM EDT

It’s a fact - there is more costly “stuff” circulating around your school buildings than there was 10 years ago. Assets are being purchased without you knowing about it and issued to people without standard practices – How do school and department inventory spreadsheets and district financial asset systems keep up?

Without adopting new inventory control processes your district will suffer from over spending, needless losses, and disparate data records.

See how 5 of your school district peers are overcoming critical asset challenges that affect initiative effectiveness and staff satisfaction in the presentation slides and video below

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Rethink Your Technology Budgeting Practices for Today’s High-Tech Classroom

Published by Anna Maxin at August 26, 2013 | Categories: Budgeting

The perception of technology in the classroom has evolved from being an unproven cost to a learning enabler, prompting large increases in IT hardware investments in classrooms across the country.  Learning now takes place in a blended environment, utilizing both physical and virtual materials daily.  Unfortunately, while we’ve had a pedagogical shift of how technology should be incorporated in the classroom, many operational practices have been overlooked, not enabling the efficient acquisition and management for high-tech infrastructure and learning devices.

It is important to build awareness and re-align budgeting and reporting practices to build the case for the purchase of more technology items and infrastructure.   The following operational best practices should be worked into your plan to achieve your strategic educational goals...

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5 Questions to Evaluate Your District’s Inventory Management Capabilities

Published by Anna Maxin at August 9, 2013 | Categories: Instructional Materials, IT Asset Management

Transferring, assigning, auditing and budgeting for instructional initiatives is a district-wide, all building, all department challenge.  Think of a typical school day. Assets are moving from room to room, person to person, and even building to building – How do school and department inventory spreadsheets and district financial asset systems keep up? 

Districts across the country are turning to new processes to manage their items to reduce the inefficiencies and costs of inventory operations. Many are finding the answer to their problems by implementing a perpetual inventory management methodology supported by building-level inventory automation software.

Not sure how perpetual inventory management would benefit your district? Below are five questions to help evaluate your district’s current operational capabilities...

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Auditing School Technology Assets – 3 V’s to Avoid Headaches

Published by Anna Maxin at July 10, 2013 | Categories: IT Asset Management

As a district administrator, you know how difficult it is to keep accurate track of the technology assets being purchased and assigned to schools.  Ideally, your department is able to track inventory information to demonstrate what you have, where it is located, and how old it is.

However, you know that your asset spreadsheet is only as accurate as the last time your staff updated it. Who knows if all the items are still in the same location and in a usable condition for the start of school?  You scramble your staff to scour your buildings to find the required items using this out-of-date data, taking them away from their core responsibilities. The initial results indicate there was inventory newly identified you didn't know about that had to be tagged and a high percentage of inventory that couldn't be found.

The scenario above is all too common for K-12 school districts. Knowing precisely what you have and where inventory is being utilized will allow for more reliable reporting.  It’s time to think of your technology asset information in a different way.  Here are three simple questions to consider to reduce the headaches induced by bad data...

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Three Reasons Why Library Style Inventory Control Doesn’t Work for Textbooks

Published by Anna Maxin at June 27, 2013 | Categories: Instructional Materials

Providing the best possible learning environment for students is the primary objective of the 21st century classroom.  To accomplish this, schools must increase the effectiveness of every dollar spent on providing this educational experience.  Unfortunately, not all textbook inventory systems align with this goal and can unnecessarily increase the workload and cost for schools and districts.

An efficient textbook inventory process focuses on inventory transparency and accountability options designed to match the needs of school assignment and student/teacher obligations. Effectively accessing inventory data available across other schools prior to placing an order for materials focuses on meeting the real‐time and anticipated needs for instructional materials utilized in the district. 

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Expanded Inventory Control Services

Published by Debbie Disler at June 13, 2013 | Categories: Inside Hayes

We’ve been offering services that have had a positive, lasting impact on school district operations for over 23 years.  With our extensive experience, we understand that school district inventory control is an ever changing process of meeting current, relevant initiative goals.  With this in mind, we are constantly reevaluating how we communicate and deliver our consulting and training services to clients to most effectively solve their unique challenges.

Today, we are bringing you an expanded version of our service offerings. You can see the details and request more information at the new Services section of our website, however we’ll answer a few common questions below.

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Why Building Level Asset Management is the Perfect Complement to Your Fixed Asset System

Published by Anna Maxin at May 17, 2013 | Categories: IT Asset Management

Fixed asset system. Building level asset management system. What’s the difference? Why would a school district ever need both?

A fixed asset system is primarily a financial tool designed to manage capital assets above a set monetary threshold to fulfill district accounting needs. A building level asset management system, on the other hand, is the campus counterpart to your fixed asset system, focused on perpetual inventory tracking and increased accountability, driven by the need to reconcile the fixed asset system’s data as well as non-capitalized assets critical to instructional initiatives. 

Fixed asset systems are commonplace among school districts, however school principals don’t benefit from these systems because they are not designed to track the real-time assignment and movement of assets across the district. Building level asset systems provide data integration options with the district’s student management system and human resources software to manage the assignment of devices to students and staff. Additionally, building level asset complements the needs of financial asset managers with real-time mobile inventory audit functionality and asset usage reports broken down by site to perpetually keep your asset information up to date.

Here are a few examples of how your building level asset management system and your fixed asset system can work together for your district.

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The Key to Effective Textbook Management? Clear Policies and Procedures

Published by Anna Maxin at April 24, 2013 | Categories: Instructional Materials

When it comes to managing instructional materials, it takes a team of people to keep everything running smoothly - especially with the many tasks this staff is responsible for. School districts are actively seeking opportunities to simplify processes, improve communication, and increase the accuracy of information used for decision making; all while being budget minded.  Furthermore, school systems are introducing technology into the curriculum and the classroom, making it even more important to reduce unnecessary and/or avoidable spending on textbooks.

As you plan for next school year, one opportunity that will result in improved instructional material management efficiency is to clearly define and communicate policies and procedures. Aligning these to the current goals of the organization will ensure program success.  

The following key areas are found in a comprehensive instructional material management program...

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Can Better Building Level Asset Management Solve Your Problems?

Published by Anna Maxin at April 3, 2013 | Categories: IT Asset Management

Effectively managing assets critical to instructional and administrative operations is a growing challenge in K-12 schools districts since so many of these assets are no longer “fixed”. Tracking and auditing assets is particularly challenging because of the rapid adoption of technology in the classroom, limited personnel resources, and the short life-cycles of many IT assets.   

Luckily, a modern school district asset management system is designed to address common challenges like these. Take a look at how a building level asset management tool can address some of the problems that you might be facing.

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TASBO Conference 2013 Presentation: Klein ISD and Hayes Software Systems – 1:1 Initiatives and TBSI

Published by Anna Maxin at February 28, 2013 | Categories: 1:1 Initiatives, IT Asset Management

Klein ISD has been on the forefront of integrating technology in the classroom, launching incredibly successful initiatives that foster engaging learning environments.  These initiatives require much planning and a strong infrastructure to ensure success.

At last week’s TASBO conference in San Antonio, Pam Armand from Klein ISD and Anna Maxin from Hayes Software Systems gave their insight on how to successfully track and manage technology assets for technology initiatives.  Click through to see the presentation...

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4 Textbook Management Requirements Every District Should Have

Published by Anna Maxin at February 21, 2013 | Categories: Instructional Materials

Let’s face it: managing district instructional materials isn't a one person job.

When every district is employing the motto “do more with less”, effectively managing your district instructional material purchases is crucial to both your bottom line and student success. Trying to accomplish that with your existing staff can be challenging without proper organization. It’s important to give your district and school level staff the tools and procedures necessary to get their job done efficiently and as cost effectively as possible.

A documented, communicated inventory management program that supports the initiatives of the district is key to the supervision of instructional resources like student and teacher textbooks and resource kits. These instructional purchases are one of the most costly assets at your school as well as the most undervalued. 

An effective program will be supported by an assistant superintendent or director level executive sponsor and communicated to all parties how interact with instructional materials. This ensures that district purchases are utilized effectively to cut unnecessary spending and ensure students have access to their required materials from day one. 

Read further to see which components are necessary for any instructional material management program.

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Best Practice Guide: Creating Your District’s IT Asset Management Mission

Published by Anna Maxin at February 5, 2013 | Categories: IT Asset Management

In order to start your district down the right path to create a scalable IT asset management program a strong foundation must be put in place.  It is imperative that a clear mission is defined that aligns with key district goals and drivers.  Without this core, the latest technology and tools are not able to be utilized to their fullest potential.  Like any school district initiative, it takes a cohesive, strategic approach. Our Best Practice Guide will start you down the path to greater asset accountability to support key learning initiatives throughout your district...

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1:1 Initiatives Require Unexpected Infrastructure

Published by Anna Maxin at January 28, 2013 | Categories: 1:1 Initiatives

There is no doubt that 2012 was the year for 1:1 initiative buzz at school districts.

From large to small districts, getting technology in the hands of students has been front and center in administrative meetings and news mediums all over the country.  Districts are realizing the potential of implementing an effective instructional technology program to increase student achievement.  However, 1:1 device initiatives are still relatively new to K-12 leaving many administrators wondering what should be done to implement a sustainable program.

Like all initiatives, it starts with a solid foundation.  All too often basic program infrastructure needs are identified late in the planning when someone eventually asks “how do we know which student has what device?”  If you feel like you don’t have the resources to put a comprehensive 1:1 strategy in place, fear not.  Inventory automation makes these initiatives possible by increasing efficiencies and mitigating risk for your district.  

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3 Decisions to Make before Implementing Inventory Automation Software

Published by Anna Maxin at January 17, 2013 | Categories: Instructional Materials, IT Asset Management

Automating your physical inventory processes utilizing an enterprise software solution can seem like a daunting task.  Although we make the process as painless as possible (see our Services Experience Infographic), inventory automation can require a significant amount of initial work.

In order to guarantee success there are six key decisions to make before you kick off the project.  It doesn't matter if you are tracking instructional materials, like textbooks or teacher kits, or more costly technology resources such as computers, classroom equipment or student devices.  We have found that automating inventory processes can often lead to road blocks that hinder a district's ability to meet implementation schedules because they fail to make a few critical decisions early on.

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5 Essential Policies to Make Sure Campuses Are Held Accountable for Instructional Materials

Published by Anna Maxin at November 14, 2012 | Categories: Quick Tips

We know there is a lot to keep track of when managing your campuses’ instructional materials.  Due to this, it can be easy to overlook policies that help hold both your campuses and individuals accountable, and try to stop issues before they arise.

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